Sunday, December 8, 2013

Chromebook - Acer C720 Day 12

Looking to hold a webinar on my Chromebook.  We've used AnyMeeting before to hold webinars for Treasurer's Briefcase, a Bedrock (and Perl) based website that offers small non-profits an easy way to do their record keeping .  AnyMeeting had worked well last year on my Macbook.   Because it used a Java plugin, it was difficult to initially setup for us as the hosts of the meeting owing to the constant Java security updates.  It was equally a pain in the butt for clients to use.  Since then they've ditched the Java plugin - Yay! - so I thought I'd try hosting a meeting on my C720.

Unfortunately, at least at this time, this does work.  I got as far as starting a meeting then got a spinning progress bar.  I don't think there is any issue using a Chromebook as a client to one of their meetings as I was able to connect to the meeting that seemed to be in progress.  On the host side however, I can't do anything like present or screen share as the "Starting..." message never seems to disappear.

I made an effort to contact their tech support and while helpful, they indicated they only support Mac and Windows.

Hi Rob,

Thanks for getting in touch with us. It could be that files in either your browser’s cache or your Flash player’s cache are causing the meeting to hang while starting. I would recommend clearing both of those caches. The Flash cache can be cleared here: http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager07.html , just click ‘delete all sites’ on the ‘website storage settings panel.’ Once you’ve cleared both caches, restart your browser and try starting another meeting.
Please keep in mind that we only officially support computers running Apple’s OS X or Microsoft’s Windows. Because Chromebooks run a version of Linux, we cannot guarantee their complete compatibility with our system.
Please let me know if you need anything else!

Just another point on the Chromebook usability chart for those that are following.

Amazon Video Busted?

I noted on Google's Chromebook forum that several users have reported that as of the latest Chromebook update, they have been unable to stream video from Amazon's video player.  It has been suggested as a workaround to spoof the user agent which prompts a message that includes a link to launching the Flash player manually.  Apparently, people have reported that this fix works.  I saw some indications that this might be an Amazon Player bug, but those using Chrome on Mac or Windows report it works fine there suggesting it might be endemic to the Chromebook.

Being a software developer, I embrace bugs.  Finding them is better than not.  If I see a vibrant community finding bugs and a developer or company that addresses said bugs, that's a product I want to use.  I know it will continue to get better. Like many others, I really want this Chromebook thing to work, but like any technology that competes with and hopes to replace or sit side-by-side with the status quo, it first has to work, then it needs to do something better (faster and/or cheaper, etc.).   I'm curious to see how long this bug will take to get fixed.

Update: As of this afternoon (2013-12-08) Google forum user's report the issue has been corrected by Amazon.  Apparently this was an Amazon issue...

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