Friday, December 6, 2013

Chromebook - Acer C720 Day 10

I had occasion last night to help a friend with a spreadsheet problem.  My friend emailed me the spreadsheet (.xlsx) and I promptly opened it with Google Sheets on my Chromebook.

Okay, so far not very exciting.  I can say however, that the spreadsheet was not altered or changed by the import and it did have some formatting and frozen panes.  Looking good!

My friend needed some help manipulating some cells and wanted to apply some text transforms.  I was pleasantly surprised to find I could use all of the Excel functions I was accustomed to using for manipulating text and applying formulas to the cells.  I guess this is not too surprising, but it just provided me more assurance that I can use my Chromebook to replace my Macbook for a lot of the things I do on an everyday basis, even providing Excel support!

In case it's not obvious, you can also download text files, edit them locally and upload them or print them.  I neeeded to export the DNS zone file from my GoDaddy account for one of the domains I'm managing in order to import that to Amazon Route 53.

The zone file exported from GoDaddy was a zip file (.zip).  Once the file was downloaded I brought up the Files widget.

Double clicking on the zip file, unzips the files and creates a folder that is opened so you can see the files in the zip file.

Unfortunately, you can't just right click and tell Chrome to open the file with a specific application.  Normally, if the file extension is bound to an app (.xlsx is mapped to Google Sheets, for example) you would just click on the file and launch the app.  The .zone extension is not recognized.  So I need to open up my text editor and then open up the .zone file.

Not a big deal.  The point is I can download files to local storage, edit the file and then upload or do what I want with the file.  In other words, the Chromebook did the job again. Nice!

VPN Update

I'm continuing to work with a very helpful network admin in our corporate data center and we've gotten under the covers of the problem a bit.  Until we solve the problem, I won't detail all the things that don't work, but we've discovered the corporate VPN is a Cisco ASA device and we're pretty sure there is one configuration parameter we need to tweak.  We need to do this during the maintenance window so I'm still without VPN access on the Chromebook.

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