Saturday, May 7, 2011

Google Chrome Revitalizes a Netbook

Our old Acer Aspire One netbook has been sitting around idle the last few months after our kids got really into Club Penguin. Even though I loaded it up with Ubuntu Notebook Remix some months ago, the bundled Firefox browser and Flash player really sucked. The Club Penguin site wouldn't even load. Today, I installed the latest version of Chrome on the netbook and was surprised how all of a sudden everything worked! My daughter was so happy as was my wife, who's laptop won't be hijacked anymore for penguin adventures. Chrome still gets laggy, which is more a limitation of the slow Atom N270 processor, the 512MB of RAM and the pokey 8GB SSD, but it really blows Firefox away.

On a side note, my CR48, aka ChromeOS Notebook, arrived a couple weeks ago courtesy of Google. I'm probably one of the last recipients in their Chrome pilot program. I've been playing with it on & off since then. The first thing I did after charging it was switch it over to developer's mode and load it up with a precompiled binary of a remote desktop client. I needed this so I could access my servers, which allowed me to test the CR48 exclusively for a few days without using my regular notebook. It's pretty impressive so far, but still a work in progress. At times, it bogs down due to the number of open tabs and possibly what extensions are running. Hopefully, I'll have time to write more detailed thoughts on it after I play with it more.

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