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Google Chromium OS version 4.0.253.0, Free, 3GB image.

I took Google's Chromium OS for a spin yesterday for two reasons: One, I thought that it looks interesting and, two, I wanted to see how it runs in real time on my netbook. I've used Google's Chrome browser for sometime now so I thought I'd give their Chrome browser-based OS a go. Here are my first impressions of Chromium and its features.

Hardware: Acer Aspire One netbook with 1GB RAM and using a 4GB USB thumb drive for the OS container.

Boot Time: WOW! It boots so quickly that I had a hard time timing it. Initially, it booted in about two seconds but after setting up wireless networking, it was a few seconds more. Five seconds is as close as I've come to an actual time on boot after setting the . My netbook is one of the nicer ones that really is a mini laptop and not a standard SSD-based (solid state drive) notebook gadget so your actual mileage may vary. Boot time: Impressive.

Look and Feel: Chromium looks like the Chrome browser with two tabs already created for you. A Gmail tab and a Google Calendar tab await you. There's also a Google Chrome button in the upper left corner of your screen, that, when clicked, displays several social networking and productivity tools for you to explore. Response is excellent and there's no clumsiness about the interface. If you know Chrome, you know Chromium.

Network Setup: In the upper right corner of your screen, you have three small buttons: Battery/Power, Network, and Options. Since I am on WiFi, a list of available wireless networks was already in the list for me to choose from. I selected mine, entered the secret code and I was online. No hassles, no rebooting and no messages to say that "You are now online." There is a change in the way the button looks but it might prove too subtle for some to notice. A connectivity status message here would be nice.

Power down: There's no 'Start' button. There's no power off icon, no logout option or anything to tell you how to get out of Chromium. Your system's power button is the only escape method that I've found. Pressing the power button takes Chromium out from under you in less than a second. Did you save your work first?

I like Chromium despite its Spartan looks. I'm wondering, from my little test drive, why one would need 3GB of space for a browser-based system that contains few non-browser features. Since it's free, why not give it a try. You've nothing to lose. I wouldn't give up my current OS just yet but if you're bound to one of those netbooks with a small SSD, Chromium is a great asset. If I had one, I'd convert to it immediately.

My rating for Chromium is 8.5. I think it needs a few more features before I commit to it on a permanent basis but I do like it.

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Last Post by greenknight
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Great review Ken. However, I see it a little different.

I would give it an 8.0 for computer beginners, like the grandmas of the world. It's gets a 2.0 for techies. Why? Two reasons.

  • Needs too many resources for what it delivers.
  • Cannot run executables, not even virtually/sandboxed.
  • Needs the cloud for storage.

Kind of annoying that I can't just run it on any old laptop / netbook. System requirements are too demanding for what it promises and it seems it's needed just to have that 2-4 second boot-up time, which honestly it doesn't mean much to me. There's never a time where I'm in such a hurry that I need my computer that fast, because I'm either doing something else, or I just use my phone.

I some people really care about boot-up time? I'd rather wait 10 more seconds and have the ability to run .EXE files and have it run on old PC's. For a minimalist device, I have my table PC or iPhone already that can do all that stuff, and I don't have to worry about malware on the iPhone. I don't think techies have to worry to much about malware since they're careful about getting them in the first place and have good Anti-viruses.

Lastly, an Internet connection is not ubiquitous yet. I'm on the subway a lot where there's no WIFI and sometimes I travel to places without an Internet connection. I want to be able to at least read my latest documents without connecting to the cloud.

The OS is still in the works, so I suppose maybe they'll address some of these features in the future.

My two cents.

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Oop! @_@ My comment was in regards Chrome OS, not Chromium OS (man, I miss my mod powers). Please school me on the differences if possible. ^_~ Thanks!

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It maybe a co-called tool for IP version6 cross-over.IPv4 is getting filled up with all the use of Cellular phones,and such.I heard by using Google,you will be deploying the Gateway of IPv6.
PS: Hope this is not out of text ,of where it belongs in the Posting List's.

Edited by Inforum: Maybe it don't belong here.

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On the Chrome OS vs Chromium OS question: Chromium is open-source, Chrome will be Google's proprietary OS. Also, Chrome will run only on systems specifically designed for it. They share the same code base, so there's not a lot of difference between them; Chrome will be more polished, could have more features added.

Clever way for Google to get the benefits of open-source, while retaining control of of any code they choose to withhold. Sneaky, you might even say.

Edited by greenknight: clarity

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An OS that does not run .exe?
Surely that is the purpose of an OS.

I need ANY OS that will run my QBAS .exe simulation files (2567 of them)
I have to fight Bill all the way to do this!

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I think this is the most useless OS ever. Half the time around here there is no wifi and even if there is, do you REALLY want to HAVE to have a connection in order to do anything? Can't do very much and is extremely limited though yes you can do everything using the internet, doesn't mean you should.

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Users of simple internet browsers are simpletons with simple, slow minds. Google Chrome, Apple Safari - very crude & simple.

No multiple tabs/ windows. No saving files in one compressed MHT format. No automatic recovery from quick or emergency shut-downs.
ue international standards.

Internet Explorer almost has reach adulthood; defying true standards, and slow, tedious MHT saves.

Firefox, with much insider-only consultancy, MIGHT allow MHT read-write - perhaps.

Only Opera Browser works for genuine Internet users. And on many very different operating systems, in its latest version: Linux of many brand names, M$ of many types, Symbian, etc.

Why producers of other quality software don't follow this effectively "freeware" puzzles me. OK - they have it working in X86 machine code.

Commercial software developers tell me that they prototype in (slow operating alphaware) in non-x86 code eg Java, C, C++. Why can't Adobe, Dragon Naturally Speaking, Servant Salamander, Omnipage, Encyclopedia Britannica ... do this too?

Probably because there is no such thing as an internationally accepted Linux standard. Linux is an unformed, confused, distressed alphaware operating system IMHO.

As I write this, I'm forced to use Opera (10.10 - 4742) on OpenSuse 11.2, because my Vista forced onto my HP Pavilion, has crashed, as usual (every month!).

I know that there are many children crazy about their favorite toy. But I'm only talking about serious users of the Internet & computers, not boy's toys for toy boys.

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You want to save Web pages as MHTML files? Firefox has 2 extensions to choose from, UnMHT and Mozilla Archive Format . Either will do that (though only partially compatible with IE MHTML), MAF can also save in Mozilla's own MAFF format, which is actually better. From the MAF homepage:

MAFF files are not proprietary, and once saved with Firefox they can be opened on any modern computer system, using your favorite ZIP extraction utility. Moreover, since you can batch-convert MAFF files to other formats at any time, should you ever need it, there is really no risk of vendor lock-in.

You don't need "insider-only consultancy", a simple search could have told you this.

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