Second Month in the Cloud with Chrome OS

It has been two months since I had first gotten my Chrome Book. As of the time of this writing I'm somewhat removed from 'the cloud' due to financial realities I intend on fixing as soon as possible. Even with this lack of cloud access, and so removing most of the laptop's intended functionality, I've managed to keep the little guy busy.

As stated at the begining of this week I've been making posts by the bunled free 3g Verizon thoughtfully included. Granted it's barely able to do much of anything, and under normal conditions might last a handful of hours. However by turning images and flash off completely, and limiting java script to a handful of sites (Blogger and Google Groups) as well as using the mobile versions of other pages I've managed to get roughly four days of light browsing from the package. Oh sure that isn't much given my usual habits, and Google Groups sucks down what little I have like a pig, but other than a few random seeming disconnects speed has been good and their tech support was quite helpful in getting me set up (as I don't have a credit card and don't intend on getting one.)

So how has the experiance been other than my recent bumpiness? Quite well really. Chrome has gotten a few updates to help address a few issues and add a thing or three. Minor, but useful amongst these is the fact you can now rearrange app icons on the new tab page. More impressive is their addressing zoom and font issues that have left the whole experience far smoother than before and with fewer broken layouts.

The real eye catcher here is Google has thoughtfully created an official Group for Chrome OS Users. I found out about this when I saw my inbox flooded by a few hundred emails from said group, but other than that and the embarassing fact that you have to use a hackish method to search said group it's been quite helpful.

I'd have to say the crown jewel so far, the thing that has most caught my eye, is one user's unofficial chrome builds that add in a few packages Google themselves didn't think to provide. Further, and more useful is that he's found a way to install said packages on the official build of Chrome without breaking it's ability to update.

Sure it's a minor thing to have Midnight Command, Lynx, or even Doom when others have managed to get Java (along with Minecraft) and even Firefox working but to do either of those one must break the system's ability to update, which I see as a bad thing. These packages leave the root partition intact so you're still able to get any improved goodness without having to restore from a backup image.

So the future is looking bright for me and Crate. There's remote desktop software, a text editor that doesn't confuse the living daylights out of me, Doom, a completely text based web browser, and Bob alone knows what other goodies down the road in addition to all the little bits and pieces of Awesome Google plans dropping down the line.

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