A Brief History of Chrome OS

The Google Chrome operating system is a key part of Google’s strategy with regard to their Chromebooks. The actual history of the Google Chrome operating system is not that clear. We do know that it was first introduced to the public in 2009, and we know that it is based on the Gentoo Linux operating system. Beyond that, there is a great deal of history that is somewhat vague.

According to Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols, who works for ZDNet, a former Google engineer named Jeff Nelson claimed that he had created a new operating system that was originally named Google OS, and it was released to the public under different product names: Google Chrome OS, the Chromebook, and Chromebox. Nelson points to his patent, which was granted later, for a network-based operating system used across devices.

“Nelson went on to say that his bare-bones Linux distribution which was created in 2006 was initially rejected by Google management,” he said, “because you couldn’t use it on an airplane.” “At the time, its interface was the Firefox web browser rather than the yet to be invented Chrome web browser.”

Obviously, much has changed since this assessment. You can now connect on an airplane using provided Wi-Fi, and in fact, Wi-Fi is becoming ubiquitous in many areas throughout the country, and around the world.

In fact, with a cell phone carrier based connection, whether in the Chromebook itself, or a connection provided by connecting to your smartphone, connecting to Wi-Fi is not as limiting as it used to be.

Stephen J. Vaughan-Nichols says, “That’s not the end of the story though. While Gentoo’s Portage is still used for package management in Chrome OS, sources say that today’s Chrome OS ‘kernel is a regular upstream kernel plus our own changes. We don’t pick up anything from Gentoo in that area.’ So, today’s Chrome OS is based on Google’s own take on the vanilla Linux kernel while Gentoo’s Portage is still used for software package management.”

Stephen J. Vaughn-Nichols goes on to say, “No matter how exactly Chrome OS got its start, today it’s becoming a popular Linux distribution. While it’s most often found pre-installed on Chromebooks, Chrome OS can also be installed on PCs.”

He goes on to say that you should try Chrome OS, installed experimentally at home on a spare PC to see if it would be a useful operating system for you. Or, I might add, on a Chromebook of your own!

The Chromest Netcast #1 – Video – “All the Shiny Chrome!”

The first edition of the Chromest Netcast, why we are here, and where to find us. A review of the Acer C720P Chromebook, Dropbox can be added to your Chromebook’s file system, how to secure your Chromebook when you close it. Stay tuned for more!

The Chromest Netcast #1 on YouTube

Chromest Netcast RSS Video Feed

Chromest Netcast RSS Audio Feed

The Chromest Netcast #1 – Audio – “All the Shiny Chrome!”

The first edition of the Chromest Netcast, why we are here, and where to find us. A review of the Acer C720P Chromebook, Dropbox can be added to your Chromebook’s file system, how to secure your Chromebook when you close it. Stay tuned for more!

The Chromest Netcast #1 on YouTube

Chromest Netcast RSS Video Feed

Chromest Netcast RSS Audio Feed

Secure Your Chromebook!

You may just close your Chromebook when you are using it, and then lay it down. Anyone could come along, pick it up, and resume your session, UNLESS you enable password upon waking! This is a neat way to protect your information and enhance your Chromebook’s security!

To enable Password on Waking, do these steps:

1) Open your Chrome “Settings” option,

2) Go to your “Users” section,

3) Check the option “Require password to wake from sleep.”

Now, your session will be password protected!

If you don’t want to enable this option, you can also simply remember, when you lay your Chromebook aside, to manually lock your Chromebook by clicking on the “padlock” button in the menu area, or hold down the Power Button until the screen flashes and your login screen appears.

Dropbox for ChromeOS?

Would you like to mount your Dropbox in Chrome? Now you can! Simply search for “File System for Dropbox” and install the app! Note that is only works in ChromeOS, and it will only mount your Dropbox in the File System as a link, it does not copy the files to your Chromebook for off line use.

The write-up on Google Play says: “This application provides File System for your Dropbox storage. This software provides you an ability to mount your Dropbox to Chrome OS (unofficial software).

* This works on only ChromeOS.
* It will unmount automatically when the access token is expired to access Dropbox Core API.
* Multiple accounts can be mounted at the same time.”

Acer C720P Review!

The Specs:

  • Size: 11.34” x 8.03” x 0.78”
  • Weight: 3.00 pounds
  • Display: 11.6” widescreen Touchscreen display with Intel HD graphics
  • Resolution: 1366 x 768
  • CPU: Intel Celeron 2955U at. 1.4 GHz
  • Storage: 32GB
  • RAM: 2GB
  • Ports: 1 USB 2.0, 1 USB 3.0, 1 HDMI
  • Battery: 3950 mAh, rated for up to 7.5 hours of battery life
  • WiFi: 802.11 a/b/g/n
  • Bluetooth
  • Built-In HD webcam
  • MSRP: $299.99

So, you have to look at a Chromebook as “not quite a desktop/laptop” on the high end, and “more than a tablet” on the low end. Once you make that mental adjustment, you will be VERY happy with the C720P! It has a touch screen, which, to be fair, is not fully supported yet by ChromeOS, but it works, and is nice to have. Do you NEED it? No. But, it IS nice. And, you will feel more “future-proofed.”

The external design is light, small, and pretty sleek! Mine is gun-metal gray, with the usual Google Chrome color logos. The finish is smooth, obviously plastic, but with a solid feel. The rubber feet make it solid on a table top so it doesn’t “scoot around” on you. The ports that you will see are, on the left side (as you face it) – a small socket for the power cable, an HDMI port, a USB 3.0 port, and a headset port (audio/mic). Then, on the right side (again, as you face it) you will find an SD card slot for expansion of your disk space, a USB 2.0 port, and a Kensington lock port.

Flip it open, and the keys, while “Chiclet-like” are very nice, and have a short, but, overall decent travel, with a nice “click” when you depress them.

Overall, the Chromebook is quite light! In fact, compared to a regular laptop, you will think you are not carrying anything!

The power button is at the upper right corner, as you open the Chromebook. If you simply close it when you finish using it, then open it again later, it will “pop back” to where you were. In fact, that is what I usually do. Battery life is good, not great, but good. I can use is most of a day without needing to recharge, but, it is good to plug it in if you are at your desk.

The display is nice and clear, but glare can be a problem in bright light, simply adjust the screen a bit, and you will be OK.

Performance is nice! I find very little lag, and things pop up very quickly on the screen. In fact, the fact that I don’t notice any lag while using it, is a testament to the speed!

I find that the C720P performs VERY well for my Chromebook needs! My wife has the non-touch Acer C720 and she is very happy with it as well.

Overall, I give the C720P a nine out of ten!

What Are We Here To Do?

Acer C720PI would like to share with you the wonders of the Chrome Operating System! Chromebooks are VERY, VERY powerful! And, they are getting even more powerful all the time! I love my Acer Chromebook C720P.

Why “Chromest?” Well, there is a popular podcast and YouTube site called “Nerdist.” It discusses all things “nerdy.” Think of Chromest as discussing all things “Chromey!” By the way, it is pronounced “Chrome-ess-t” like “Nerd-ist.” See?

So, as a Chromest, I ask you to consider being a Chromest as well.

Join me to learn about Chrome, Chromebooks, and more! I plan to start a “semi-occasional” Chromest video netcast soon, like my other Netcasts: Dr. Bill.TV, VirtZine, and the Hand Held Hack!