Sun. May 31st, 2020

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Google Chrome OS – My First Impressions

4 min read

When it comes to personal computing, how the everyday person uses the Internet, I am a big proponent of putting it in the cloud. I get overly frustrated and disgusted that a majority of ‘regular’ users are spending $1,000 on a laptop to browse Facebook and read email. They have been sold on the notion that they need all the power and speed to do the same thing they were doing 5 years ago. I am speaking generically, there are many classifications of users, I am speaking about the college students, older generations, and regular folks. You don’t need a 2.4 GHZ, Quad Core to play Bejeweled on Facebook.

Leading the charge on the cloud movement is Google. Big Fan.

Google has released an Operating system based on their Chrome Browser. The OS is not designed nor intended for the mainstream desktop. The OS’s target audience are the mobile and compact world of the netbooks and smaller laptops. Those systems are designed for the mobile and the productivity and not games, heavy photo or video editing anyway. However and Google see it, putting Windows on those slim machines is overkill.

I have an Asus 1005HA netbook and love it. But the problem I have with it is the same that I have had with other laptops, backups. Getting the data and projects I work on to a centralized location on my many external HDDs on my main desktop. I have lost a few systems and drives and learned my lesson on backing up. But it’s tedious, stressing, requires more hardware and more backups. But if I were to be able to do things in a Cloud, then my computers transform more into a terminal into that Cloud than being a isolated computer.

Chrome OS makes it a reality. In conjunction with Google’s ever expanding online productivity offerings, you don’t necessarily need to worry about local storage and what computer has the latest version. You use your computers to connect to a Cloud and work on them safely and securely.

So, I downloaded a Chrome OS img file from Here (it’s a torrent file) and followed this website to load it on a USB drive.

Here are my thoughts —

Installation
    Using Windows Image Maker I loaded the ChromeOS image file onto my 8GB USB Drive.
    Couldn’t be easier.

Booting
    I set my Asus 1005HA netbook to boot from USB, stuck the USB in and rebooted.
    In a few seconds I was greeted by the Chrome Login screen.

    I used the default login and password (chronos / password).


OS
    The OS is very, very Beta. But basically it’s very similar looking and layout to the Chrome Browser.

  

    I read that loading the image, as opposed to the fully installed Virtual PC out there, there is a hit or miss with the network adapter compatibility. When I first loaded I got Page Cannot Be Displayed. I snooped around and found in the upper right hand corner, middle icon, looked like a radio icon. I clicked on it and there was my WiFi network, I clicked on that and was prompted for the passphrase, entered it and I was in.
  
     Upon a refresh I saw the ‘Main Menu’. Which is a list of links to online resources. I was able to access them all. I even pulled up Pandora and my sound card was working properly no problem. You login to your Google Account and have access to all your Google resources.
      The OS is very easy to navigate, very clear on what I need to do and how to get most things working. You can have multiple windows going, move back and forth. This version I used is very beta and I crashed it once, but I wouldn’t be a techie if I didn’t.
Thoughts
     At this points, the OS is basically a suped up Chrome Browser running on a version of Linux. However, this is just the beta.
     I can see a very clear and bright future to bring the world closer to a less Windows Centric world. All of the problems that Windows brings to the table, drivers, programs, browsers, etc… all can go away in this ‘boot and go’ OS approach.

     I do have some more extensive thoughts and questions on local installs, expansions, plugins, anti virus, etc… But this is still very beta, some things don’t work, other options are not included. But I can see that in the future I will be running this OS on my netbook(s) in the future. Because how I use my netbook is exactly what this OS will very efficiently allow me to do. For the majority user, this is as easy and is gets. Far easier than Windows even. Click and go.

    I will stay very close to this as it matures and be playing with the OS for months to come. As a game changing move, I am excited to see where this will grow to. If it’s done right, ChromeOS will break out hard and also put pressure on Linux distributions like Ubuntu to keep ahead of the curve if they want to take over the mobile (devices and netbooks) market from M$FT.  The more devices get more powerful and smaller, our dependence on a central Cloud will become more and more, even if the users don’t realize it.

End of Line.

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