Google Chrome OS On The Cr-48 Will Eventually Be On Tablets

This afternoon I received another update from the folks at Google, which involved tweaks for their Google Chrome OS currently running on the Cr-48 I am beta testing. During the past 14 weeks that I have been testing the notebook computer, Google has improved the performance and stability of the OS on the Cr-48 notebook computer. One of the main issues that has been resolved is the speed of the Wi-Fi connection, which originally had been very slow. With each of the subsequent updates this is now a non-issue.

What is interesting about the Cr-48 is that it does not rely on traditional hardware. The Google Chrome OS Cr-28 notebook does not have a hard disk like the traditional laptops use for storing of information. Instead the notebook is designed using a browser GUI and storage of everything that is created is stored in the cloud. Some consumers gave been very vocal in their lack of confidence on allowing Google to store their stuff. Google in the mean time has continued the Chrome OS project which has gathered support by some major computer companies with a tentative release date of June, 2011.

Up until today, Google seemed to have a direction in their Chrome OS and Android OS. Google Chrome OS would be used on netbooks and Android would be used on tablet computers. There are some in the technology industry who questioned the wisdom of supporting two competing operating systems. I felt that each of the two operating systems served different hardware and devices.

So today when news broke that Google is working on a Chrome OS version for the tablet computer, this changed my thinking and previous assumptions. It now appears that Google will be using Google Chrome OS on tablet computers. So where does that leave Android? I am not sure.

Maybe there is room for both Android and Chrome.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – CNet

Can The Chrome OS Notebook Computers Compete Against The Tablets On Pricing?

This morning I read with interest some reports that my fellow bloggers have been reporting as to the cost of the new Google Chrome OS computers. They have also spoken about the limited companies that are in the process of manufacturing new notebooks which will be using the Google Chrome OS. In addition, since the names Sony and Samsung have alleged to be the only two companies that will be making the new netbooks, one comment stated that there is some kind of a conspiracy going on, in light of the Samsung keylogger allegations.

Another article I read states that they believe the new Google Chrome netbooks are going to be pricey. They state that prices between $200 to $600 are very expensive for a netbook that requires the Internet to work. Which made me start to think can Google Chrome OS netbooks compete against tablet computers?

First of all the introduction of Google Chrome OS notebooks is not limited to Sony and Samsung only. Acer and Asus are also shipping Chrome OS netbooks and HP, along with Dell, are evaluating their position on whether to ship netbooks with the new OS as well.

Pricing. We heard the same song when Apple first announced the pricing for its iPad priced from $499 to $829. People moan that the price was overly expensive and no one would buy what they called a toy. But Apple sold 15 million units since the introduction of the tablet in April 2010. Predictions are that Apple could sell another 25 million of its iPad 2 tablets this year alone.

These same naysayers were also critical of the Apple iPad because it only allowed you to surf the Web, email, and play games. It was just an expensive toy for those who could afford it, and the masses would not want nor need such a device. Let’s face it: why spend $500 on a tablet when you could buy a full-blown laptop?

The same is now being said about Google’s attempt with the Chrome OS. It is going to be expensive and you need an Internet connection to do anything. True facts. But the Cr-48 comes with both Wi-Fi and 3G connection to the Verizon network. So I can use the notebook anywhere I go. I also visit hot spots frequently and so far have not had an issue connecting anywhere.

Is it going to be expensive? I would say no more expensive than an iPhone, Android phone, or other device that connects to the Internet via 3G, 4G, or whatever G is available. Is it going to be more expensive than an Apple iPad? I don’t believe so. Without a crystal ball it is going to be difficult to ascertain the real cost of a Google Chrome OS notebook until we learn if it will be subsidized by AT&T or Verizon.

So will the Google Chrome OS netbooks be popular and accepted by the masses as a must have device? It all depends. The Cr-48 beta computer I have works very well. Since the recent updates during the past few months, issues that once plagued the little wannabe laptop have vanished. One of the most annoying was the Wi-Fi connection and the slow speeds I had encountered. This has been fixed and the netbook is very fast and is on par with my grownup Toshiba laptop computer.

I believe that those of us who need a real keyboard, who spend a great deal of their time on the Internet, who wish to use the notebook as a real computer without looking to play games with it, may enjoy using the notebook with the Chrome OS. We will find out in the next six months or so if the masses with the cash will flock to the netbooks or not.

Everything right now is just smoke and mirrors with no one really knowing how the public will accept or reject the notebooks.

So before anyone throws out the Google netbooks along with the bath water, here are a few ideas you may wish to ponder:

Google has made a huge dent in the cell phone market with its Android OS. Some people are not huge Microsoft fans and will move to another OS if they feel it will meet their needs. Though some are reluctant to accept the fact that a notebook connected to the Internet that uses the cloud to store stuff is going to be the future; eventually this will be the case. When this will happen is anyone’s guess.

When Microsoft has faced stiff competition in the past, it used its big bucks to squash the competition. But this time it is facing a company that also has a huge amount of cash. Microsoft is ignoring the Google Chrome OS as a non-threat — just another Linux version without support and that cloud computing is just a play thing.

We will see.

Comments welcome.

Source – techie,com.ph

Would You Buy An Asus Chrome Netbook If It Sold For $250 Or Less?

Rumors are starting to fly that there may be a relatively cheap Chrome or Android Netbook computer coming our way, priced at $250 or less. The rumors also suggest that the price could drop to as low as $O if one signs up for a Verizon 3G data connection plan. The company that could make the small netbook computer is Asus and I would have to state that this could be an accurate rumor for several reasons.

Though I have no proof of this and it is purely speculation on my part, but when I first received my Google Chrome Ct-48 netbook computer, I thought it may have been built by Asus. Why Asus? Google is going to need an established company to produce their first generation computer system. Consumers are going to want an inexpensive netbook but will not sacrifice on quality. Asus produces quality products at competitive pricing.

There was also this experience I had just before receiving the Cr-48 that had to do with a Asus laptop system I repaired. Though I have basically given up repairing computers as a full-time business, I still dabble occasionally repairing computers for family and friends. So after removing a malware critter from the system I returned the unit to its owner. Two days later when I received the Cr-48 the feel of the keyboard mimicked the Asus I had repaired. Coincidence? I’m not sure, but it gave me the feeling that Asus may have been part of the Google Chrome netbook production.

So who might be interested in a netbook computer from Asus? Someone like me. I tried using an Apple iPad to post a blog article and found it cumbersome. The built-in keyboard is awkward for me on the iPad. Since the Cr-48 has a traditional keyboard it is easier for me to use. If I had to make a choice between a tablet computer or a netbook system, I would have to go with the netbook for my personal use.

So what is currently happening in the world of Google Chrome and the Cr-48 netbook computer? A VP from Google has tweeted on March 8th, 2011 that the shipping of Cr-48 netbook computers has ceased. Google is now preparing to enter into a second phase of development as they continue to fine tune their Chrome OS. Google is mum on exactly when the Google Chrome OS will be released or when Google Chrome OS equipped computers will hit the street. There are some who are saying that June, 2011 is when Google will make a Chrome or Android netbook available.

I switched my Cr-48 over to developers mode to test more of the beta features Google is trying. If you haven’t tried developers mode, you may wish to give it a try. Performance improvement is amazing. :-)

Comments as always are welcome.

Source – CrunchGear

Source – Twitter

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The Refurbished Apple iPad 1 Arrived And My Wife Loves It! How Does It Compare To The Cr-48?

Thanks to Ron Knights and his heads-up on the refurbished Apple iPad 1 tablets over at the Apple Store, the one I purchased for my wife arrived yesterday. The unit was in perfect condition without a mark or scratch on it. Kudos, Apple. In addition, the tablets are ‘Apple Certified Refurbished’ and carry the full one year warranty as the new units do. After logging into the Apple iTunes Store and going through the registration process, I had the tablet connected to my home Wi-Fi and was surfing the Internet.

My wife does some very basic functions on the Internet, which are mainly confined to Facebook and email. She also surfs occasionally for recipes, grocery coupons, and a few other things that interest her. But over all her surfing is extremely light and the little Apple iPad 1 was a delight for her to use. Oh, for those who state that the new Apple iPad 2 is going to be blazing fast, that might be, but this unit is plenty fast on my 10 Mbps cable connection, which I am sure helps while surfing.

The wife had a meeting last evening so I was able to play with the Apple iPad 1. One word that I think that describes the little computer is ‘fun.’ It is really fun to use. It is lightweight, surfs the Internet with ease, and using it on Facebook was a breeze. The only problem I have is that the keyboard is OK for typing short messages, but I don’t think I would want to write an entire blog article on it. The built-in keyboard is slow for me and I found it awkward for typing. But that is just me. On the flip side I really like using the touch screen. It is quick with a light feel to get around a Web page quickly without the use of a mouse or trackpad.

So how does the Apple iPad 1 compare to the Google Chrome Cr-48 prototype?

My wife told me what she thought. She liked the Cr-48 but found the weight on her lap heavier than that of the Apple iPad 1. The weight difference is about 2 lbs. + and is noticeable to both of us. She also stated that she liked using a device where you didn’t need to use a mouse. The Cr-48 trackpad still is quirky and she had mentioned this to me before even using the iPad. She mentioned to me that, in her opinion, it is apparent to her that Apple makes a superior high quality product compared to any other device she has used, including the Cr-48. She mentioned that the Cr-48 was just a small laptop, nothing more, nothing less.

For what I do on the Internet, I need a real keyboard to type on. The Cr-48 fits my needs better than does the iPad. But I do have to agree with my wife on one point. Apple makes a superior product and it is going to be very difficult for others to catch up. In about a month we are going on vacation and my wife will bring the iPad with her and I will bring the Cr-48 with me.

After we return home I will do another review and post both of our opinions in another article.

Comments welcome.

5 Reasons You Should Throw Away Your Apple iPad And Buy Something Else

I wrote yesterday about having ordered an Apple iPad 1 for my wife as a surprise gift. So this morning when I read that the Apple iPad 1 was obsolete, there was no doubt in my mind when the computer arrives, I would not even open the box and just toss the computer in the trash. The original article I read featured 10 reasons why the Apple iPad 1 featured ’10 technologies that outdate it,’ I trimmed the list down to 5 of the most ridiculous. That’s right. Ridiculous because this article smacks of biased and flat-out dumb asinine reasoning.

1. The Apple iPad features a screen that is 9.7 inches while the Motorola Xoom features a screen size of 10.1 inches. The Samsung Galaxy also will feature a 10.1 inch screen. Can anyone explain to me how much bigger .4 inches is? I fail to see any difference. Even the writer of the article stated that ‘is it the end of the world? Not in the least.’ But stop right there. Wasn’t this article going to provide us with reasons why the Apple iPad uses outdated technology? .4 inch in screen real estate is hardly outdated technology.

2. No dual core processor. Newer tablets that use either Google Andorid OS or some that will feature Windows 7 may need dual cores. Could the reason be that Apple has a more efficient OS that operates fine with a single core?

3. No 4G. OMG! No offense but I have been using Verizon’s 3G service on my Google Cr-48 and it is fast enough. I’m a speed freak and if 3G satisfies my needs I know it will be just fine for most users. There is one thing that outweighs 3G vs. 4G: Staying connected. What good is any speed if you are being dropped right in the middle of surfing on the Internet?

4. No dual cameras. There is a deal breaker. Oh, wait, I have a camera on my phone. The Apple iPad 1 cannot be used as a toaster. So toasters are obsolete. No, toasters are designed to make toast and not be used to surf the Internet. So all tablets are obsolete because they can’t make toast.

5. No video conferencing. Gee, that is obvious since the original iPad has no cameras. I have never video conferenced. I have no intention of video conferencing in the future. Does that make me ‘outdated technology’?

My take is that the original Apple iPad 1 is a toy for consumers to use to surf the Internet. The Apple iPad 1 was not designed for hard-core video editing nor designed for playing high-tech games. Any idiot can figure this out.

What do you think? Am I just being critical because I already have buyers remorse and wish I had not purchased this lame obsolete technology? Or are these short comings and the article itself, just an attempt to draw people to the Web site?

Comments welcome.

Source – eWeek

Google Chrome OS Cr-48 Trackpad Fixed? I Think Not

For many of us, the number one complaint concerning the Google Chrome OS Cr-48 notebook computer, has been the trackpad. I know that when I first received by Google notebook back in December, the first thing I did was attach a USB mouse to it. The trackpad, in my opinion, was horrible and just didn’t function properly. Though some testers stated it worked OK for them, many of us found the behavior of the trackpad unusable and frustrating.

Like with any new product or hardware, I didn’t give it much thought. I used my USB mouse and the little notebook worked fine. But there was one though going through my mind. We are travelling next month via some of the nations busier airports and would like to just take the Cr-48 and forgo the mouse.

So when the folks at Google sent out an update that supposedly fixed the trackpad issues and few other problems, I was optimistic that the problem was solved. Unfortunately it seemed to me to have made matters worse. :-(

But that is just my experience. If you have a Google Chrome OS Cr-48 notebook computer, did the update help or hinder the use of your trackpad?

Let me know.

Comments welcome.

Google Restores Lost Gmail Accounts – Could This Incident Hurt Cloud Computing?

There are things that we experience in life that we never forget. When I was a senior in high school our history teacher mentioned something that I never forgot. As a youngster he recalled newspaper articles that covered the Korean war, which stated that only [fill in the blank] American troops were killed. He went on to state that the number didn’t really matter, especially if you were one of the ones that was killed.

Google Gmail suffered an outage for some 39,000 Gmail account holders, which was, the company was quick to point out, less than 0.02% of its entire account base of some 150 million users. The company also was quick to point out that its Gmail services were spread over multiple data centers and that the Gmail accounts were not lost, just misplaced. Google also stated that all of the information would be restored and every user would have their information returned.

I couldn’t even imagine waking up yesterday morning to have your Google Gmail stuff gone. My first thought would be, who do I call? Google has been criticized for a lack of phone technical support services and I recalled the problem I had when my own personal account was disabled several years ago. It took me four days of emails to get my account restored fully, which was a giant pain in the butt.

Many of you know that I have been beta testing Google’s Chrome OS Cr-48. When I had issues not being able to connect to the Verizon 3G, I posted a bug report and I was contacted by a Google representative. The problem was resolved and I felt like I had received special treatment from the Google Chrome OS team. But others who have had issues with their Gmail accounts have expressed the lack of support as a real concern.

Though I realize that the services Google offers are free, it needs to address the lack of technical support and the concerns users have. Since Google is trying to convince users to store their personal files online in its Cloud, what happens if your stuff is unavailable one day? What are we users supposed to do? Who do we call?

If Google is to convince us to buy its Chrome OS computers and trust all of our important documents to it and it alone, Google will need to change its current support system. I want someone to call and I want to speak to a real person. I would also prefer to speak to someone who speaks English as their primary language.

Is this asking too much? What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Google Gmail Blog

Google Chrome OS Cr-48 Notebook Computer – What Teenagers Think Of It

It has been just a little over two months since I received the Google Chrome OS Cr-48 computer to beta test for the folks at Google. The mini-laptop thus far has functioned very well and I use it daily for a few hours to surf the Internet and check email. I must admit that the bulk of my blogging is done on my full-sized 17″ Toshiba laptop, because the full-sized keyboard just makes it easier. Basically I believe that Google Chrome OS Cr-48 is an excellent notebook to travel with because of its light weight and small size. I will be taking the unit with me on my next business flight.

I mentor a youth group at our local church which consists of 9th to 11th grade high school boys. These kids are fairly computer savvy and in December we had built a desktop computer from scratch, which we donated to our local food pantry. Last night I brought the Google Chrome OS Cr-48 along with me for a sort of show and tell. Our meetings usually consist of about 50 plus youth, a snack supper, main meeting, and then we break off into our small groups.

After we had completed our interaction time I brought out the notebook computer for them to play with. I opted to use the guest account as to not mess up my profile settings and tabs that I have set up for myself. I addressed the questions about where I got it, what kind of computer it was, and what Google was hoping to accomplish by storing everything in the cloud. As each youth took their turn looking the notebook over and surfing the Internet, their opinion was very similar to what others of us beta testers have said.

The trackball was hard to control. I mentioned I use a mouse when I use the notebook. They all liked the rubberized cover and noted how light the computer was. Several also commented how quick the computer was when it was connected to the Verizon 3G network. Overall, the teenagers liked the computer, but their biggest complaint was the lack of games.

Some of them tried online gaming sites that they frequently visit and complained that the trackball prevented them from playing the games correctly. They also thought the graphics lacked clarity and complained that the gaming colors were washed out. One teen even mentioned that the notebook wasn’t what he would buy nor use.

Though the notebook received a lot of compliments, it was the lack of games that was the deal killer for these youths. When I explained what the target audience was, they then understood what the notebook was being designed for. These teens want games, not a work system.

Comments welcome.

Project Google Chrome OS Promises Hardware Acceleration Plus Support For Linux, OS X & Windows

The folks over at the Google Chrome OS team are starting to rethink their approach to the OS and could be expanding into other platforms. The team is posed to start focusing on the approach they take when it comes to windowing. These changes may also apply to the Google Chrome browser and the proposed changes such as eliminating the URL bar that I have previously written about.

In addition, the Google Chrome OS team is considering hardware acceleration to support and also to consolidate the Chrome UI across different platforms including Windows, OS X, and Linux. Also mentioned on the Google Chrome Web site is support for OpenGL, Direct 3D, and Win 32 as well as other open source support.

Google has this chart showing its proposal and areas of support:

What will all of this mean for you and me? Currently on my Cr-48 laptop test computer, the Chrome OS is limited to just one single window open at a time. When Google finally implements the changes to its OS, users will be able to open multiple windows for multiple users all at once.

Google has also has scrapped the idea of completely supporting HTML only. The project team is indicating that it is looking into using JavaScript front end code.

I personal believe that this is an exciting project that may influence the way we all do our computing, whether in the cloud or not. Google seems to be gearing their fight towards both Microsoft and Apple, by not only offering changes to their Google Chrome OS, but also to its Google Chrome Web browser.

We may start seeing a blur between the difference of the Google Chrome OS and Google Chrome browser in the very near future.

This is a rumor, but Google may — just may — release the final version of the Google Chrome OS sometime mid-year.

Comments welcome.

Source – Google The Chromium Project

Google Group Re: Chrome Notebook Cr-48 Computer – Would You Buy One?

While browsing the Google Group for the Chrome Notebook Pilot program, I garnered some interesting information from other participants. What is interesting is that others who have been using the Chrome Cr-48 notebook computer have similar views of the product. Most everyone agrees that the Chrome notebook is a solidly built unit. Some of the favorite features are the matte black finish, the portability, bright screen, ease of use, fast boot in under 15 seconds, and the overall quality of the hardware. This basically confirms my opinion of the notebook and my experience.

Some of the prior complaints of issues with connecting to a home Wi-Fi router have seemed to have been resolved with an update, that seems to have worked. I know my personal experience of having issues on the Lockergnome site have faded. Bottom line is that it was not the LG web site but the protocol the Chrome notebook was using. Once corrected the notebook now loads all web pages very quickly. I am now able to use the notebook to write my blog posts and will be able to take the notebook with me when I travel.

But there was one post that caught my attention. A question was asked ‘Would you buy a Chrome notebook’? The answers may not be what Google is looking for. Why?

First of all it really doesn’t matter how many of these notebooks they give away for testing, if the consumer models do not sell. This one statement reflects most of the opinions about the Cr-48:

Get a free Cr-48 for testing is one thing. Pay $250 out of your pocket is another.

There are other hurdles Google is going to need to figure out. First is that people do not like change, especially when they are comfortable with a Microsoft Windows box. Have you ever tried to get a Windows user to try Linux? The first question they ask is why? You can talk until you are blue in the face and they don’t want to try something new no matter how much more secure their system will be. Since Google Chrome is basically Linux in a browser, most users will be uncomfortable using it. Second there is the issue of cloud computing. Ask the average computer user about cloud computing and they will give you a blank stare. When you do explain what cloud computing is many of the users I have spoken with are reluctant to give their private data to any company, no matter how much they may trust the company.

Yesterday one of the Google people asked what people liked most about the Cr-48. I responded that the hardware and the way the system is sonstructed is fantastic. The hardware includes the ability to connect to Wi-Fi, 3G and eventually will be Bluetooth enabled. The SSD is also nice and helps boot the computer quickly and 2G of RAM seems sufficient. The case housing is solid and so is the keyboard. Only down side is the built-in tracking which stinks. :-) I told the Google people if they try to cut costs and produce a flimsy notebook, it will bite them in the back side.

I would also not be surprised if Google doesn’t offer some type of supplement on pricing, similar to what the cell phone companies provide for smartphones.

Now here is my opinion. I am not afraid of change and I believe that the tech savvy bunch will have no issues using a browser controlled notebook computer. In fact I like the Cr-48 notebook and use it daily along with my personal laptop computer. I also have no issues of storing my stuff in the cloud, since I have no super secret documents that I want to hide from public view. I am sure others will disagree with my assessment of cloud computing.

So will I be buying a Google Chrome notebook when it becomes available mid-year? Honestly, I am not sure. I would need to see the final consumer version before making a commitment.

Comments welcome.

Source – Google Group

Should Google Combine Chrome OS And Android?

I was greeted on Saturday morning by some 200 email messages from Google referencing the Cr-48 pilot program. As I learned later, there had been a coding error on a forum that Google was setting up and the results were a mass mailing to not only Cr-48 users, but also to some who were still waiting to receive a unit. Needless to say that there was a bit of mass confusion until Google finally cleared things up on Saturday afternoon, explaining the screw up.

For those of you who may be unaware, Google currently has 3 operating systems they are using. Google has Android for smartphones, which I have used and it was very easy to navigate without any instructions. Google also has the Chrome aka Chromium operating system currently being tested on their Cr-48 netbook computers. Recently Google has announced Android Honeycomb which was specifically designed for tablets and will be featured on Motorola’s Xoom tablet scheduled for release in early 2011.

One lengthy post on the Google Cr-48 pilot program forum was one persons belief that Google Chrome and Android should be merged into one single operating system. Their thinking was that applications would than be available for the one OS being used on smartphones, tablets and the future netbook computer using the Google Chrome OS.

During my travels around the Internet I have read comments from others stating a similar opinion. I disagree. Each of the devices require their own specific software to function properly. I believe trying to make a single operating system and trying to port it to all devices is what Microsoft tried and met with limited success. Microsoft was forced to use Windows XP on the first notebooks since neither Vista nor Windows 7 would run fast enough. Neither Vista nor Windows 7 could provide for sufficient extended battery operations. Currently my Cr-48 will run for 8 hours on one single charge. It is claimed that the Xoom could run for 10 hrs. on battery power alone.

What do you think?

Comments welcome.

Source – Google Cr-48 pilot program forum

PS I did learn that Google states we get to keep the Cr-48. :-)

Google Offering $20,000 To Anyone Who Can Hack A Cr-48 Notebook And Escape

Google is offering a $20,000 cash prize to anyone who can hack its new Cr-48 Chrome notebook computer. Google made the offer at the CanSecWest Pwn2Own contest, which will pit some of the world’s best hackers against the new notebook. The Cr-48 notebook uses the Chrome operating system, which currently is being beta tested by me and thousands of others. The contest pits hackers against browsers and in last year’s contest only the Chrome browser was left standing. But with a cash prize of $20,000, the hackers may be sharpening their skills to win the prize.

This years 12th annual conference will be held in March from the 9th through the 11th, in Vancouver, British Columbia.

One article also states:

According to Aaron Portnoy, the Manager of the Security Research Team at TippingPoint Technologies, this year’s prizes have grown to no less than $125,000. And as it is tradition for the security event, browsers will come under fire, with researchers that will attempt to “own” their victims in less than 30 minutes.

The hackers will also be trying to hack the new Internet Explorer 9 if available, the new Firefox 4 if available and Apples Safari browser as well. With prizes available for breaking through the browser security from different companies, it will be interesting to see who the winner is. As the popularity of Internet Explorer continues to slide, Microsoft will be placing a great deal of effort to make I.E. as secure as possible.

This year, hackers will also be able to hack a variety of cell phones including the Apple iPhone, Google Android, and Microsoft Windows 7 software.

Who do you think will be the winner[s]?

I believe it is going to be Chrome. :-)

Comments welcome.

Source – Softpedia

Google Chrome Cr48 – One Month Review

Yesterday the calendar on my phone reminded me that it was time for a one month review of the Google Chrome Cr-48 notebook. It was hard to believe that it has been a month since I received the little computer. What is ironic is that last week I read a blog post at one of the major news outlets in N.Y. referencing the Cr-48 and it was boring. Boring because the blog post rehashed everything that has already been said about the Google computer.

I have also noticed that since Google sent out the Cr-48 in mid December, the article have just about stopped. Why is that? I think it might be because that after all of the hoopla, there is little to mention. But I have something to report in that I had a unusual experience getting connected to the Verizon network. I originally tried to do the online activation of Verizon three-times in a row and was left with a ‘partially activated’ error message. I contacted Verizon technical support and they were unable to figure out what the problem was.

Before I go on with my tale of woe, let me say kudos to the folks at Verizon. I was impressed with not only their ability but also calling me back with other suggestions. We all finally agreed that this was a situation in which I needed to contact Google for support. I went onto the site for customer support for the Google Chrome Cr-48 notebook, and left a date and time that I would be available for contact via phone.

A the prescribed date and time I received a call from technical support at Google who referred to themselves as ‘ninjas’. After about 10 minutes of analyzing the computer, my Ninja helper named Micheal, stated he would call Verizon and get back to me in about 5 to 10 minutes. Sure enough Michael called back and we completed a series of commands which successfully activated the Verizon 3G network on the computer.

FWIW. I am not sure if I mentioned this or not, but Google provides 100MB of data for free from Verizon for two years.

I am setting my calendar reminder for 6 months from today, for another review. If anything earth shattering before that date, I’ll do an update. But as of now, there is little to report.

I personally believe this is a good thing since the midget computer just works. :-)

Comments welcome.

PS If you are using a Google Chrome Cr-48 please share your experience with us.

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.

Google Chrome Cr-48 Shipments Stopped At 15k – Could This Be The Reason Why?

For those of you who haven’t applied for a test ride on a Google Chrome Cr-48 notebook computer, it seems that applications are still being accepted. I also do not know the accuracy of the web site that claims to be keeping track of how many Cr-48 notebooks have shipped, but the number seems to have stopped at 15,024 units delivered with another 40 still in transit. One could attribute the holidays as to why shipments have ceased.

Or is there another reason?

Over at Engadget they have posted an article about how the Cr-48 has been hacked:

Google built the Cr-48 with hacking in mind, so it’s no surprise that we’re seeing other operating systems crop up. Still, it’s fun to watch, and enterprising hackers have got most of the usual suspects up and running: first Ubuntu, and now Mac OS X and Windows. It sounds like a lot of work, and we pledged that 2011 was going to be the year we sat on our asses and didn’t do anything hard, but you’re welcome to give it a shot! Just hit up those source links below for instructions, and follow after the break for video of OS X in action.

I believe that Google was fully aware that their system would be exploited by some who received the freebie. One need not be a Rhodes scholar in order to install an alternative operating system on the Cr-48. But what is unfortunate is that these hacked machines are now useless in developing the Chrome operating system, since they provide no information to Google as to glitches and bugs that need fixing.

But there is another unfortunate consequence that may stall the delivery of an estimated 60,000 systems. Google may have to slow down the process and refine who gets one of the Cr-48 Chrome operating systems. Between people trying to sell the systems on e-Bay, hacking the units with other operating systems, Google may need to fine tune the application process.

I have been using the Cr-48 every day and it has not been without some issues, I am still experiencing slow performance on some web sites, but it is sporadic. Last week I took the Cr-48 along with me and I tried the unit on two public networks. It found both networks and worked very well.

The journey continues and I will continue and enjoying the Cr-48. I am looking forward to when Google issues updates for the Chrome OS that hopefully will help with slow page loading I am having for s

Sign-up for Google Chrome Cr-48 pilot program bere

Google Chrome Cr-48 shipment and delivery site information

Source – Engadget