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Author Topic: Chrome OS preview looks pretty cool  (Read 12457 times)
f0dder
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« Reply #25 on: November 24, 2009, 12:35:49 PM »

Chrome OS Security overview - sounds good... but also like a potentially very locked-down platform. (lockdown against malware = good, lockdown against users = bad).
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- carpe noctem
zridling
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« Reply #26 on: November 24, 2009, 02:28:32 PM »

Great find, f0dder. When you consider what people would be using a Chrome machine for -- social networking, flickr, banking, travel arrangements, buying tickets, etc., if it's not reasonably secure, it would be a terrible device indeed! It takes my bank 10 business days to replace my debit card (not everyone accepts the temporary one they provide in the interim), you can imagine the hassle of a web machine that is too loose with your data, ID, and password info.
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f0dder
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« Reply #27 on: November 24, 2009, 02:33:21 PM »

The security level makes sense, and I think it's essentially a pretty good idea... I just hope they aren't going to use it to limit what you can do on your hardware - and that they let developers target the platform without a lot of draconian requirements (Apple/iPhone springs to mind here - you need a Mac, you need to pay to get your stuff on the iPhone store, and the crap is heavily censored (both "moral" as well as "oh, that could hurt our own profits" crap)).
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zridling
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« Reply #28 on: November 24, 2009, 02:52:35 PM »

I'd agree with that, but not for Chrome OS. It's an OS literally built for a device that runs one thing: the browser. Google explains it far better than I can:

The goal is to build "an operating system that provides a fast, simple, and more secure computing experience for people who spend most of their time on the web." Here are the initial use cases for Chrome OS:
  • Computing on the couch
  • Use as a lightweight, secondary work computer
  • Borrowing a device for use in coffee shops and libraries
  • Sharing a second computer among family members

"First, it's all about the web. All apps are web apps. The entire experience takes place within the browser and there are no conventional desktop applications. This means users do not have to deal with installing, managing and updating programs.

"Second, because all apps live within the browser, there are significant benefits to security. Unlike traditional operating systems, Chrome OS doesn't trust the applications you run. Each app is contained within a security sandbox making it harder for malware and viruses to infect your computer. Furthermore, Chrome OS barely trusts itself. Every time you restart your computer the operating system verifies the integrity of its code. If your system has been compromised, it is designed to fix itself with a reboot. While no computer can be made completely secure, we're going to make life much harder (and less profitable) for the bad guys. If you dig security, read the Chrome OS Security Overview or watch the video.

"Most of all, even though developers can view its source code and compile it, Chrome OS won't be available for download because it requires a special hardware configuration and it's not designed for multi-boot. Chrome OS is just the platform for Chrome OS netbooks. We are taking out every unnecessary process, optimizing many operations and running everything possible in parallel. This means you can go from turning on the computer to surfing the web in a few seconds. Our obsession with speed goes all the way down to the metal. We are specifying reference hardware components to create the fastest experience for Google Chrome OS," explains Google.

...................................................................
Microsoft's Gazelle project is very similar. But I do think that merely being a web machine won't show its full value at least for 2-3 years. I can work within Google Docs (and I do) or Zoho Office online, but I prefer OpenOffice on the desktop for a wide variety of more complex tasks. I can see its value, assuming it's a $100-$150 machine or so, but if someone takes the code and opens it up to a few big apps, then it will level a lot of Linux distros in its path. And that won't be a bad thing; they need move beyond KDE/Gnome at some point.
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mouser
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« Reply #29 on: November 24, 2009, 03:39:08 PM »

Google is asking developers to contribute to the Chrome extensions gallery -- an act that will put third party applications on both the Chrome browser and eventually the operating system.  Developers can contribute to the project by uploading their creations to the Developer Dashboard.

this might be a good time to remind people that making an addon for a program will qualify as a NANY entry.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #30 on: November 25, 2009, 08:59:01 PM »

The OS does not support hard drives, just SSDs (solid state devices)
Sounds like a preeeeetty arbitrary and artificial limit, considering that SSDs use exactly the same connectors and protocol as standard hard drives...  huh
It's an Apple-like limitation, to ensure it runs really snappy I imagine.

You can run ChromeOS from a usb stick now. Boss tried it this morning and had two total system freezes in 10 mins.

Ehtyar.
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mahesh2k
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« Reply #31 on: November 25, 2009, 09:55:21 PM »

Internet only OS ? No way  thumb down
Why they have no plan for offline people or software in mind ?
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #32 on: November 25, 2009, 10:05:31 PM »

Internet only OS ? No way  thumb down
Why they have no plan for offline people or software in mind ?
That's the whole idea of Chrome OS, to cater only for online Google stuff. If you want an offline OS you can chose literally any other OS tongue

Don't get me wrong, I find it as screwy as you do, but that is the general thinking behind it.

Ehtyar.
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zridling
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« Reply #33 on: November 25, 2009, 11:45:18 PM »

That's the whole idea of Chrome OS, to cater only for online Google stuff.... Don't get me wrong, I find it as screwy as you do, but that is the general thinking behind it. Ehtyar.

Not true. While the eventual machine will be setup to take advantage of Google's browser -- which is built to take advantage of Google software and ads (no surprise there) -- you can surf and use any online software you want. You can use Windows Live or Zoho or anything else that's online. Thus the line, "all apps are web apps," and "Chrome OS is just the platform for Chrome OS netbooks."

Being open source, you'll see forks or versions that allow for HDs, local apps, etc.  And probably sooner than expected.
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Ehtyar
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« Reply #34 on: November 25, 2009, 11:55:49 PM »

Yes, poor wording. Chrome OS is Google *focused*, but not Google exclusive as my working implied. Sorry about that.

Found out from my boss that you log into the *OS* with your Google account. What's up with that?

Ehtyar.
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zridling
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« Reply #35 on: November 26, 2009, 03:15:33 AM »

Not sure. Didn't see anyone logging in among all the videos presented. When they opened Microsoft-formatted documents, they went to Windows Live when then opened MSOffice '07/10.

The key point, I believe, is not to think that Chrome OS is a Windows killer, or even a full-blown OS. Instead of having two cars in your garage, you have a car and a bike! The most interesting computing advances are happening away from the desktop, a trend that will only continue through the next decade. Chrome OS -- or a Chromebook -- is symbolic of something larger than OS vs. OS. It's Windows vs. the Cloud.
« Last Edit: November 26, 2009, 03:19:20 AM by zridling » Logged

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Deozaan
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« Reply #36 on: March 09, 2010, 11:47:27 PM »

Has anyone heard of a version of Chrome OS for Netbooks with HDDs (as opposed to SSDs) yet? I'd really like to try it out, but I'm not sure that I'll be able to conjure up a 4GB USB drive.
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Deozaan
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« Reply #37 on: March 10, 2010, 03:30:52 PM »

By the way, Zaine (and other Linux experimenters), have you tried JoliCloud?

It's a distribution based off of Ubuntu Netbook Remix and is in Pre-Beta (which is basically Alpha, right?).

Justin Pot over at MakeUseOf.com has good things to say about it:
I’ve been looking for the perfect operating system download for netbook, and along the way I’ve checked out Chrome OS and Moblin. Chrome’s Internet-only approach turned me off, and while I was quite impressed with Moblin, I concluded it’s not quite ready to be my primary netbook operating system yet.

Jolicloud, however, is the real deal. It exists in a world where desktop applications and web apps are on the same level, and it does so with style. Best of all, it’s extremely easy to use.

He then goes on to mention some of the highlights of why he really likes it, which I'll summarize:

  • Apps are tweaked by default to be optimized for netbooks. He specifically mentions how Firefox's "File/Edit/View" toolbar is hidden behind a drop-down arrow on the right side of the Awesome Bar and that the status bar is hidden until a site is loading (like the Chrome browser).
  • Application manager allows you to install or remove programs using one click (for each application). Also, "web apps" are listed as apps.
  • Web Apps: Basically a window dedicated entirely to a specific website. Get your Gmail, Facebook, Pandora, or whatever website you typically always have a tab open to in it's own window, without the toolbars getting in the way and taking up that precious vertical real estate. Basically a full screen browser window to just that site. And if you click a link in the Web App, it will open up in your default browser instead of browsing away from the web app.
  • Compatibility: If your netbook is listed on the Jolicloud compatibility page you can expect it to "just work." My MSI Wind 120 is listed and, as advertised, it installed and runs perfectly. And according to Justin Pots, even if your machine isn't listed there's still a good chance it will work.
  • Easy to try: It has an installer like Wubi, which allows you to install it from Windows which makes it show up in the Add/Remove Programs list for easy uninstallation.

I tried it out and it does work extremely well. It doesn't even have the problems that Ubuntu Netbook Remix had on this machine (such as screen flickering until it figured out whether the AC Adapter was plugged in or not).

Probably my only complaint thus far is that the application manager has very slim pickings when it comes to applications to install. It probably has enough applications for anyone who would be happy with Chrome OS, but as far as I could figure out, if it's not on the list, there's no easy way to install it, since the usual Synaptics Package Manager thingy is nowhere I could find it.

I wanted an FTP client and I couldn't figure out how to get one, and I couldn't figure out how to get FTP commands to work from the terminal (which I consider for "advanced" users, and thus not the market Jolicloud is looking for), so as far as I know, I'm out of luck for an FTP client until they decide to add one to their application manager. But maybe that's just because I don't know much about linux and the advanced techniques (or maybe something extremely simple I'm overlooking) to get other apps on there.

EDIT: I searched the forum and found that Jolicloud was briefly mentioned in this thread: Advice on Netbooks. And after reading the linked article, Jolicloud seems to have changed a lot since it was reviewed last July.
« Last Edit: March 10, 2010, 03:57:43 PM by Deozaan » Logged

zridling
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« Reply #38 on: March 10, 2010, 09:20:37 PM »

Thanks Deozaan, I'm eager to try it out. Why is FTP the one thing people skimp on?!!
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Deozaan
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« Reply #39 on: September 04, 2010, 07:03:44 PM »

Arise from the dead, necro-thread!

I just found out about Flow, which is a Chrome OS build that lets you make a Live USB or VMWare image.

In fact, I'm typing this post from within Chrome OS on a Live USB, which is pretty cool, because it means I could boot to my own "portable PC" from any computer that supports booting from USB drive. And since it's all internet/cloud services, there's no need for a huge (in regards to storage space) hard drive. A spare 2GB (minimum) thumb drive should suffice.

Supposedly it even supports my webcam, but I don't know how to test it. Google Talk doesn't have the video/chat plugin installed by default and I'm having trouble installing it. I'm not sure if I'm doing something wrong or if it's just not supported or what.

There are other quirks. Something doesn't seem right about the screen's resolution, and I can't find an option to change it. I can't get a game to work on freeciv.net. I turned up the sensitivity of the touchpad to the max but it still seems a bit slow moving.

Anyway, it's fun to play around with, but obviously not ready for prime time yet. I'll definitely be watching for updates now that I can actually run it on my machine(s).

For what it's worth, I think this would be perfect for internet cafes. They could sell little Chrome OS on a Stick and provide little netbooks without a hard drive in them for people to use at the airport or at a internet cafe. Then you wouldn't need to worry about the security of your data on a USB drive in a machine that might copy it all over without your knowledge, and the internet cafe wouldn't have to worry about malware infecting the PCs.

It's really brilliant!
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Deozaan
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« Reply #40 on: September 04, 2010, 08:03:43 PM »

Found out from my boss that you log into the *OS* with your Google account. What's up with that?

Yeah, that probably would have seemed weird to me if I hadn't logged into my phone with my google account in starting in May 2009.

You can run ChromeOS from a usb stick now. Boss tried it this morning and had two total system freezes in 10 mins.

I guess a lot of progress has been made in the time since you posted this, since it seems to run very well (a little slow sometimes, but that might by USB transfer speeds) on my netbook. As I mentioned before, there are quirks, but it's been stable (no crashes/freezes).

The only thing I can't figure out is the proper way to shut it down. If I just press the Power button on my netbook it will shut down, but then when I boot into Chrome OS again it says it didn't shut down properly and I have to click the button to restore my tabs.

I think this is going to end up being like my experience with Chrome (browser). When I first heard about it I downloaded it, played with it for a few minutes, then uninstalled it. I was happy with Firefox and Chrome didn't add anything new. Then several months later I gave it another try and now I hate when I have to open Firefox. I did the same kind of thing with Chromium OS. I looked at videos and thought it was cool, but wondered why anyone would want just the browser on their computer. Now, almost a year later I'm actually trying it out and all sorts of uses for this come to my mind.

It won't replace a traditional OS on my desktop (or netbook), by any means, but I can actually see how it would be very useful to other people or in specific situations, and even useful for myself in some situations.

Oh, and I found out how to download files, but it is a little troublesome on my setup. For some reason the pop-up window asking me to download just displays a blank page. But if you bring up the Downloads tab (Ctrl-J) then it will let you choose Save or whatever is necessary.
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