I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Chat about just about anything else
libssd
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:26 am

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by libssd »

Looks like I just joined the Cr-48 club. It's the first time in my entire life that I can recall "winning" anything of significance. Despite missing the announcement last Tuesday (I've been spending a lot of quality time in the attic, installing insulation), and not submitting an application to be a netbook tester until Thursday, I received a Cr-48 today. I was wondering how Google was selecting people, so I googled it, and found "Google reportedly is signing up beta testers by U.S. ZIP code -- rather than on a first-come-first-served basis -- to get broad input."

It's December 17, so the UPS trucks are all over the place, and I brought in several boxes this afternoon, piling them on the kitchen table until my wife got home. One was addressed to me, shipped from Louisville, KY, and thinking it might be a Christmas present that I wasn't supposed to see, I asked her if I should open it. "I dunno; it's not from me." Opening the outer carton, the first thing I saw inside was a warning: CAUTION! Lithium-ion battery" confused?? Turning the box over, and opening it revealed a Cr-48. Speculating that the codename has something to do with the element, I checked: Cr atomic number 24; Cr-48 is an unstable isotope of chromium. The only other things inside the box were a 2-sided instruction sheet (recto: pictures; verso: text) and the power supply.

Since Chrome is my primary browser (although FF 4.0 is coming up fast), there was no browser learning curve. Other than that, too soon to tell. After using mostly a 10.1" netbook for the past 18 months, it's nice to have a 12" screen and full-size keyboard. I don't know if the trackpad sucks or just requires getting used to (one reviewer called it a turd), but after using (and adjusting to) the trackpad on an Acer AA1, I'm already accustomed to a quirky trackpad, and my Logitech wireless mouse works with the Cr-48. Free G3 from Verizon (up to 100 mb a month for 2 years) is a nice touch.

I make sparing use of the cloud as a place to store data, other than the occasional shared document or spreadsheet. But, browser sync is a really nice touch -- everything was there as soon as I finished setting it up.

After Linux, where everything is accessible if you have enough curiosity, Chrome OS is going to take some getting used to, since it seems to be all browser. Section 3.2 of the license agreement was amusing:
3.2. Subject to section 1.2, you may not (and you may not permit anyone else to) copy, modify, create a derivative work of, reverse engineer, decompile or otherwise attempt to extract the source code of the Software or any part thereof, unless this is expressly permitted or required by law, or unless you have been specifically told that you may do so by Google, in writing.
AndrewH
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by AndrewH »

linuxviolin wrote:Thoughts about Chrome OS? Well, look at here: Google's ChromeOS means losing control of data, warns GNU founder Richard Stallman
Webmail (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, etc) has been around since 1996. Web file storage (DropBox, SugarSync, Amazon S3, etc) has been around since 2006. Not to mention all the other specialized data storage sites like Picassa, EverNote, etc that have been around for years. You'd think with the alleged unreliability of The Cloud that people would be losing data left and right. I'd be much more worried about losing the data stored on my local computer than that stored on Google's.

Seems like nothing but FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) to me. Stallman's opinions have to be taken in perspective. After all, he's an anti-capitalist hippie, of course he's going to disparage services which... gasp... charge money. :lol:
libssd
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:26 am

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by libssd »

ElectricRider wrote:I suspect you have to evaluate and provide feedback for a period of time to keep the hardware?

What drive size do you know? Can you undo some screws and see the hardware specks that way?
Not a hint about Google's expectations of testers; I'm expecting some e-mail down the line.

Re specs:

Processor: Intel Atom Processor N455 1.66GHz 512K Cache
Chipset: Intel CG82NM10 PCH
Motherboard: Tripod Motherboard MARIO -- 6050A240910 -- MB -- A03
Ram: Hynix 2GB DDR3 1Rx8 PC3 -- 10600S Ram
Read Only Memory: ITE IT8500E Flash ROM
SSD Drive: SanDisk sdsa4dh-016G 16GB SATA SSD
Wireless Wan: Qualcomm Gobi2000 PCI Express Mini Card
3g Adapter: AzureWave 802.11 a/b/g/n PCI-E Half MiniCard
Bluetooth: Atheros AR5BBU12 Bluetooth V2.1 EDR

Source: http://www.betanews.com/joewilcox/artic ... 1292364970
JasonLG
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1602
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Polk City, Iowa USA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by JasonLG »

grey1960envoy wrote:Personally I don't trust this cloud idea , I would much rather my files be on my own laptop or the home PC just because I feel it would be way too easy for my files to be read and re-written by who knows . I feel that if my files are left on these cloud servers anyone could access my personal data thus opening another source of identity theft .
I'm not a huge fan of the whole cloud thing either, but if you think about it if you have a gmail account or facebook(I don't) you're already there. I told Google that I was a cloud skeptic when I applied for the pilot program, I think that may be why they gave me one.

If anything the Chrome OS will at least improve the state of intel chipset performance(as the Cr-48 uses a intel chipset) Flash(as Adobe has made it a priority to improve Flash performance on Chrome OS) and boot time and suspend on Linux considering the Chrome OS is essentially stripped down Ubuntu Linux plus the Chrome web browser.
"I see" said the blind man to the deaf man who stuck his wooden leg out the window to check the weather.
User avatar
linuxviolin
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2083
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: France

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by linuxviolin »

AndrewH wrote:Webmail (Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo Mail, etc) has been around since 1996. Web file storage (DropBox, SugarSync, Amazon S3, etc) has been around since 2006. Not to mention all the other specialized data storage sites like Picassa, EverNote, etc that have been around for years. You'd think with the alleged unreliability of The Cloud that people would be losing data left and right. I'd be much more worried about losing the data stored on my local computer than that stored on Google's.

Seems like nothing but FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt) to me. Stallman's opinions have to be taken in perspective. After all, he's an anti-capitalist hippie, of course he's going to disparage services which... gasp... charge money. :lol:
Webmail are not exactly the same thing. I never use/used some things like Amazon file storage, neither Picasa or other... No it's not "FUD", just common sense, wisdom, intelligence... Cloud is one piece of sh** for decerebrate and unconscious people. :mrgreen: (sorry if I am a little harsh :wink:)
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." (Leonardo da Vinci)
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Albert Einstein)
libssd
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 289
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 11:26 am

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by libssd »

linuxviolin wrote:Webmail are not exactly the same thing. I never use/used some things like Amazon file storage, neither Picasa or other... No it's not "FUD", just common sense, wisdom, intelligence... Cloud is one piece of sh** for decerebrate and unconscious people. :mrgreen: (sorry if I am a little harsh :wink:)
Far be it for me to say the the U.S. government is not decerebrate or unconscious, but:
The 2011 Defense Authorization Act, sent to President Obama for his signature on Wednesday, calls on the Pentagon to evaluate the capabilities of commercial vendors to provide secure cloud computing services to the federal government.
Here are some impressions after a week with a Cr-48.

At this point in its development, the Cr-48 is like an FM radio with 1 channel -- some NPR stations actually used to offer these during pledge drives. Even though I listen mostly to NPR, it's nice to have a choice. Same with the Cr-48.

Given that the code name for this computer is an unstable isotope of Chromium, it's been remarkably stable. Not a single crash, and only one hiccup, when the screen froze for 30 seconds or so. Similarly, although first impressions suggest that you can't do anything but run a browser, there are actually a lot of ways to get closer to the operating system, such as "chrome://system", which reveals a lot about Chrome OS's Linux foundation, and Ctrl-Alt-T brings up a CLI. One of the big surprises is that Google and has actually published instructions for jailbreaking the Cr-48, and even for installing Ubuntu. https://sites.google.com/a/chromium.org ... -os-device.

Can you imagine Apple doing that?

At this point in Chrome OS development, a lot of functionality is missing (e.g., cloud printing to anything but a printer attached to a Microsoft computer), but what has been delivered is very stable. Performance should be better; Chrome browser on my Acer netbook, which has roughly the same specs., is 1.5-3x faster on page loads -- especially if there is a lot of Flash. Even Adobe and Google acknowledge that Flash performance sucks, and engineers from both companies are reportedly working on improving Flash performance. But, even Flash-free pages take longer to load than they should. I don't know where the performance has gone -- considering how minimal the OS is, one would think that a Cr-48 would be faster than an 18-month old AA1, but it's not -- by a long shot.

Hardware:
The hardware should be playing second-fiddle to the Chrome OS, but most reviewers have focused on the hard bits. The screen is great, matte finish, plenty bright enough, decent color and viewing angles. The slightly rubbery case is wonderful -- no more fingerprints, and it has a unique tactile quality. I like the stealth design with absolutely no branding. I miss a dedicated Delete key, and PgUp and PgDn keys, and I would have preferred "normal" function keys across the top row, but I realize that for people who have not memorized various keyboard shortcuts, dedicating these keys to browser functions makes sense; other than that, the keyboard provides good tactile feedback, and is big enough. Only one USB port is the sort of design decision that Apple used to make; really inexcusable, even on a development platform. A big battery (nominally 58 Wh, although system stats suggest closer to 63Wh), combined with efficient chips (Atom N455 + integrated controller) give great battery life -- supposedly up to 8 days in standby mode, and a genuine 8 hours of actual operation. Since a full Linux install is only about 4gb of disk, and runs comfortably with 1gb of RAM, providing a 16gb SSD and 2gb of RAM seems quite generous. Providing a 3G radio and 2 years of free Verizon (up to 100mb/month) service is brilliant -- and necessary for a device that has almost no utility without a network connection.

Despite being made by a major manufacturer (Synaptics) the trackpad sucks. One reviewer called it a turd; another said "turd" was being too generous. After turning sensitivity down to minimum, and sticking a strip of 14-mil vinyl film to the bottom half inch of the trackpad, it's merely annoying, rather than useless. A wireless mouse works fine, and one of the things that I have noticed about many Google products is that there are a wide variety of keyboard shortcuts that minimize the need for trackpad and/or mouse, so I can live with trackpad until Google supplies a better driver, and more configuration options.

On a scale from full function laptop to tablet device, a Chrome OS netbook is likely to be closer in functionality to an iPad, and closer in weight to a netbook (with the Cr-48 being a big netbook). Apple has shown that there are a lot of people out there who really don't want to be bothered with a "computer" and its attendant software upgrades, security, etc. -- they just want something that works without a lot of thinking. Chrome OS is nowhere nearly as transparent iOS at this point, but it's only just been released to the masses for testing. I'm willing to wait and see what how it develops, and about 90% of my face time is now with the Cr-48 rather than my trusty old AA1 running Ubuntu or LMDE.
AndrewH
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 179
Joined: Wed Feb 03, 2010 6:51 pm
Location: Vancouver, WA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by AndrewH »

libssd wrote:Even Adobe and Google acknowledge that Flash performance sucks, and engineers from both companies are reportedly working on improving Flash performance.
Isn't the world supposed to be moving away from Flash and onto HTML5?
Hardware:
Only one USB port is the sort of design decision that Apple used to make; really inexcusable, even on a development platform.
On a portable device do you really need more than one? Sure, at home you might need to plug in two or three devices, and that's what USB hubs are for. Toting your netbook around campus, the office, to the coffee shop, etc... are you going to be plugging anything other than an external mouse in?
JasonLG
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1602
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Polk City, Iowa USA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by JasonLG »

libssd wrote: At this point in Chrome OS development, a lot of functionality is missing (e.g., cloud printing to anything but a printer attached to a Microsoft computer), but what has been delivered is very stable. Performance should be better; Chrome browser on my Acer netbook, which has roughly the same specs., is 1.5-3x faster on page loads -- especially if there is a lot of Flash. Even Adobe and Google acknowledge that Flash performance sucks, and engineers from both companies are reportedly working on improving Flash performance. But, even Flash-free pages take longer to load than they should. I don't know where the performance has gone -- considering how minimal the OS is, one would think that a Cr-48 would be faster than an 18-month old AA1, but it's not -- by a long shot.
I to have a very similarly spec'd netbook Running Mint 9 LTS and the latest stable version of Chromium but in my experience I see very little if any performance difference. As far as Flash is concerned it's no state secret that Flash on Linux sucks, Chrome OS is after all Linux and uses the same stock Linux Flash plugin that Chrome/Chromium uses in Mint. It will be interesting to see how high Adobe jumps when Google cracks the whip on Flash development after all these years of Adobe dragging it's feet and treating Linux as a second class citizen.
"I see" said the blind man to the deaf man who stuck his wooden leg out the window to check the weather.
Illuminati2012
Level 1
Level 1
Posts: 26
Joined: Sat Dec 25, 2010 11:37 am

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by Illuminati2012 »

You can actually download Chromium OS builds by Hexxeh. http://chromeos.hexxeh.net/
It's decent if you wish to try out what the Chrome OS will be like. It's not that impressive the 'apps' are just links to websites. It would be pretty useless if you can't get access to a net connection. At least with a regular OS you can work offline.
JasonLG
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1602
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Polk City, Iowa USA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by JasonLG »

Illuminati2012 wrote:It's not that impressive the 'apps' are just links to websites. It would be pretty useless if you can't get access to a net connection. At least with a regular OS you can work offline.
Html5 in it has the ability to work offline and then sync your work when you next connect, it's just not fully implemented yet. Google in particular is working on a version of Docs that will allow you to work offline.
"I see" said the blind man to the deaf man who stuck his wooden leg out the window to check the weather.
User avatar
linuxviolin
Level 8
Level 8
Posts: 2083
Joined: Tue Feb 27, 2007 6:55 pm
Location: France

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by linuxviolin »

libssd wrote:Far be it for me to say the the U.S. government is not decerebrate or unconscious
Hmm, well, er... :roll: :twisted: :mrgreen:
K.I.S.S. ===> "Keep It Simple, Stupid"
"Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication." (Leonardo da Vinci)
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler." (Albert Einstein)
User avatar
LarryP
Level 3
Level 3
Posts: 118
Joined: Wed Jul 21, 2010 12:28 pm

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by LarryP »

Congrats on the freebie looks somewhat interesting. Where i see this going is as pretty much internet device or in business travelling sales since it supports citrix and vpn . You could cut risk of infection to pretty much none and your sales guys vpn back to use secure productivity apps.
TANSTAAFL There ain't no such thing as a free lunch
JasonLG
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1602
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Polk City, Iowa USA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by JasonLG »

I got bored with Chrome OS so I flashed my CR-48 with custom firmware and installed Mint 10 x64 on it. Everything seems to be running very well with the exception of the craptacular touchpad which didn't work very well in Chrome OS either so it doesn't surprise me.

I'll start a new thread about how and why I did it when I get some more free time tonight.
"I see" said the blind man to the deaf man who stuck his wooden leg out the window to check the weather.
waldo
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 382
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:55 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by waldo »

JasonLG wrote:I got bored with Chrome OS so I flashed my CR-48 with custom firmware and installed Mint 10 x64 on it. Everything seems to be running very well with the exception of the craptacular touchpad which didn't work very well in Chrome OS either so it doesn't surprise me.

I'll start a new thread about how and why I did it when I get some more free time tonight.
Isn't that against the beta testing agreement you acknowledged with Google when they sent the CR-48? It appears Google made an error in their selection process.
User avatar
willie42
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1971
Joined: Tue Jun 22, 2010 7:52 pm
Location: Oak Ridge, TN USA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by willie42 »

waldo wrote:
JasonLG wrote:I got bored with Chrome OS so I flashed my CR-48 with custom firmware and installed Mint 10 x64 on it. Everything seems to be running very well with the exception of the craptacular touchpad which didn't work very well in Chrome OS either so it doesn't surprise me.

I'll start a new thread about how and why I did it when I get some more free time tonight.
Isn't that against the beta testing agreement you acknowledged with Google when they sent the CR-48? It appears Google made an error in their selection process.
:shock:

Surely google would not make a error now :shock:
Comptia A+ Certified Technician
Comptia Network + Certified Technician
You can not have Success without Failures.
JasonLG
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1602
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Polk City, Iowa USA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by JasonLG »

waldo wrote:
JasonLG wrote:I got bored with Chrome OS so I flashed my CR-48 with custom firmware and installed Mint 10 x64 on it. Everything seems to be running very well with the exception of the craptacular touchpad which didn't work very well in Chrome OS either so it doesn't surprise me.

I'll start a new thread about how and why I did it when I get some more free time tonight.
Isn't that against the beta testing agreement you acknowledged with Google when they sent the CR-48? It appears Google made an error in their selection process.
No, the thing is got a jailbreak switch, they want you to play with it that's why they gave them away. Besides the process is totally reversible. I mainly did it because I like tinkering with stuff and I wanted to compare the performance differences between Chrome OS and Mint. So far for web browsing Chrome OS is just a little faster then Mint with Chromium. For everything else, well Chrome OS doesn't do anything else, the Cr-48 with Mint on it is on par with with a Acer netbook I've got kicking around.
"I see" said the blind man to the deaf man who stuck his wooden leg out the window to check the weather.
waldo
Level 4
Level 4
Posts: 382
Joined: Mon Oct 15, 2007 3:55 pm
Location: Illinois

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by waldo »

JasonLG wrote: No, the thing is got a jailbreak switch, they want you to play with it that's why they gave them away. Besides the process is totally reversible. I mainly did it because I like tinkering with stuff and I wanted to compare the performance differences between Chrome OS and Mint. So far for web browsing Chrome OS is just a little faster then Mint with Chromium. For everything else, well Chrome OS doesn't do anything else, the Cr-48 with Mint on it is on par with with a Acer netbook I've got kicking around.
When I signed up with Google (I wasn't selected) I remember agreeing to using the ChromeOS computer as my primary online device for their test period, and sending them regular feedback. I'm sure they have zero interest in hacking results or performance reports on Mint.

I've since read that the CR-48 is a disguised (for competitive secrecy) version the the machine they intend to build. It contains the circuitry of the final product, but in the final form, it will be a pad device with touch screen and a slide out keyboard, similar to the keyboards on some cell phones (larger of course). Perhaps this is why some pundits are suggesting that there will be a merger of ChromeOS and Android. ChromeOS is going to need changes to function as a touch screen system.
JasonLG
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1602
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Polk City, Iowa USA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by JasonLG »

waldo wrote: When I signed up with Google (I wasn't selected) I remember agreeing to using the ChromeOS computer as my primary online device for their test period, and sending them regular feedback. I'm sure they have zero interest in hacking results or performance reports on Mint.
Nothing in the terms of use agreement for the ChromeOS pilot program says that I am prohibited from installing whatever I want on the Cr-48. The closest thing to agreeing to use only ChromeOS on the device that I can find is...

"I agree to participate in all product feedback studies conducted by the Google Chrome OS team for the duration of the Pilot Program and agree to be opted in to the Chrome OS feedback group."
https://services.google.com/fb/forms/cr48advanced/

Installing Mint doesn't preclude me from telling them what I think of ChromeOS.

I don't really care if Google is interested in how Mint runs on the Cr-48. I installed Mint to satisfy my own curiosity.
"I see" said the blind man to the deaf man who stuck his wooden leg out the window to check the weather.
User avatar
jesica
Level 9
Level 9
Posts: 2619
Joined: Sat Jul 18, 2009 3:54 am

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by jesica »

it looks very nice

I love the sleek look
Image

Happy apt-get-ing!


Security is the separation of an asset from a threat.
JasonLG
Level 7
Level 7
Posts: 1602
Joined: Thu May 20, 2010 9:15 pm
Location: Polk City, Iowa USA

Re: I got a CR-48 in the mail today from Google

Post by JasonLG »

jesica wrote:it looks very nice

I love the sleek look
Me too, it's very understated.
"I see" said the blind man to the deaf man who stuck his wooden leg out the window to check the weather.
Post Reply

Return to “Open chat”