Bruce Simmons

Chromebook Text EditorsIf you have a Google Chromebook and you are looking for a simple text editor, here’s a bit of a user-experience/warning after using one of the more popular text editors for a few years. I’ll be talking about Gmail, Text, Caret and your own Chrome web browser as a writing utilities.

A little while ago I picked up a couple of Chromebooks and one of the first things I noticed was that you CAN NOT use any kind of developed or over-the-counter app that is not part of the online Google apps world. It’s a bit of a bummer, so you need to have a Google account like Gmail to use these simple laptops and have them be of of any use. And to be honest, if all you want to do is surf the web, use web portals or social networks like Facebook, and do some light work via Google Apps, you should be fine.

Find a cheap Chromebook computer on Amazon.

But if you want to go beyond the basics of Google Docs and other online apps, you’re out of luck. Apps like their Google Docs is fine, but mildly limiting. For one, considering how slow they can act when you load files, even simple ones, could be a frustration point. The other aspect I am not fond of is that in their Google Sheets app, you can’t password protect those files like you can MS Excel. That for me is a bit of a showstopper because I have a few Excel files that I save as password protected files. And I won’t use third party online password file generators and databases because too many times hackers have their way with online based services we trust.

Laptops for under $500 on Amazon.

Then there’s the thing about if you run blogs and type up rough drafts in something other than your blogging platform.

When I write posts for my blog, I tend to do it off-platform or offline of my blog’s application. This way I am not dependent on any kind of internet connection during my brainstorming time of writing. When I’m mostly done with my draft, then I will log on to my blog and copy my content to it, in plain text mode. If you aren’t using Gmail’s draft mode, this is a great way to write without needing an internet connection. And trust me, if you ride Caltrain in the Bay Area region and use Verizon Wireless, you will definitely need to work offline because Verizon’s coverage is spotty in the most surprising of ways. So offline rough draft use it is! (OH, and if you do use Gmail, don’t forget to choose ‘paste as text’ when copying into your blog! Gmail puts a lot of div html flags in their content.)

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Twice Dead, A Book ReviewTwice Dead is the first book in The Zombie Crises series by George Magnum, a New York based author.

In a nutshell, it’s hard to crank out a good story in a genre that is pretty full already, and populated with such excellent content as The Walking Dead and other top-notch offerings. This story does nothing to make the genre stand out any more than it already does, and comes away more as a fun but non-engaging read.

The story follows a Commander Peterson, who wakes up and finds himself in the middle of some strange, global spanning infection that seems to make the dead stand back up. He’s summoned to one of the last command outposts of the military, is given a top-notch mercenary team and given the task of retrieving a doctor from a top-secret facility, whose expertise could possibly save the world from this problem.

As the assignment gets underway, it predictably starts to fall apart, with supplies lost, people hurt, stray humans needing rescue and the loss of their transport, in a world gone mad.

I could not quite put my finger on it, but the way the story is constructed, we aren’t given a chance to truly care about anyone. Instead we’re told in a mildly repetitive fashion how deadly, or sensitive or malfunctioning the characters are. If we were given a chance to invest in the characters, we might have fallen for them. But instead, most of the heavy emotional lifting is done for us, so we don’t need to try. The reader is not trusted to develop connections with the characters.

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Following A Facebook Post Without Commenting

April 5, 2017

This post is about how you can follow a Facebook post, privately, without having to comment on it, showing the world what you’re doing. And there are other practices you can try too. – Up until recently if you saw a post you were interested in, you had to type a comment under the post […]

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POWER RANGERS (2017) Movie Review

April 1, 2017

The Power Rangers movie was surprisingly thoughtful, spending most of the first two acts delivering well-developed characters and history of the characters. I can only presume that after movies like Marvel properties, Pacific Rim, and other like films, they saw the way paved to take a swing at making this film. – Saban’s Power Rangers […]

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BABYLON’s ASHES by James S. A. Corey, Book Review

March 31, 2017

–Babylon’s Ashes, by the writing team of James S. A. Corey, hits it out of the park yet again in this latest chapter of the The Expanse series. – Babylon’s Ashes, by the writing team of authors Daniel Abraham and Ty Franck. picks up not long after Naomi got space ejected by her crazy ex, […]

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Netflix Marvel’s IRON FIST S1 Review

March 30, 2017

–Iron Fist felt like a modern-day remake of those 60’s and 70’s kung fu movies, with lots of posturing and posing, with lots of fights in darkened alleys, hallways and rooms. – – – “When Danny Rand was 10-years old, he survived a mysterious plane crash that claimed the lives of his extremely wealthy parents. […]

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GHOSTBUSTERS (2016) Movie Review

March 28, 2017

–Ghostbusters finally came to my pay movie channel where I could watch it and to be honest, it’s a perfect TV movie. Is this a sequel or a reboot? Oh, sorry, “reimagination?” It’s officially been referred to as a reboot but I’m not sure why they would go that route and not maybe ping off […]

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MONEY MONSTER (2016) Movie Review

March 27, 2017

–Money Monster is a slightly above average crime thriller with an interesting but mild twist of a story. The film is directed by Jodie Foster and stars George Clooney as Lee Gates, a slightly extravagant television money analyst who is more about the ratings than some of the content he delivers. Imagine if you will, […]

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WILD CARD (2015) Review, W/ Jason Statham

March 26, 2017

Wild Card stars Jason Statham and is directed by Simon West (The Expendables 2, Con Air, The Mechanic (2011)), is a second film adaptation of the novel, Heat. The short description of the film is, “A bodyguard (Jason Statham) goes after the sadistic thug who beat his friend, only to find that the object of […]

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March 24, 2017

Neighbors 2 sees Zac Efron, Seth Rogen, Chloe Grace Moretz, Rose Byrne reprising their roles from the 2014 film. Neighbors 2 also reprises the same kind of dynamic and routine as the first film, with the usual or more of the crass humor from the first film. If you’re a fan of the foul-mouthed, sexually […]

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Kong: Skull Island (2017) Review

March 18, 2017

Apocalypse Kong! Kong: Skull Island is directed by Jordan Vogt-Roberts off a script by Dan Gilroy (Real Steel, The Bourne Legacy), Max Borenstein (Godzilla, Minority Report) and Derek Connolly (Jurassic World, Monster Trucks). Vogt-Roberts brings a lot of television directing experience to the plate, along with Kings of Summer that he helmed. The cast includes […]

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March 10, 2017

This is a movie review with some moderate story spoilers, but they are necessary for me to make some points. Keanu Reeves returns to a role that matches his classic film personality in John Wick: Chapter 2. And like the first one, this film is nothing but a fun, gun-porn kind of vengeance film, with […]

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LOGAN (2017) Review – Spoiler Free

March 7, 2017

–Logan by far, is the best developed and written Marvel film to date. It stars Hugh Jackman & Patrick Stewart reprising their roles of Wolverine and Professor X, along with Dafne Keen as Laura, Eriq La Salle, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant & Elizabeth Rodriguez. The film was directed by James Mangold (Girl, Interrupted, Walk the […]

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TAKEN Series Premiere Review

March 6, 2017

After watching the series premiere episode of Taken on NBC, I have to say that it left me feeling a bit hollow inside. Not to mention that the first episode pretty much set off all my “premiere warning bells,” during that premiere episode. The premise is: A young Bryan Mills (played by Clive Standen) must […]

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X-Men Apocalypse, A Movie Review

March 5, 2017

X-Men Apocalypse continues the saga of the rebooted Marvel property of the X-Men film franchise from Fox, but to be honest, if they’re going to reboot a film franchise, they need to make it better than the first version they’re trying to wipe the slate clean of! But more to the point, it’s more of […]

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13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi Review

March 5, 2017

13 Hours: The Secret Soldiers of Benghazi is a 2016 film directed and co-produced by Michael Bay (Transformers), written by Chuck Hogan (The Strain, The Town), based on a 2014 book by Mitchell Zuckoff, called 13 Hours. If you like gritty military action, this is the film for you. Michael Bay movies. In 2012, the […]

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February 28, 2017

(Even Tudyk looks suspicious of the TV ratings of Powerless) NBC‘s Powerless is nothing more than a thinly veiled sitcom wrapped within the world of DC‘s land of vigilantes and meta humans. And it’s even failing at doing that. It feels like even the creative team behind the show has no clue how to handle […]

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February 25, 2017

The Shallows stars Blake Lively as Nancy Adams, in a surfer’s survivor movie where Nancy goes to a hidden cove to spend some quality surfing time. And it was not quite as bad as I thought it could have been! As the film starts, while Nancy is in the water, she spots a dead humpback […]

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