Google Cursive notebook view

I read about the Google Cursive note taking app for Chromebooks a few weeks ago. The two things that interested me about it were:

I also read that it only would be available on the as yet unreleased HP Chromebook X2 11 detachable (separate keyboard and display). However, this turned out to be untrue since Cursive became available for use on other Chromebooks earlier this week.

Cursive is, I read, a Progressive Web App (PWA) that can be accessed through a Chrome browser at:

I first tested it…

A bunch of web sites/services that previously worked fine in Chrome on my Chromebook suddenly stopped working a few updates ago (6 months?). I tried turning off a couple of Chrome extensions/add-ons like uBlock Origin and Disable HTML5 Autoplay off to see if they were somehow interacting with Chrome after the update. However, that was not the cause. Being too lazy at the time to do much more detective work, I turned on Chrome OS’ Linux option and installed Microsoft’s Chromium based Edge beta container. That let me use the various services quickly without more detective work.

I decided to…

Infinite Painter on a Lenovo Flex 5 Chromebook (Core i3 model)

I finally got around to test using the Lenovo USI Pen (Bluetooth stylus) to make one of my Doodle-a-Day project doodles. The test was on a Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 with a Core i3 processor. I used the Infinite Painter drawing app for this doodle.

In general, my comments are based on mostly using the Procreate drawing app on an iPad Pro over the past few years. I’ve also used Tayasui Sketches Pro, Zen Brush (versions 2 and 3), and Art Set 4 because each of those apps have specific digital brushes that I find interesting (water color, Japanese ink…

After waiting for many weeks, I finally received the US$39 Lenovo USI Pen to use with a Lenovo Chromebook Flex 5 (which I will admit to liking a lot). Unfortunately, my first experience with it, literally out of the box, was a poor one. The pen ships with a AAAA battery installed. That’s Lenovo’s first mistake. They should have simply shipped it with the battery packed outside of the pen. Since the battery is shipped inside of the pen, Lenovo has you tug on a piece of plastic to allow the battery to make contact and power on. Unfortunately, it…

Amazon Basics pencil kit

After my previous experiment of using an ink pen with paper for doodling (instead of an iPad), I took another retro tech step and bought a pencil kit from Amazon for $7.99 (unfortunately, this kit appears to be sold out since shortly after I received mine).

So far, I’ve only used the №2 pencil. This pencil, being a drawing tool, doesn’t have an eraser on the end. That, however, is ok with me. A doodle doesn’t need to be “perfect.” It is just a doodle.

The kit only has a single 2B pencil. The other gray colored pencils are H…

Uniball 207 0.7mm (top) and Pilot ultra fine point 0.38 (bottom)

Most of my blog posts here are related to the doodle-a-day project (which is really an evening project) I started on January 1, 2017 when I finally started using the Apple Pencil, purchased in 2016, “for something”. It had literally been just sitting around discharging its battery for the months that preceded the project. The vast majority of the doodles were done using an iPad Pro, Apple Pencil, and the amazing Procreate drawing app. …

Autodesk Sketchpad on an iPad

I was realized surprised to learn how many tools the free Autodesk Sketchbook app had when I tried it yesterday on a Windows 10 laptop (with touchscreen). I was really surprised the layers were available and worked as expected. After a bit of searching today I learned that Autodesk made the full featured app available for ree two years ago (April 30, 2018).

It is available for free for Android, iOS, MacOS, and Windows. I installed it on my old iPad (since my new one is getting replaced) to test it with an first generation Apple Pencil. …

Doodle on an HP Envy X360 with active stylus and Autodesk Sketchbook

My Daily Doodle project has been in progress since January 1, 2017. A doodle is a quick (15 to 30 minutes) sketch done (generally) every night since then. My iPad just broke (replacement on its way). So, I decided to finally try doodling using an HP Envy X360 running Windows 10 and the free Autodesk Sketchbook. The HP is bundled with an active stylus in a reasonably priced bundle. I spent a minute or two looking at Microsoft’s free Paint 3D. But, it seems so terrible (for doodling at least) that I abandoned it and looked around Microsoft’s app store…

The Samsung Chromebook Plus (1st generation) was the first Chromebook I bought. I’ve been using it since 2018 and, in general, it is great. However, it is finicky about one thing: The USB-C charger connected to it. It works fine with the charger that shipped with it. However, the Samsung travel charger designed for this Chromebook that I bought as a backup causes a “low-powered charger connected” message to pop-up. I thought it might be because it is a travel charger intended for overnight charging and didn’t think more about it until now.

I recently bought a Nekteck 60w multi-port…

I saw a tweet from an acquaintance who said he was planning to try to install GIMP (GNU Image Manipulation Program) — a PhotoShop like open source graphics tool — on a Chromebook in Crostini. It never occurred to try it. But, a simple apt-get command got it installed. And, typing “gimp” in the Crostini shell command line brought it up — although I notice a bunch of warning messages. Still nice to have a somewhat familiar (haven’t used it in years) graphics tool on my Chromebook. Thanks for the idea @BLFoot!


Editor MobileViews. ExtremeTech 2015–2016. BYTE 2011–2013. Windows Phone MVP 2000-2011. ThinkMobile/SocialTimes Mobile blogger 2008-2011

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