CR-48 update

chromeA couple days ago, I got a new laptop. Free. It’s the CR-48 Chrome OS laptop, a test platform for the Chrome operating system from Google. I realized that I need to give some updates on what I’m learning and seeing.

  • Working exclusively from a browser feels weird. I’m a messy computer desktop kind of guy. I rightclick and save all the time. I don’t know how to do that.
  • I know, of course, that I have to figure out how I’d open some of those files with apps, since the CR-48 only uses apps (not having the applications from another operating system creator). However, Google Docs will convert spreadsheets, jpg files can open in Slideshow, pdf files open fine as well.
  • On the other hand, I have been using gmail and google docs for a long time. I have book chapter drafts, conversations with random twitter friends, forms, and spreadsheets. As a result, I make a good test case for this machine and I am very used to working with documents in the cloud.
  • I haven’t figured out how to get pictures off my Kodak Ki8 camera. Part of the problem is that I’m used to being able to see thumbnails. I’ll keep working,
  • The keyboard is really comfortable. There are some key changes. I never use caplocks, so the shift to a search key in it’s place isn’t a problem. However, not having and pageup and pagedown keys has forced me to learn the keyboard shortcuts. And there are no function keys at all.
  • I’m also discovering that I never use the search button. I just open a new browser tab and start typing what I’m searching for, but that’s one of the things about Chrome OS and Chrome as a browser.  The address bar is actually a search window too.
  • I just discovered Scratchpad today, a notepad application which which will work even when the machine isn’t attached to the internet. When you reconnect, the notes sync with Google docs.
  • I’m guessing that some of the hardware issues (only one USB, no hard drive, no printing except through Google cloud printing which I haven’t set up yet, the weird cursor jumps that happen, I think, because I flex the computer while actually using it on my lap) are because the computer is not a production model. It exist, I believe, to give the OS some realworld experience.
  • I love the fact that bootup takes way less than a minute. It’s amazing.
  • I haven’t tried the 3G capacity of this laptop yet, but will next week.

I have the machine through the pilot program. I applied online, and a couple weeks later the machine showed up. (No email notification, just a cool box.).

I’ll keep you posted as I keep exploring. For now, I’m liking the machine.

Here’s a video of the CR-48 someone else did. Watch that to see what it looks like.

4 responses to “CR-48 update

  1. Very cool.

    I applied for the Chrome laptop pilot program a few days ago on behalf of my company and even made a screen capture video in an attempt to ramp up my chance of being selected. But when submitted it, I didn’t even get a screen stating that my application had been submitted–or received. This post makes me hopeful that a laptop will show up mysteriously anyway–although I don’t get the idea that Google wouldn’t communicate about my status through email.

    I have reason to believe that Google is email enabled. LOL In fact, I know that they are because they sent me an email this morning about their impressive charitable initiatives.

    The cloud is the already future for both developers and users. I would love to follow Google’s lead there through my own participation in the very cool Chrome laptop pilot program. But, if it doesn’t happen, reading about your experience is truly the next best thing.

  2. You ARE the cool kid, Jon.

  3. you know, i would resubmit. I at least got a response screen. And I will do my best to keep you updated.