What is Chromixium?

What is Chromixium?  Chromixium is an attempt to make linux appear and act just like Google’s Chrome OS.  Google doesn’t release Chrome OS as a stand alone operating system and I needed to give an old computer to someone to use.  If the person isn’t very tech savvy I am always hesitant to keep Windows on it.  The amount of time wasted on infected windows machines is maddening.

Chromixium is really Ubuntu with a different skin.  I had an old Vista notebook lying around collecting dust.  It’s actually been collecting dust for a few years.  The problem with it was it just didn’t stay on.  It shut itself off randomly.  From what I could tell it was because of heat issues.  I installed ChromeOS without a hitch and let it run for 24 hours and not a single issue!  I’m very happy with this.

I had first attempted to install it on an even older laptop.  A Dell Latitude 600m that had Windows XP.  It has a Pentium M chip that required me to run a special command called “Force PAE” but on the subsequent reboot after the install the hard drive appeared to be on it’s last legs.  The hard drive is so old in it I didn’t have a compatible hard drive to replace it.  I decided to shelve that computer and decided to try my luck with my old Lenovo with Windows Vista.

While I only played with the computer for a very short time I didn’t run into any issues.  Things worked “differently” than chrome os.  One, I was using chromium instead of chrome and two, things like google drive just opened as a new window instead of as an app.  Not a big deal to me.

If a person has time they should check it out.

Is a chromebook any good?

Samsung Chromebook

Chromebooks are great for individuals.  The key to using it is to remember two things.  First, everything lives in the cloud.  With the new Acers that isn’t entirely true but really one should be having their stuff saved on the internet.  The second rule is to be open to change.  People are addicted to things like Windows and Microsoft Office.  Not because they are good but because they are FAMILIAR with the products.

If you aren’t doing anything complex than google docs is just fine for people.  Those that think they have to use Office are most likely misinformed.

Your pictures are saved to the cloud as well. People have large amounts of pictures usually.  These should also be saved to the internet.  Using Google Drive and it’s 2 free years of 100 megs a person should upload all their pictures.  That way they won’t get lost and can be accessed from anywhere.

I own the original CR-48 from Google and still use it from time to time.  My job requires me to use a multiple of tools so I use a Mac with Windows 7 running in parallels.  I tried to use the chromebook exclusively but there were certain programs that I had to use.  If a person is just surfing the internet, emailing and some media like youtube then a chromebook would be perfect for them.

I like to say that the chromebooks will get rid of people like me since you can’t get infected or ever have to worry about it slowing down.  I definitely expect to see these used more in a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) environments and be adopted even more.  I would love my dad to use this and he could just as soon as I migrate his inventory program to the web.

When you have time, swing by a best buy and go hands on with a chromebook.  From it’s Mac like feel to the keyboard to it’s lightness I fully expect to see more of these in the future.

Chrome CR-48 still having some issues

While writing this I got an update!  This is the version on the beta channel.

Chrome OS (Official Build ede4cb9c) beta x86-mario

Google Chrome





I originally started to write this about the lack of updates but we shall see what happens. I don’t know what has changed but the following list is my wish list.

  • touchpad is just terrible.  The gestures only work part of the time.  Random gestures seem to happen all the time on maps and other things like mindmeister.com
  • sluggish.  It really feels like it is getting slower.  It could be must me but it just doesn’t seem to be as quick as it was originally.
  • brightness buttons stopped working.  The update didn’t fix them. The work now.  Don’t know what happened.
  • Adobe Flash playback could be smoother.  Not sure what needs to be done for this.  Might not be powerful enough to play decently on a TV output.
  • Not sure why but it doesn’t seem like web apps are syncing with my other computers.  I had to install scratchpad manually on another computer but I did see imo instant messenger looked available.
  • That’s really it for now.  I’m still loving it.  If I owned a larger company I would definitely want to test the concept of giving them these chrome books and pair it with a virtual desktop like citrix through the web.

Chrome CR-48 versus my Lenovo!

Today is my first day using my lenovo instead of my Chrome notebook in about a week. I still can’t replace this old thing but it is definitely a change for me.

First, my lenovo has a 15 inch screen. It will be my last 15 inch screen. The smaller the screen means the lighter the notebook which also means the shorter it is. Second, my chrome notebook has chicklet keys versus all the lenovo keys being next to each other with virtually no space inbetween. I’ve always had issues typing passwords fast with the shift key on this thing. In any event, the next difference is the battery life. 3.5 hrs with an extended battery and a very dimmed display versus something that has much more than 3.5 hrs.

Lastly, windows versus Chrome OS. Here is the reason why I needed to use my lenovo today. I use teamviewer a lot for work. On the Chrome notebook I am able to use teamviewer on the web. It isn’t bad but I do prefer the stand alone program for teamviewer. I am little quicker with it.

Actually, I have one more item that I use on this that I can’t on my Chrome.  FTP.  I use filezilla which is a stand alone program.

That’s all I have for today on this.  I much prefer the smaller screen, the lightness and the keyboard on the Chrome OS.  Also, I will admit that my screen on my lenovo is easier to read with full brightness.

Google Chrome Cr-48 Bugs

Today i am using my chrome notebook again at Starbucks. First thing I notice before I even get here is that my backpack is so light compared to my 3 yr old Lenovo notebook!

Now on to the disappointing things from today. I get a nice tall bold starbucks coffee, take a seat and turn on m bluetooth headset to stream music. I pull out my google notebook and open the lid. Screen comes on right away as usual. Things are still going well. I then reach into my bag to pull out my paper notebooks. After setting them next to the computer I look back at the screen to begin my work. Lo and behold, the screen is black. You can tell the backlight is on but nothing is being displayed. The first thing one would think is it is in sleep mode. Well, I hit the power button probably 15 times. Tried quick taps and log holds. Nothing. I had saw last night something about a pin hole you can push in to reset the computer under the VGA adapter. Well, I didn’t see this pin last night but there looks like a pin on the right side above the USB port. I didn’t try too hard but I couldn’t get the button to push in.  So what other choices do I have?  Well, if it is a cellphone you pull the battery.  I decided to try that.  While turning the notebook over I noticed that the top right corner of the notebook is peeling.  Yes, there is a very thin film on it and it started to peel.  My luck I suppose.  Well, I did get the battery pulled and sure enough, everything started to work again!

Earlier in the story I had mentioned a VGA port.  Well, I tried streaming Hulu to my tv last night.  First, I didn’t know the shortcut to have it display externally.  It’s CTRL-FULLSCREEN button.  The fullscreen button is the 5th button from the left.  Second, it was choppy.  Not as choppy as my first gen Dell Mini 9 but still not enjoyable.  I switched back to my old laptop and used the Chrome notebook to work while the show played.

One more note: I logged in the old fashion way to my google apps account and now have both my PCPrime and personal account info up.  Didn’t think that worked before for me but I must have done something wrong.

Chrome OS testing Continues

Chrome OS logoI successfully retrieved my missing power adapter this past Sunday.   I have several power adapters in my possession but none of them fit.  Much like phones have now (except arrogant Apple) settled on micro usb, why can’t notebook computer makers settle on 1 adapter fits all?  I wonder how much effort it would take to get everyone to do this.

When I picked up my adapter this past Sunday we were on a road trip to our home away from home, Atlanta, GA.  (the adapter was forgotten in New Orleans).  I had purchased a power converter for the car so that we could plug our electronics into it.  When it was finally time for the wife to drive I got my chance to charge the laptop.  I can say that I was quite please with the charge time.  It took 15 minutes to get a 30% charge.  That’s not bad I think.  Especially when 30% charge means  an hour of battery life?

I have several goals that I want to accomplish with this prototype.  One, I want to make it as my primary laptop.  It obviously cannot replace the desktop due to full applications such as dreamweaver that are needed.  However, if I can do everything else on the web that will be nice.  The second goal I have is to find replacements for some of the apps I currently use.  For example, skype and notepad++.  I am not calling them necesarily simple apps, but they may be easier to be ported to Chrome OS.  The les I have to rely on applications the better.  Another example would be my remote desktop software, Teamviewer.  This I have already been able to replace by using the web based version of it.

Tomorrow I’d like to list a few of the problems I have come across here.  No dealbreakers but some of them can be annoying.  I was hoping for an update in the 2 wees that I had the notebook turned off because I had no way to charge it.