Sunday, November 04, 2018

Planned Obsolescence?

My Chromebox is an Asus model, running on a 1.4 GHz Intel Celeron CPU with 4Gb of RAM. Not a powerhouse by current standards, of course, but capable of doing plenty of things that I've done with older, slower CPUs and far less RAM in the past.

So, I was pleased to see that Google was introducing the ability to directly install and run Linux apps to ChromeOS, starting with version 70.

For some machines, but not others, as it turns out. And mine is apparently in the "others" category. As it is with the fairly recently introduced ability to run Android apps (my newer Chromebook handles Android -- haven't looked into the Linux angle on that one yet).

I handed my first Chromebox, a 2012 Samsung model, off to my son several years ago. It has similar or better specs than the newer one (I think it has a 1.9 GHz Celeron in it, and also has 4Gb of RAM). So far as I know, the only real hardware difference is that it's in a larger case. Not only is it not on the "can run Linux apps" or "can run Android apps" lists, Google apparently cut it out of getting further OS updates at all several months back.

I can see why older models of the same machine type would fall by the wayside vis a vis new capabilities on the basis of CPU type, supported RAM size, etc. But Google seems to be cutting machines out of software update/improvement schedules just because they're older, not because they're less capable.

And that's bullshit.

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