Enabling USB on the Chrome Notebook CR-48

After reading this review, I found myself agreeing...
 ...the Chromebook is basically a handicapped netbook that costs the same or more than some other netbooks that have much greater capabilities. (Source: Chromebooks are Doomed to Fail)
Still, since I have one in my possession, I realized that I'm probably NOT using it to its full potential, even though I carry it around everywhere...work, home, it's with me. And, I use it for cloud computing within the limits. But am I pushing the limits?

USB DRIVE ACCESS
I couldn't access any USB devices I plugged into it. Maybe the problem wasn't that it couldn't be done, but that I hadn't bothered to find out how? Getting USB to work is important...If I wanted to open a file--like a PDF--I couldn't do it unless I emailed the file to myself or accessed it via GoogleDocs. What if I wanted to upload photos from my phone? Although I read about some features in a Google Group dedicated to the ChromeOS notebook, this blog post was especially helpful. To get this stuff to work, type the items in bold into your Chrome "omnibar" where you'd type your URL/web address.
  • Experimental Features/Flash Drives: chrome://flags
  • Nicer View of Memory Usage: about:memory
  • Hilarious Pranks: about:crash
  • Wi-Fi Troubleshooting: about:network
  • Manage Extensions and Apps: chrome://extensions

You can enable more features, including Advanced File System...that lets you access USB devices. Here's what it looks like....



SAVING TO CLOUD
Another question I had was how could I save stuff directly to the cloud? Although I looked around, one of the recommended items was CloudSave, a webapp:
As you can see from the screenshot above, there are lots of places it says it can save to. To get to it, right-click on something and choose CLOUDSAVE-->SAVE AS and then select what you want (e.g. Dropbox). It's a neat app to have on Chrome...kinda neat if someone emails you a picture, you can view it on screen and then save it to Dropbox...here's what the experience was like for me:


This is a picture I'm uploading...then, I'm prompted to allow Drop2App access...


and then, the following appears:
Sure enough, the file uploaded. CloudSave works!

OFFLINE APPS
Although I enjoy ubiquitous internet access wherever I am--thanks to Clear and work/home wireless environments--I started wondering, what GoogleApps would work without internet connectivity? Could I still write somewhere and save that? The answer is YES.
Some webapps that work even when you're NOT online:
  • GoogleCalendarsWith offline access, you can view a read-only version of your calendar no matter where you are.
  • iScribeTools - HTML editor and whiteboard you can draw on (very simple). Self-contained and offline.
  • QuickNote - This Diigo-created app is a nice tool, too. There are also plans to..."...integrate the app with some additional cloud-based services such as Dropbox, box.net, Google docs, Evernote, so you can have access wherever."
  • WriteSpace - The application is completely self-contained, which means that it will continue to function even if you don't have an internet connection.
You can find other webapps--and extensions--that are offline. Another interesting app I need to play with more include Tonido:
Tonido Chrome Plugin allows you to easily add bookmarks and copy clipped text from web pages to Tonido Thots. Tonido applications are served right from your own desktop by the built-in webserver and allows easy access from any device with a web browser.
What apps are you using on Chrome?



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Everything posted on Miguel Guhlin's blogs/wikis are his personal opinion and do not necessarily represent the views of his employer(s) or its clients. Read Full Disclosure

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