Thursday, November 01, 2012

The Chromebox is Here!


First impression: This machine is sweet.

I've seen various boot times mentioned in reviews -- six seconds, eight seconds ... I didn't count, but I'm relatively certain it was under 10 seconds from pressing the button to the thing being ready to use.

Thanks to Google Sync, all my stuff is up to date (mostly, anyway -- while waiting for the new box, I had been working in Seamonkey instead of Chrome on the Mac, so a stray bookmark/password here and there are probably missing).

It's quiet, it's fast, and there doesn't seem to be a high learning curve here.

I do have some "getting used to" things to ... well, get used to. Mostly re-learning keyboard shortcuts since there's no longer a Mac "command" key. And I don't have the fonts just right for my pranged eyesight yet. That's always an adventure when I change machines.

And I have to start figuring out the cloud way to do the few things that I previously used hard-drive-based apps. I'll be working in Google Docs instead of TextWrangler, using an FTP extension instead of  Cyberduck, and so on, and so forth.

Sweet. Badass. But I've only been using it for maybe an hour, so I can't be sure something weird won't come up.

Brief, mildly disturbing update: When I first turned on the computer, there were two login prompts. One had a name, and the other was "guest." I figured the "name" one was some kind of cheesy sample/tutorial thing, and didn't think any more about it until later when I went into "manage users" and found out that no, that name was a real person, and the "root" user for the machine.

In other words, I was shipped used merchandise. Specifically, "open box" merchandise. With a little Googling, I was able to identify and contact the previous owner, who had returned the box immediately,  because it didn't support a particular dual monitor configuration he uses.

In my case, this happens to be a minor thing. The nature of the Chromebox is that there's not a bunch of stuff on a hard drive that I could use to do bad things if I was a bad guy. And the machine is in perfect condition, so I see no need to return it. But it's bad business to be selling "opened box" merchandise as "new," and it could even be dangerous from an identity theft standpoint.

The seller of the box is ... drum roll, please ... Amazon. I've advised the client who purchased the machine on my behalf to remonstrate with them. He deserves some store credit, and they need to understand that "opened box" computers need to be checked out thoroughly before resale (and not sold as "new").

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