25 April 2012

[liff] I Tried Out A ChromeBook … At The Multnomah County Library

2803This is a thing I just stumbled on. It's a good thing.

For a while I've wanted a crack at a Chromebook. The way things go round me, chances were hard to come by. But I saw this placard in the Midland Branch of the Multnomah County Library that said something about Community Chromebooks.

I was intrigued, and asked about it. Google has apparently provided Chromebooks for checkout to certain branches of the County Library, and I asked one of the librarians about it.

They're spiffy new machines, so there's a fair amount of rules to follow. You can check one out for two hours only, and if you keep them out after two hours, it's a $10 overdue fine per hour. They'll give you a sheet to read and sign; read it carefully. Take good care of that Chromebook while you have it; if you break it, you'll pay to fix it. Resist the urge to go all hacky on it, and keep your latte off to the side.

All I'm sayin' is, be careful. They have to take good care of them, so others can check them out too.

What you'll get for your trouble is a spiffy little Samsung Chromebook, and you can check out for yourself what they do. And for what they're intended, they work pretty well actually.

When I go out or go to the library, I'll want to check in online, see what's going on. As long as you're near a public WiFi network, you get signal, and all the net's bases are belong to you. If you want new apps, you download them from the Chrome Web Store, just like on your Chrome-equipped laptop or desktop. I don't know how much you can get done without net access, but you can apparently do some things; but essentially because the experience is basically a Chrome browser with a really nifty case, and you'll be using the Chromebook in situations where you're connected, this'll probably not be too much of an issue.

The machine boots up quick, just like they say it does, and runs really pretty well for what it does. Sort of the ultimate netbook really.

If you want to try out a Chromebook, your chance may be as close as your nearest Multnomah County Library. Like you needed any more reasons to go to the Library, Portland.

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