Note 2From Macbook Pro 16 to PixelBook Go (My choice for 2020) — Part I

My daily driver the Google PixelBook Go. This article outlines my personal thoughts and does not reflect the ideas or thoughts of my employer (disclaimer).

I simply want to give a 2020 outlook to the use of a Google Chromebook from a macOS Power user.
I’ve recently purchased a Google PixelBook Go (i7/4K model), as well as the brand new Apple MacBook Pro 16 inch version replacing my current MacBook Pro 15.
I’ll discuss why the need for the i7 Processor & 4K on a Chromebook later but let’s move on...
To set the premies of what I use the MacBook Pro for is the following:

  • Web Browsing (Chrome, Brave, Firefox)
  • Streaming Content (Disney+, YouTube & YT TV, Prime, Netflix, etc)
  • Gaming (Google Stadia, Nvidia GeForce Now, Steam, App Stores)
  • Lite video/photo editing (Not a Pro Video editor by no means)
  • Personal Development Projects (Web/Application Development) in a variety of languages and frameworks. I run a few OSS Sites like Golangflow.io and Hack on OSS, Mobile Development.


As you can see, my needs are somewhat simple but also complex when it comes to application development. Besides the use cases, I have for my MacBook Pro, there are also applications I use that I have to consider.
This article is by no means a knock against Apple, I love their products and have friends that work for the Fruit company, I still use my Macbook for certain use cases.
My Applications I use on a daily basis surround the techie in me as I work in the Systems Engineering/Technology/Cloud industry. Before we dive into how I made the switch to a Google Pixelbook Go, let me give you a little glimpse into the main apps I use and for what on MacOS.
Let’s review what I use to keep my data and machine secure for Security:

  • Little Snitch 3-This little app monitors all outgoing connections from my MacBook Pro. It catches where apps and processes on my machine send my data to their servers or places that they are not supposed to. I will have little need for this on a ChromeOS laptop as most of my interaction with apps will be cloud-based and not truly native.
  • Malwarebytes -Everyone needs protection from Malware & other malicious things that may get downloaded or installed on your system. It’s difficult for ChromeOS to get Viruses but also not impossible just highly reduces the risk by like 10X.
  • 1Password & Bitwarden — Password Management for the masses!, I’ve been using 1Password for several years now and love it especially in the Apple eco-system. 1Password X for Chrome has been great on ChromeOS, the Android version on ChromeOS was actually a terrible experience so stick with the Chrome Extention instead. I’ve recently moved to Bitwarden for the fact that is OSS and gives me the benefit of the self-hosted solution if I need it & Export it to JSON.
  • Standard Notes- I love this App!, it’s the only Note-taking tool that is anywhere close to Evernote that has Full E2EE with Security at the forefront. The App supports all major Platforms & Web with devices Syncing, not to mention has custom extensions and themes you can create and use. SN also backups your notes to Email, Dropbox, GDrive, and more on a daily basis in an encrypted format. OSS too!


Alongside the Security tools above, I make sure I have File Vault enabled to keep my drive encrypted.
Most of the other applications I use are web-based that offer a native or PWA version like Outlook for work which Microsoft has done an amazing job of supporting all major platforms including supporting PWA’s.

I’ll post Part II in a few days as I don’t want to make this a massive post but wanted to give you a glimpse into my use for macOS starting with keeping system secure.
In my next post, I’ll review the other apps I use on Mac daily and start diving into my move to the PixelBook Go.

My Backup Strategy

Hey All!

Wanted to talk about my backup strategy for my digital life & family network. We all have those important files we want to keep safe & secure, whether they are Family Photos, Taxes, Hobby Projects that you eventually get back too ;) but never have time for, etc.

In my home, my family uses a wide range of devices, PCs, Macs, Tablets, and everything in between but how do we keep it all backed up. Most services do offer cloud backups but in today's changing world where data is king and privacy is all the rage, I wanted to know I had complete ownership over my data. If you want to see a list of great privacy tools, visit Privacytools.io or StandardNotes.org.

Let's start off with the Desktops & Laptops, I use https://backblaze.com, with this, I pay a flat rate of $6.99/month per machine for unlimited backup storage. For part of the family that is not too technical, this is perfect, you just install their agent, and its backups up continuously fully encrypted with Zero-Knowledge enabled.

The downside is Backblaze doesn't really let you choose what to backup but its AI does a great job knowing what to backup such as your HOME directory like C:\Users\<username> or /Users on Mac and leaves out all the system-level files. I set it and forget it and it's been my go-to for the past few years.

Let's talk about devices, tablets, iPhones, Android phones like the Pixel 5. I rely on services like iCloud, Google Drive, Google Photos to handle my automatic backup on those devices, but I add one extra step here in which I own a Synology DS220+ NAS storage array on my home network.

I have set up my Synology to use what is called "Cloud Sync" to back up my Google, Apple data & photos to my local NAS, Backblaze Cloud (Similar to AWS S3) & AWS S3 Glacier (Cold Storage) at the same time. So now my Cloud data that is in Apple iCloud & Google are now safely backed up daily to both Backblaze & AWS Glacier at VERY cheap rates as there meant for long-term storage and hopefully, retrieval is very minimal in the case of a disaster.

Lastly, let's discuss cloud servers & IoT devices. I use my Raspberry Pi & VPS's in AWS Lightsail, Digitial Ocean, or GCP for various OSS Projects and Hobbies of mine in Web Development. I use a tool called "restic", over at https://restic.net. There is a great write-up about restic at https://frontpagelinux.com/tutorials/restic-backups-flexible-powerful-backup-solution/ if you wish to learn more.

On these types of servers, I have restic set up as a cronjob which creates snapshots of my Linux directories and stores a deduped copy of my files encrypted by default in AWS S3 Glacier & Backblaze on a daily basis.

By having my long-term encrypted backups stored in both Backblaze & AWS Glacier, I have ensured full dual redundancy of my family's files and my cloud data is safely in two locations at a very low cost that is affordable. If you wish to learn more or want more details, feel free to reach out to me!