Google Cr-48

In my previous post titled “Google Chromebook has Arrived” I described the Google Chromebook which should debut to the public on June 15, 2011.

I’ve heard stories from a select few that Google shipped out a prototype pilot program for the Google Chromebook named Cr-48 as far back as December 2010. I wasn’t holding my breath to be selected for the pilot program but I can’t say I hadn’t secretly hoped that I would have a magical box appear at my doorstep.

Well, it took a little over 5 months but my “magical” box arrived! The saying goes “Better late than never” and I can’t agree more!

The Google Cr-48 prototype is very impressive (especially given that it’s not a final release product).

The first thing that I noticed is the entire body is made of a rubber-like matte black plastic of some sort. It feels solid and smooth. The screen hinges back and is held with a magnetic latch which is very Mac-esque. The Cr-48 is less than 1″ in thickness and is 3.6 pounds with a 12.1″ 1280×800 matte screen. There’s a VGA video out, a single USB port, a 3.5mm headphone jack, and an SD card slot.

I love the keyboard layout. Gone with the CAPS lock and in its place is a button which opens up a new tab and shows you your installed apps. All of the function keys above the numbers row have been replaced with usable buttons like Back, Forward, Reload, Full Screen, Switch Window, Brightness Up and Down, Mute, and Volume Up and Down.

I pressed the power button and a Google Chrome logo appears. Sooo nice! A few seconds later up comes the simplistic, yet artistic, introduction to the Google Chrome OS. After going through the very informative and helpful hints, I am prompted with a Google Account login prompt. I enter my google account and BAMN I’m in the OS and all of my bookmarks appear (because I sync my bookmarks using Google Chrome).

As I had mentioned in my previous post, the Google Chrome OS is basically the Google Chrome web browser with added items to give you the rest of your OS features (ie. clock, battery strength indicator, Wi-Fi network items, etc.).

One big surprise was that the Cr-48 pilot program users are given 100MB of data usage using the Verizon Wireless 3G network for two years! I attempted to sign up for my account but encountered an error and it stated to retry again later. Hopefully this pans out and I can get it setup for further testing!

The second big surprise was that there is a file system with local storage. You can download files and it is stored locally for use in a different app.

The performance of the Cr-48 is not stellar and I noticed some sluggishness while opening up my Google Apps email as well as any websites that require more processing power.

All-in-all I am VERY excited to have been chosen as a part of the Cr-48 pilot program. Google, I thank you!


Sam’s Chowder House, Half Moon Bay

What happened to the warm and sunny days?

Despite the cool and cloudy weather, Noah J. and I decided to take a ride. Instead of the foothills, we ended up deciding to head out to Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay.

We took Palomares Road from Castro Valley and headed over to Highway 84 through Niles Canyon and over the Dumbarton Bridge and into Woodside.

I miss Woodside and the Peninsula. The sites of the dense woods and trees, and the smell, surpassed the slightly overcast and cool weather. Going through the Woodside Hills today was a blast from the past.

The ride up and over the Santa Cruz Mountains is a pleasant ride, passing through La Honda, and ending up in San Gregorio at Highway 1. We made it over to Sam’s Chowder House in Half Moon Bay for lunch.

Noah and I were running a bit behind schedule so we decided to take the direct route back. All in all today was a great ride.

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Electric Motorcycles

CHARGE Movie Trailer

zero emissions/maximum speed

CHARGE is a new movie from the Director of FASTER. CHARGE is a movie about a dream…to build the world’s faster motorcycle and take it to The Isle of Man, the toughest, most unforgiving racetrack in the world. For over 100 years, these hills and valleys of the Isle of Man have echoed to the howls of motorcycle pushed to the limit in search for speed and glory.

On June 12, 2009 petrol engines fell silent but the racing continued… on electric bikes. This marks the day of the world’s 1st ever zero emissions Grand Prix. Was this a moment of history? Or a moment of blasphemy? Some call it “battery powered scrap.”

Like it or now this is happening. Clean, quite motorcycle racing in pursuit to build the world’s fastest electric motorcycle.

In some ways it’s a new dream. The dream of high tech solutions to global energy problems…the dream of a green clean world.

In other ways, it’s a very old dream. One that we all know. The dream of winning.


Ride from the Bay Area to King City to Carmel to Santa Cruz and back

A buddy of mine Frank M. introduced me to a co-worker of his Ouchien S. who rides a CBR600RR. Ouchien is apparently heading out on an incredible ride that sounds really amazing. They are starting from San Jose and heading out through Hollister and down to King City. I’ve never been on the road from Hollister to King City but it looks like it has some good elevation change and a fair amount of twisties as well.

I lived down in San Luis Obispo for close to 11 years and have been through King City countless times. To be fair, it has ALWAYS been through 101 with an occasional stop at a gas station or one of the horrid fast food joints. Someone once asked me if I had ridden on a ride through King City and was told that the ride was a lot of fun. Unfortunately, I was never able to get out there for that ride while living down in San Luis but it’s definitely on my “to do” list.

From there the plan is to ride out to Carmel (one of my favorite destinations) and over to Santa Cruz. Having lived in San Luis Obispo for as long as I did, a lot of rides end up heading up Highway 1 with a destination of Carmel. Not to get too off topic but my buddy Bill G. with his CBR600RR would ride up Highway 1 many-a-times and this ride being planned sparks many fond memories.

The ride to Santa Cruz is fine, nothing great to speak of (once you’ve done it at least once to soak in the views) but the ride up Highway 9 through Ben Lomond and through Big Basin Redwoods State Park is quite a site. I never knew that tucked away in the Santa Cruz mountains would be a mammoth redwood forest. It truly is a beautiful area that I could truly say is worth the time to get out there.

Ouchien, I hope you are buddies have a great ride and I’m sorry I missed this one!

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Drive to Mt. Hamilton

Last weekend Mackenzie and my good friends James and Christine D. decided on getting away and have a little fun with their new M3 convertible. I figured what better way than to get out on the open road with a little site seeing on the way.

We headed out from Dublin on a beautiful weekend morning with the temperature steadily rising to a nice 70 degrees in the 680 corridor. James and Christine had the top down and looked like they were thoroughly enjoying their new toy. We made our way down to San Jose near Alum Rock before we proceeded on our way up the hill towards Mt. Hamilton.

The roads were nice, although a little bumpy at times. It’s funny. I was on that road two weekends ago on the bike and although there were some bumps, you definitely get a greater sense of the road conditions in a 4 wheeled vehicle.

That being said, we kept a comfortable pace and made our way to Lick Observatory at Mt. Hamilton. Once we made it there we parked and got out to stretch and took in all the sites.

It was a quick stop and we were off. After all we had a stop to make for lunch and a cold brew at The Junction.

As we pulled up to The Junction, Mackenzie and I made a comment about how good a cold Sierra Nevada sounded. We made our way in and were crushed to hear that the Sierra Nevada keg was delivered that morning but was dropped and so it was pouring only foam. We settled and had some Negra Modelo instead. Although not our ideal choice, it did, however, suffice and quench our thirst.

The ride from The Junction back to the 580 was a blast and a great way to finish off our drive.

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