Google Chrome Cr-48 Notebook – The Good, The Bad & The Ugly

It has been just about a month since I received my Cr-48 computer and I have nothing new to report. The system for the most part works fine. Yes, there are some glitches and gotchas that Google is going to need to fix, but like any new box, that is to be expected. My experience thus far has been enjoyable for the most part. Here are some of the good, bad and ugly parts of the system.

The Good: If you have used the Chrome browser, than you have used the Chrome OS. The majority of what I do is on the Internet so this notebook is good for me. As long as you have a wireless connection, you are all set to go. In addition Google provides a free 100MB account for two years from Verizon. So no matter where I go, I have a connection.

Battery life is 8 hours as claimed.

The keyboard lacks a Caps Lock key, but this is a minor issue. Overall the keyboard functions well and the keys are just a big as the keys on my 17″ laptop.

The Bad: The only minor issue I have is that my blog runs slow when using the Chrome Notebook. At first I thought it may be my wireless system, but after a few experiments, I determined for some unknown reason, LG is just slow when using the Chrome notebook. I have connected to other wireless systems with the Chrome notebook and have experienced the same problem. All other web sites work just fine and Chrome is fast.

Though the keyboard works well, in dim light it is hard to see the letters on the keys. That’s right boys and girls. I am not a touch typist. :-)

The Ugly: The track pad stinks. I was trying to copy a link yesterday and there was no way I could get the system to recognize a right-click. I recommend connecting a USB mouse to the system to make your experience more enjoyable.

Conclusion: I think there is a market for this type of computer. My concern is price. If Google can get the pricing around $300, I believe it will be a winner. Over $300 I would have to give it a lot of serious thought. You can find inexpensive laptops on sale now for about $350.

Anyone else out there using the Cr-48? Thoughts? Opinions?

Comments welcome.

Can I Disable The Caps Lock Key In Windows 7?

There should be an image here!The answer is yes! Although the process isn’t as straight forward as disabling the key. You need to re-map the key to something non-exist through the Windows Registry.

The specific key you need to edit is located under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layout. Locate the Scancode Map in the Details pane. The binary value will look something like:

00000000 00000000 02000000 00003A00 00000000

To remap the Cap Locks key, you need to edit specific parts of the binary value. I’ve bolded the key areas in the above binary data.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do the editing yourself. You can download registry tweaks here.

[Photo above by konradfoerstner / CC BY-ND 2.0]

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Can I Disable The Caps Lock Key In Windows 7?

There should be an image here!The answer is yes! Although the process isn’t as straight forward as disabling the key. You need to re-map the key to something non-exist through the Windows Registry.

The specific key you need to edit is located under HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINESYSTEMCurrentControlSetControlKeyboard Layout. Locate the Scancode Map in the Details pane. The binary value will look something like:

00000000 00000000 02000000 00003A00 00000000

To remap the Cap Locks key, you need to edit specific parts of the binary value. I’ve bolded the key areas in the above binary data.

Fortunately, you don’t have to do the editing yourself. You can download registry tweaks here.

[Photo above by konradfoerstner / CC BY-ND 2.0]

Caps Lock Solution

I have a database program that requires me to type in all upper case, so when I switch to Outlook, I end up typing messages in all upper case unless I remember to change the setting. I can’t find an easy way in Outlook to change the case of something that I have already typed and I don’t want to give recipients the impression that I am yelling at them in my messages. Any suggestions? — Jerry

In the "netiquette" of the online world, whenever someone types an e-mail message or forum post in all UPPERCASE, it is akin to shouting or yelling the information at the reader.

While most folks that type in all uppercase aren’t intending to shout or yell, one never knows how a written passage will be taken by the recipient or reader, so being aware of this faux pas is helpful.

You’re also much more likely to be perceived as a "newbie" or novice "netizen" or just plain lazy if you consistently communicate in this way, so finding a solution will only improve your status online.

Some programs like Microsoft Word or older versions of Outlook have a built-in feature to make quick changes to the case by selecting the text (click and drag your mouse over the desired text to highlight or use CTRL-A to "select all"), then pressing SHIFT-F3 to toggle between uppercase, lowercase and title case.

If you type out a huge passage in the wrong case in Outlook, you could ‘Cut’ it out of your message (CTRL-A then CTRL-X) then ‘Paste’ (CTRL-V) into Word, change the case and copy it back into your Outlook message (but what a pain!)

This problem is common enough that an enterprising software developer has created a simple little program called "CapsWiz" that can actually monitor what program you’re using and automatically toggle the Caps Lock as well as the Num Lock and Scroll Lock settings based on what program you are using.

Once you install the program (which only takes a minute or two) it runs in the background and monitors which program you are using. In your case you would configure it to monitor Outlook and turn off the Caps Lock whenever you launched or clicked on the program in your Task Bar.

Conversely, you would tell the program that whenever you launch or click on your database program make sure the Caps Lock is turned on.

It worked flawlessly when I tested it and it even had the ability to change the case after the fact in Outlook and Outlook Express by using the built in shortcuts to capitalize, reverse or lowercase anything that is highlighted.

These after-the-fact typing alteration "hotkeys" did take longer to react then it would in Microsoft Word, so be patient the first time you use them or you may think that it didn’t work.

CapWiz can be downloaded from barhamsoftware.com and in the words of the software developer ‘was created after the author received one too many "shouting" memos!’

It’s free to try but will cost $10 to register and use after the 30 day trial period is over, which is a bargain for those that have to constantly contend with this problem.

Ken Colburn
President of Data Doctors Computer Services, Host of the award-winning Computer Corner radio show, and Author of Computer Q&A in the East Valley Tribune newspapers.

Sound Event For Hitting Caps Lock (XP)

Typing instruction in something I never received so my typing skills are on the unique side. Needless to say I am not a talented typist. When I’m working on a document, I frequently hit the Caps Lock key by mistake. Once I realize it, I have to go back and change my work back to lower case.

If you’re like me and you look at the keyboard when typing instead of at the screen, you may be interested in this tip. Windows XP allows you to create a sound alert for pressing keys such as the Caps Lock. This way you know right away that you have pressed it. To accomplish this, open the Accessibility Options applet within the Control Panel. From the Keyboard tab, click the Use ToggleKeys option and click OK.

Now Windows XP will alert you each time you press any of the following keys: Caps Lock, Num Lock, and Scroll Lock.

[tags]windows,xp,diana huggins,caps lock,sound event[/tags]

Inverting Case And Logic At The Same Time

The rant about INS, Typeover, and Caps Lock attracted a surprising number of comments. Tom wrote to suggest installing CapsUnlock. A quick Google search found it. This is a partial solution. It prevents accidental activation of Caps Lock by requiring both left shift and Caps Lock to be pressed in analogy with the old typewriter method. However, it does not restore the definition of Caps Lock to the original meaning. If anyone knows the value of changing a perfectly good definition of Caps Lock into the currently implemented Change Case (Invert Case) function, I would like to know it. Obviously changing case is easier to implement since a true Caps Lock function requires some logic which the Change Case function does not, but that is no excuse.
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