This website has been a resource for ChromeOS related news, tips and tricks for the past several years with several of my articles/tutorials being referenced to by dozens of popular websites over the years. Readers may have noticed the lack of content on my website over the past 18 months and might have assumed I have decided to stop writing about ChromeOS, the truth is actually completely opposite. I have actually been dedicating much of my spare time writing a series of books for ChromeOS users. This book started as one single book but … well … is now over 180 unique books and counting. You can even buy them now on Google Play and Amazon!
Why A Book?
I have a bit of a guilty obsession – over the past 18 months, I have been visiting bookstores in several states to purchase books on ChromeOS. I have purchased close to 30 electronic and physical books. In my quest to be the expert on ChromeOS, I read each one of these books to hopefully come across obscure facts and tricks that I was not aware of but sadly I often found myself disappointed by the time I finished each book. My complaints are numerous:
- Outdated Content – Most of the books were horribly outdated. Several books had chapters to setup a profile on Google Plus, Google’s long defunct Social Networking Tool, Google Wave and make no reference to newer features such as Crostini. All of these books were sold on the shelf and not in a bargain bin yet were often 4-6 years out of date.
- Focused on Limits of ChromeOS and not the Benefits of ChromeOS – Instead of focusing on the incredible power of a modern ChomeOS device, each book started with a chapter of how limited ChromeOS is and focused on ways to overcome those limits with some books even going as far as telling people to use Chrome Remote Desktop to control a Windows PC to get work done… This sort of outdated thinking was bad 4 years ago but aged like milk with modern Chromebooks.
- Focused on Non-ChromeOS Features – We all know services like Office365 will allow you to edit Microsoft Word Documents with nothing more than a Web Browser and a Internet Connection however this is not a ChromeOS feature. Several books in my collection have entire chapters dedicated to third party services that have little to do with ChromeOS, mostly to highlight a perceived shortcoming with ChromeOS.
- Books are Expensive! – The average price of each of the books I purchased was $24.99 with some going as high as $39.99. Some of these books genuinely did have some quality content when they were initially published but aged poorly as ChromeOS evolved. I believe that ChromeOS books should be priced a lot lower in general. It is true that most Chromebooks are on the affordable end of the market and it is unseasonable for someone who purchases a $250.00 Chromebook to also purchase a $25.00 book to go along with it.
I realized I could do a lot better
What Makes Your Books Better?
- Always Up To Date – ChromeOS is an operating system that is always evolving and new features are being added or refined all the time. If you purchase my books, you will gain access to a digital book that will evolve with ChromeOS. When a new feature is added, your book will be updated, much like an app, and you will get documentation on the new feature. If a feature is removed from ChromeOS, it will likewise be removed from your book as well. Say goodbye to outdated books that continue to publish a chapter on how to setup a Google Plus Profile. Oh… and did I mention that updates to my book will be free!!!
- Excellent Value – The price of my books will never exceed $9.99
- Highlights the benefits of ChromeOS – ChromeOS is not limited, it is just different. My books do not focus on the limits of ChromeOS rather teach ChromeOS owners how to make use of their devices and unlock the full potential of ChromeOS.
- Focused on Quality Content – Each book is between 121 and 223 pages and includes full color screenshots and images.
- Focused on the features that your device actually has – Generally speaking ChromeOS devices share most of the same features between models however this does not mean that each model does not have its own unique set of features. There are several form factors and features that are limited to some specific units that could cause confusion to readers if their device lacks support for that feature. There is nothing worse than opening up a book and the first section of the book tells you to charge your Chromebox for several hours before use. By creating a book for each ChromeOS device, I am able to only ensure that the features of the specific model are covered and all unused features are removed from my book.
- Written by a Longtime ChromeOS User – Many books on the market are written by professional authors who only use a review unit to write their books. Many don’t actually use ChromeOS as their full time operating system. In my case, I not only use ChromeOS as my primary operating system but my entire collection of books was exclusively written on my Chromebook.
180+ Books… Why?
Simply put, each ChromeOS device is different, they may share the same operating system however the features of each device varies. By maintaining a book for each ChromeOS device, I am able to ensure that only the features that your device supports are actually included. The goal of this is to prevent confusion from readers who may go out and purchase a optional accessory that might be mentioned in a general book (such as a USI stylus) but their device does not actually support it. Generally speaking, each book in the series shares about 40% of the content between books and in most cases will be applicable to similar units sold around the same time
180+ Books… How?
I will be the first to call out BS if someone claimed to have written over 180 books but I managed to figure out a way to do it in a sustainable and practical way by leveraging technology. I am a software engineer who has worked on several impressive products in my lifetime and my magnum opus is untimely let me author a massive amount of books with the same level of effort as maintaining three or four books. I created a platform to weave together fragments of my book together to target individual devices, essentially taking around 500 pages of content and distilling down to books between 121 and 223 pages. I call this tool, Spinneret and it exists in 6 main components
- Spinneret Hive – The master controller responsible for orchestrating the complexities of spinneret, this includes things like state management and task queuing.
- Spinneret Hub – Spinneret Hub is a web based management tool that is used as the primary datasource for Spinneret
- Spinneret Artist – Spinneret Artist is responsible for creating all of the screenshots and artwork in my book. It has the ability to weave together UI elements and images to simulate all screenshots in the book. Spinneret Artist generates around 28GB of images in total for the entire series of books and will continue to grow as more content gets added to each book. Spinneret Artist can even go as far as setting a custom Chrome OS desktop wallpaper for a specific device and create all screenshots on the wallpaper. Spinneret Artist also ensures each image is optimized to ensure the quality of each image is high without the book consuming 1-2 GB of space on your device once downloaded.
- Spinneret Author – Spinneret Author is an incredibly complicated tool that is responsible for weaving together 500+ pages of my writing to create a book. Spinneret Author actually performs research on each ChromeOS device by parsing out a custom database I maintain and the ChromiumOS source code itself to determine what features each device actually has. In a lot of ways, I do not control when a feature is going to be included in each guide but Google does when they officially add the feature to the device source code.
- Spinneret Flow – There is absolutely nothing worse than to have a book that looks like it was written by a robot who only knows how to copy and paste… even though Spinneret Author is far more powerful than that. Spinneret Flow is a powerful tool that ensures that the book is cohesive and flows as if I wrote each individual book by hand. This tool uses a complicated natural language model that I developed called KMFlow3.
- Spinneret Toolchain – A set of tools to perform sanity checks and assist with tasks associated with publishing the books.
Spinneret is a powerful tool that will not only allow me to write books but to keep all of my existing books updated with the latest and greatest features as ChromeOS continues to evolve. The tool is also designed to be flexible enough to allow me to eventually cover other things such as Android Phones, MacOS, iOS, Windows, Linux and More.
Buy the Ultimate Chrome OS Guide
It is strongly recommended to use Google Play Books to purchase your book as these will receive frequent (and free) updates as ChromeOS continues to evolve. All books available on Google Play may be shared with family members if on a Google Play Family Share Plan at no additional costs. Each book is $9.99. Google allows readers to preview sections of the book before purchase.
If you would still like to read my books but $9.99 is not something you can afford, please reach out to me at Keith@KMyers.me and I will see what I can do.
Books on Amazon will be delayed as Amazon lacks a way to bulk upload books and has a very involved and lengthy submissions and review process for each book and update. I will be working on adding additional book stores in the future such as iTunes, Kobo and Barnes and Noble.