December 19th, 2010

fox sit

Chrome OS Notebook

Cloudy, 32-37°F. Last night when I got home, I saw a UPS delivery notice stuck to my front door. I was wondering about that because I didn't remember ordering anything recently. By the next morning, I'd more or less figured out what the package was and decided not to wait for the delivery reattempt on Monday. So I went to the UPS customer center in Newark to pick it up. It's a Cr-48 Google Chrome Notebook! I applied for the pilot program about a week ago because I wanted to try one of these notebooks. However, I didn't actually expect to get one because in my application, I told them that although I use a number of web apps, I didn't use web apps for all my work. So it's quite a surprise.

I spent the rest of the morning familiarizing myself with this gadget. It's a notebook computer that basically runs only the Chrome browser. So everything has to be done with some web app or other and the files you work on have to be stored in the cloud. However, it can read files from SD cards, so I can use it to get photos from my camera to an online photo editor. Also, there is a text-mode terminal so I can ssh to my shell account at Joyent and run Vim and TwitVim there. (although I don't think that's a typical use case for the Cr-48, so I'll leave it out of my feedback. :) ) Software differences aside, everything seems to work as it should. The wi-fi connection is solid. (I should take it outside to try on Comcast hotspots at my usual venues.) The system is decently responsive. The keyboard is not as clicky as my netbook's keyboard, but I suppose it's just a matter of getting used to that.

In the afternoon, I figured I had time to run out and do one nearby geocache. So I went to Canby Park in Wilmington for HULK. This is a cache that I didn't go for during the Summer because it is in a wooded area that is full of thorny brush. That's not as much of a problem now, although I still had to clip the thorn branches with scissors when I got close to the cache site. Vegetation issues aside, it's a rather simple and straightforward geocache.