My Cromebook WiFi Works Again

I believe it was in mid January when I started having connection issues with my Cromebook (CR48) and couldn’t fix it.  I’m still not sure what happened but I was very frustrated that I couldn’t use it anymore.  It became a paper weight on my desk.  The 3G worked, but the WiFi kept disconnecting.

This is what happened.  I would be typing (as I am doing now) and suddenly lost my connection.  I noticed that my words weren’t coming out right, instead other words were being selected and deleted with every key I hit.  I would look over at the WiFi icon next to the clock and it showed that it was trying to connect, then I’d see an X.  The only way I was able to continue with my blog post, tweet, Facebook update or IM conversation was to turn 3G on.  I’d have to save my work or put the person I was talking to on hold and reboot.  At first rebooting helped, but it would disconnect again.  I got to the point that I just stopped turning it on.

What happened today was I went to play with my PSP and wondered if there was an update available.  I tried to log in to my network and it wouldn’t let me.  I noticed that it said my network was not compatible.  That didn’t make sense since Chips iPhone and my Nook haven’t had any issue logging into the network.  I loaded the Linksys EasyLink Advisor program and went into the security settings and it gave me an error.  I starting thinking that maybe that was the reason I was having issues, so I reinstalled the WPA security and viola, my Chromebook is online with no issues.

I have typed this entire post on my Chromebook without one disconnect.  Before that would have been impossible since as soon as I started typing the WiFi would disconnect.  The problem has been solved and I hope someone who is also having issues might see this and check their own network security settings.  Good luck!

My CR-48 Brick

In the middle of December of 2010, Google surprised me by sending me an email asking me if I wanted to test a laptop with the new Google Chrome operating system if I sent in bug reports.  Happily I accepted the task and received my free laptop 2 days later.  I was shocked that I actually got it and I did the happy dance.  It’s sometimes mistaken for the pee pee dance, but it was a happy one.  I have had a wonderful year testing out this wonderful toy, but sometimes good things have to come to an end because it’s a brick now.

Ok to clarify, the laptop isn’t broken, it just won’t stay online.  I have it connected through my WiFi network, but as soon as I try to type something, it loses the signal.  The only way to get it back is to reboot.  Rebooting used to help, but now it just won’t stay connected anymore.  It will stay connected for hours, but as soon as I try to type something, it goes offline.  I can watch videos on YouTube, I can browse people’s Facebook page, I can look at any website in the world, I just can’t type anything.

At first when this would happen I would switch over to Verizon 3G, but I only get 100MB free data every month and I have already used 50MB over the last few days every time I want to type something.  At this point it’s just a waste of electricity having it on because if I want to type something, I have to do it on the desktop.

I tried doing research to get it fixed.  I went to the help section and looked at boards and found out that this is happening to a lot of people.  Someone said that Google was in touch with him and sent him an email with a link to a website that has instructions on how to take the laptop apart to re-seat the wifi connection, but I’m afraid I might just make it worse.  I really don’t know if that is the problem because it never gets moved, so there is no reason for anything to be loose in there.  It stays on my desk in the same spot all the time.  I rarely if ever bring it to another room of the house, and when I do pick it up, it’s to dust.  And, it only goes offline when I try to type something, why would it stay online for hours at a time, but then shut off as soon as I try to type something if the problem is that the wifi connection is loose?  I don’t think they are related.

A few of the people say that it’s not a software glitch, that the hardware needs to be re-seated, but that does not seem to make sense in my case.  I think it’s a software glitch and the only thing I can do is wait for Google to put out a new update.  How long will that take?

I have cleared my browsing data, browsing history and emptied the cache.  Before that whenever I would move the mouse it would go offline, so now at least it stays online until I type something.  It has gotten a little better, but not by much.  I deleted the cookies, cleared saved passwords and autofill form data and I deleted all of my files because they were redundant anyway.  I most likely downloaded images for blog posts or to transfer to the micro SD card for my phone.  The remaining files that aren’t on my computer were transferred to a USB flash drive.

I will continue to do research on the matter because I really want my CR-48 back.  I have lived my whole life without it, but I don’t know if I can live without it now.  I know that’s sad, but it is such a cool thing.  For anyone who doesn’t have one, they don’t know how awesome it is so they don’t know what I mean, but trust me, if you had one you’d understand.

I posted on the Google help boards, so hopefully I will hear from someone who can help.  Will update on the matter.

Acer and Samsung Chrome Netbooks Announced


I saw the news this morning on Twitter from Editor for PC Magazine Lance Ulanoff:

Google: ACER introing netbook-sized ChromeBook #$349. Samsung’s ChromeBook: $429 for Wi-Fi Avail June 15. #io2011

I was way off on the price.  I figured that since the Google Chrome OS is a browser-based only computer that they would sell a Google Chrome OS Netbook for $150-$200.  I never thought they would sell as high as they are.

Chrome OS Site also reports the specs for the Samsung netbook along with other pictures of the netbook from different angles.  The Samsung Chrome OS netbook will sell in WiFi only for $429 and 3G for $499.

I have been using my CR-48 Google Chrome OS netbook since mid December when they first started shipping and I love it.  I still use my desktop computer but only for things that I can’t use my CR-48 for like photo editing with Gimp, balancing my checkbook via Microsoft Money and playing Lord of the Rings Online.  My CR-48 has basically become my default computer for everything else, as it was supposed to be for the pilot program.

I cannot say that I agree with those prices because you can get a netbook for the same price with Windows installed and be able to install software that you want on it to do everything my desktop computer can do.  The Google Chrome OS is internet only.  You can get the internet on a Windows netbook so why pay that much money?

It’s a great operating system, I just don’t think it’s that great that you would pay $500 for it.  I think that they will go down in price eventually so I would wait until they are a more reasonable price.

Google Chrome Laptop

Google announced this week on Tuesday that they are going to give 60k laptops away to groups and people so that they can test out the new Google Chrome OS. People aren’t testing the laptop, they are testing the operating system itself. These laptops have a 12.1 inch widescreen monitor, built-in webcam and mic on the top of the screen, 8-hour battery, WiFi and 3G with Verizon where they give you 100mb of data for $9.99 each month for 2 years.

The test itself is only supposed to last for 6 months which makes me wonder if they will be asking for the laptops to be returned but the statement that they are giving you 2 years at $10 a month for 3G tells me that perhaps these laptops aren’t going to be taken away after 6 months. But I can’t tell for sure. I mean, what are they gonna do with 60k used laptops? They can’t sell them and they’re not going to take the time and money to refurbish them are they?

In case you are wondering why I am blogging about this all of a sudden, well, I have one. I signed up to be a beta tester last year but I don’t know if that’s why I got so lucky. I got an email from Google on Wednesday inviting me to apply to get one. Friday morning I went to the grocery store for an energy drink and found it on my doorstep when I came home.

At first I didn’t know what it was because I didn’t order anything. It didn’t even occur to me that I got approved for a laptop. As I’m opening the box I see this diagram of a helmet that an evil scientist mouse would build for world domination. Or at least cat domination. As I opened the box I see the battery pack then the laptop itself.

My first thought was “WOW I was approved? NO FREAKIN’ WAY!”

I took a picture of the keyboard, screen, top and bottom. It looks navy blue in the image for some odd reason when in reality it’s more of a charcoal color. Click it to see it full size which is 1280×768.

By the way, this is not a product review, it’s more of a bragging post :p lol. This is not what is going to be for sale in 6 months when the beta testing will be finished and as I said I am not testing the laptop but the operating system.

One of the rules about being in this program is that I use this as my primary machine. I’m not sure if blogging about it is allowed but since I’ve seen other blogs talking about it and a few YouTube videos (as I write this 1,130 videos) showing it off and people talking about it, I figure it might be ok.  Since this is going to be my primary computer for the next 6 months I figure I might as well talk about it.

I have used Google Chrome as my default browser for over a year now so it’s not a difficult adjustment for me. Although this new keyboard and touchpad are adding to the challenge. I am getting used to it tough.

I have not actually timed it but when you first turn the computer on by either opening the lid or pushing the power button, it gives you this cool Chrome logo then within seconds you are in your login screen.  When I see my image with my Gmail account name, I type in my password and I’m in.  Instant desktop, no waiting.  When I close the lid while it’s turned on then come back to it later, it loads instantly back to where I left off.

My desktop is a Chrome browser like you would see when you first open your browser but it’s always there.  Instead of having the most used websites on that window, it has icons like you would have on your desktop.  There is a new Google Web Store where you can search for extensions, apps and themes.  When you find the one you want, just click install and viola it’s installed.  No muss no fuss.

If it’s an app then you will have a new icon on your “desktop” but if it’s an extension then you will have a new icon on the top of your browser next to the wrench and bug report link.

Since it’s a website based computer, it’s really fast.  I’m telling you, it is so fast that it puts my desktop computer to so much shame.  Like when I watch a YouTube video it’s very smooth.  It plays the video from start to finish without any interruption like my desktop does.  I’ve gotten to the point where I hate watching videos on my computer because of how they keep pausing and I’ve recently reformatted it too so this new laptop is very welcome on my desk.

I haven’t tried the webcam yet but as soon as one of my friends and/or family members logs into Skype then I can try it.  Oh, since Skype is obviously not a web-based app, I had to find a web-based IMing website that allows you to Skype.  I found imo.im in the web store and I’ve been using it for all of my IMing.

I have been able to use the webcam with taking pictures with Picnik so I can tell that the webcam built into the top of the screen isn’t very good quality.  Then again like I said, I am not testing the laptop but more the OS so it doesn’t have to be great quality, although it is much better quality than my current webcam but I digress.

I have had a few crashes but it turns out to be my fault because I’m not used to the touchpad.  It doesn’t have any buttons, it’s just a touchpad.  You can press on it and the whole thing clicks on the bottom but you can also lightly tap on it which is how you click.  The problem I have with it is that it’s so freaking huge that when I type, my hand is constantly moving the cursor and clicking things.  I have to learn to lift my right hand while I type to avoid that.

It’s an awesome computer and I will be very happy with it just as long as they don’t take it away from me lol.  I don’t know how much it is going to cost when they start selling it in the summer of 2011 but it is worth every dime considering it is the easiest computer for anyone to use.  You don’t have to know anything about computers, all you need to know is what website you want to look at.

There is still some time if you want to get in on this.  All you have to do is go to this website http://www.google.com/chromeos/ and apply for the pilot program.  The deadline is 11:59:59 on 12/21/2010.  Good luck.