Monday, December 20, 2010

Chrome OS - What's the Point?

On the heels of my new, Cr48 notebook (thanks, Santa Google!), I'd like to post some of my impressions. But first-

We need to talk.

I know we've been in a relationship for some time now. It's not that I'm uncomfortable in it, it's that I'm . . . too comfortable. Things have gotten stale. And, let's face it, you're not who you were when we started this journey. You've gotten a lot, well, bigger; kind of bloated and slow. To be candid, you've lost your appeal. Oh, sure, there are a lot of tasks you do for me; but do I really need them done anymore? I just want to use you and have fun with you. If I wanted work, I'd go to work!

I need someone younger, slimmer, and who doesn't take forever to warm up. I want someone who instantly turns on, and is ready to go the moment I am. Someone I can share with friends without having to risk getting a virus.

I'm sorry, Windows, but we're just not right for each other anymore. I know you'll find someone (maybe OSX?). Sure, you're old and bloated; but there are people out there who need a workhorse. I need a racehorse.

I'm leaving you for Chrome OS.

What is Chrome OS?

Have you used Google's Chrome browser? Then you've basically used Chrome OS. Haven't used Chrome browser? Do it!!! Seriously. Click the clicky, be free from Internet Explorer, Safari, or whichever other, inferior browser you've been on.

But why a browser? Don't I already have a browser, and much more besides on my current rig? Yes, you do. And that, according to Google, is the problem.

Desktop operating systems are designed to do a lot. From terminal coding to CAD, photo editing, and 3D rendering. Games, graphics, internet, music, storage; they do it all. Whether you use Win7, OSX, or a Linux distro, you have computing power the ENIAC builders could only have dreamed about. There are all kinds of things your computer has the power to let you do. The question is: do you?

What do you use your computer for? If you're like me, you use it for internet browsing and research, word processing, music and video playback, email, light photo editing, messaging, texting (GVoice = heart + tear), day planner, and smartphone interaction, among other things. I don't burn CDs or watch DVDs on it, anymore (sooo 1999). I don't really use any dedicated, processor intensive programs. I don't game on it anymore (WoW and WifE seldom go hand in hand). In short, I don't use my computer to its potential.

So what? Better more horsepower than less, right? Not so fast, turbo. This isn't necessarily a case of power unused, but of features unused. Take, for instance, my Cr48 Chrome OS notebook. Like a netbook, it runs a 1.66GHz Intel Atom processor with 2GB of RAM and an SSD drive. Same horsepower. What it doesn't have, however, is an OS that was designed for auto-CAD, coding, custom software, etc. Think of it like the GT car version to the Win7 production car.

Basically, this:
versus this:

The top WRX is fast, fun, and still stores your stuff, carries your friends, plays your music, etc. The bottom WRX has the same base engine and chassis, but is stripped down to the bare minimum so that there's little between you and the driving experience.

And that's Chrome OS. It's a barebones, internet interface. Everything is done in the cloud. Word processing? Google Docs. Music playing? Pandora. Photo editing? Picasa and Picnik. Gaming? Onlive. Honestly, there's little that I do that can't be done in the browser. Chrome OS is light, agile, and quick. It does a lot with a little (who would purchase a 1.66GHz Atom for a main computer these days?).

The real question is: does it work? That's what I intend to find out. Over the next few weeks and months, I'll slog the heck out of my little Cr48 and report back.

Let the beta testing begin!

Cr48 is Here

Cr48 - Pilot-Program - Chrome OS

I can has Cr48?

Yes. I can has. Commence dorking out.

Impressions forthcoming.