Originally Posted by Shrike
I have multiple external USB drives. The only one I use is the Time Machine one. It's just not a good user experience to carry a USB drive around. We'd be carrying a USB around all the time with machines with such small drives.
Originally Posted by solipsism
This is just nonsense. You complained about the size of the boot drives in these very specific machines and the limitations of data capacity and speed with the web. I pointed out that you can have SD cards, USB sticks, HDDs, etc connected to read and write whatever data you want. IOW, this is not some dumb terminal thin client that can’t do jack unless it’s on the network. Why is that concept so fucking hard?
Having an SD card slot and/or USB ports for USB Drives on a device is good for introducing content to the device and saving content from the device. It is an excellent way of mitigating the limited storage of these devices.
But, what you seem to be suggesting is some sort of sneaker net.
That could be somewhat useful in moving content among devices when offline.
But, if you think about it, SD cards or USB Drives are not a good alternative for when the network is unavailable.
Why? Because you would have had to anticipate the unavailability, in advance, and download and save necessary files to the external media.
Then there is the whole problem of versioning files that were modified while offline -- especially if multiple people are collaborating on the same files,
To have a "fool proof" system, each user, while online, would have to periodically save any file modifications to local storage.
Unless the ChromeOS has some very sophisticated file change management software (like TimeMachine) this would quickly become an operational nightmare -- where you spend more time anticipating and compensating for the unavailability of the network -- than accomplishing productive work.
... And you just know, that the one time you are in a hurry to meet a deadline and don't save a local copy of that critical file...
After a few network failures, where you scurry around, locate the card or drive then the needed file, read it in to the ChromeBook make some modifications (being sure to save the changes)...
Whoops! The network is back up again. How do we get back to where we were -- the network files all updated, and saved to the local media...
Thank goodness we anticipated...
...Damn, the network's down again...
A few iterations of this and it's time to retire to the local Pub and reevaluate your offline operational strategy *
And, unless you have some sort of TimeMachine on the local network of ChromeBooks -- it really is impractical to do any work when the cloud or global network is unavailable.
If you do have a local TimeMachine, you are beginning to defeat the concept, increase costs, local support requirements and complexity.
I'm afraid it's pretty much "You're tethered -- or you're neutered."
I have to agree with Shrike on this!
* and don't think for a moment that some industrious users won't discover the connection between "network down" and "let's take a break".