So is the Samsung Chromebox really like any other PC? Well, it can be if you fancy running Linux on it. Ubuntu will instal if you set up the Chromebox in developer mode by flicking the switch buried inside the Kensington lock hole. Incidentally, it's marked as the "Newton" switch on the motherboard.
However, this approach isn’t really what the Chromebox is about, although given its six USB ports, you could easily assume it is designed to work with everyday devices. An optical drive – yes, but for home grown data retrieval only. I even plumbed in a LaCie USB floppy drive and that worked – although the same problem of data being moved, rather than copied, occurred here too. Moreover, Samsung’s original Galaxy Tab only showed the internal USB storage, but the 8GB micro SD card – that shows up on a Mac or PC – was ignored.
The list goes on, but can you really blame Samsung for the shortcomings of the Chromebox? Sure it’s a different way of computing, and having a virus-free up-to-date OS has its appeal, but it’s also a rather flaky OS and that’s not really Samsung’s fault at all. If anything, it suggests that offering a terminal-style computer brings with it the temptation to deliver an unfinished product. And rather than this being an app or two that users could decline to instal, it’s the whole kit and caboodle.
Attractive hardware but Chrome OS is a mindset that won't appeal to everyone
So, moan, moan, moan? Well, I guess so but that’s resistance for you. Google Chrome OS takes you out of your comfort zone and the grumbling starts because you have to learn to do things differently. Beyond Google’s own compulsive yearnings to fondle every modicum of data you produce, Chrome OS has integration with other devices for data sharing at its heart, but alas, not by simply plugging them in.
The trouble is, it doesn’t integrate with user expectations particularly well, no matter how many USB ports Samsung can add to its Chromebox. As far as the hardware goes, it works, but to really drive users to consider Chrome OS as an alternative, we need to see some really attractive pricing. After all, regardless of what Google’s OS may offer users, it also demands that they make sacrifices and, given the established alternatives at similar prices, who on earth feels the need to do that? ®
Review: Samsung Chromebox
Was Chrome, as an OS still born?
I'm increasingly not seeing the point Chrome when I can buy a Windows device that does more the money. OTOH, as a desktop/Netbook play, I could see Android (with full Chrome browser experience) succeeding where Chrome is clearly failing.
Good review BTW; it's about time a reviewer took Chrome by the balls.
I am a bit surprised that Pi can't do an IDE. It may be far below modern standards (I assumed it would be on par with a PIII 700 rather than a PII 300 but either way), but it was not so very long ago we were using 300MHz PII with 256Mb RAM as desktop PCs - I worked with Visual C++ 6, Borland JBuilder and MS Office on such PCs as did everyone else, probably only a decade ago. And those PCs had nothing in the way of GPU acceleration at all.
And with Linux being so much faster than Windows (semi serious Linux barb) that should make it usable as a low-power PC. If not why not?
No device that needs 100% Internet, 100% of the time is ever going to work unless you have pre-loaded front end apps that can support Internet outages in the short term.
As a writer I use Google Docs to do a lot of work on the road. When Google is not available all I have on my PC is a 1K shortcut to my doc which does nothing for me.
Put it on the cloud, that is fine, but give me a copy to play with.
Re: I already have a virus-free up-to-date OS
I like Windows 7 as much as the next man but calling it virus free is worse than a Mac fanboi saying his platform is virus free.
Chrome OS has Linux at its core, and I believe the apps run in sandboxed web browser processes. You really shouldn't bother with computers if you think that's the same level of security as Windows 95.
@ Charles Calthorp - Re: when my raspberry pi comes
That Pi fits into that tin as much as this girl fits into these shorts: http://momgrind.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/muffintop.JPG