Thursday, December 16, 2010

Strapped In for Launch

The box, complete with assembly instructions.
Hamsters Away! In case you've been offline for the last few months or have something better to do than follow Google's every move and breath (I don't), they recently launched the Chrome OS pilot program by mailing out thousands of CR-48 Chrome Notebooks to lucky hamsters such as myself.

When I first applied for the program, it was with the intention of using my CR-48 as a work computer. I'm the Assistant Director at Gaia House Interfaith Center in Carbondale, IL, and since we already use Google for our mail and calendars, I was curious just how far we could push it. Would it be possible to do my job entirely on the web? That temptation alone was enough to get me interested, and it ensured that I would be putting the thing through its paces.

However, I didn't have high hopes for my application to the program, or perhaps just didn't want to raise any. I figured everyone and his brother would apply. So in the meantime I decided to toy with the challenge of entirely web-based computing. I hopped off the fence and made Chrome my default browser, imported some bookmarks, went shopping in the new Web Store for apps, and synced the whole thing to my personal Google account for good measure. I've always loved the speed of Chrome but it was beginning to show itself as useful, indispensable even, to the kind of lifestyle I'm living.

Somewhere along the line I heard that the Chrome Notebooks would be capable of logging in from different accounts. Long after I had renounced the possibility of even getting one, I fantasized about what it would be like to use the notebook not just as a work device, but as my main device. Could I not just work, but also live in the cloud? It's going to take some getting used to, perhaps some sacrifice, and definitely some ingenuity, but I'm going to give it a shot. Or at least I wanted to. And then I checked the mail.

Charging up before waking for the first time.
Before I get into the nitty-gritty I have to mention the great sense of humor with which this project is being manged. You may have already seen the hilarious video where they destroyed 25 notebooks to prove the advantages of cloud computing and just how handy the Chrome Notebook's insanely fast load-times can be. But the laughs keep coming.

When I applied, I got a message saying, "We will let you know as soon as possible if you are chosen for the pilot program." However, I didn't have a clue until I checked the mail and found my new toy, and the Christmas-like effect it had was surely intentional.

Now, this is the first pilot program I've been a part of, and maybe they're all this fun, but something tells me it has more to do with Google's fun approach to business and technology. Not only was the packaging hilarious, but the included literature was all tongue-in-cheek and entertaining enough to hold my attention while I waited for my notebook to charge. Well, at least for a little while.

1 comment:

  1. Haha, what a great surprise :D! This is an absolutely tremendous and hilarious gift, and I hope it brings you great satisfaction. This entry was a riot - you're very well versed for a hamster.