Chrome OS

Discussion in 'PC Hardware, Software and Displays' started by Arwin, Jul 8, 2009.

?

Hot?

Poll closed Jan 4, 2010.
  1. Yes

    24 vote(s)
    40.7%
  2. No

    35 vote(s)
    59.3%
  1. Blazkowicz

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    does that mean your netbook is a brick without a network connexion?
     
  2. rpg.314

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    I am 100% sure that it will ship with gears (super-gears?) preinstalled. And definitely so for all the google online apps.
     
  3. DudeMiester

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    My understanding is that without a network connection it's functionality is quite limited. You really have to be online all the time to get your money's worth.

    At first I thought this would be good for the developing world, but not with such reliance on an always-on internet connection. For western markets, it's underpowered and lacks the flexibility of a full-featured OS. It's seems little more than a giant smartphone. In practise, I can only see this being used as a sort of "coffee-table" computer. For example, it would be convenient for pulling up cooking recipies in the kitchen, or to put on the wall for basic scheduling/contact information. A fancy information terminal for people with money to spend.

    Of course, if you do have such money to spend, there are probably much better alternatives.
     
  4. rpg.314

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  5. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    From what I understand (I may be wrong on these things tho, I haven't read everything there is to know about it):

    It relies on cloud computing, and stores little to nothing on the computer itself in the way of data or apps. Instead these are downloaded on an as-needed basis when you start them.

    Therefore, if you're not at a location with a (working!) net connection you're SOL. If your ISP goes down, then so do you.

    So you're reliant on Google to make available not just your apps to you, but also your data. And you rely on Google to make your data SAFE as well, and as demonstrated this past summer, cloud computing/storage is not inherently safe; screwups can still happen and then what? How will users be compensated if that happens? My guess: they won't, or at least not in any meaningful way.

    And then there's the privacy concern. What guarantee do we have that other people at Google or their partners can't access our data? None that's really worth a damn, from what I can see!

    It also seems uncertain to me what 3rd-party apps will be available other than those Google makes available to their users. How closed a system will this OS be?

    But wait, there's more! Google is mostly known as a search engine, but their real business is selling ads. Seems to me their primary interest might be in monetizing this new OS, selling ads to be shown to users - possibly based on metadata generated from the users' own data stored on Google's cloud! Privacy concerns rear their ugly heads again... Maybe they won't do this right away, but it will surely be something they'll want to do at some point in the future if this thing somehow catches on.

    ...So no, overall I think this is pretty crap. Perhaps it's decent for PC idiots who are too computer illiterate to handle a real computer, but like they say, design a system idiots can use and only idiots want to use it.

    It takes control away from computer users and gives it to Google. If Microsoft had proposed a similar scheme nobody would trust them (other than MS fanboys, who do in fact exist even though I know it's totally bizarre, lol)... So why should we trust anyone else proposing the same kind of scheme?

    Companies (and authorities) have worked towards removing user control of their own PCs for many years now, with the 'trusted' computing initiative and whatnot. This looks like yet another step in that direction.
     
  6. Blazkowicz

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    how often is your webmail unavailable, and how often does it corrupt your data?
    mine has held every piece of my crap for many years and has been available 24/7.

    The net connection requirement sucks, but I'd say most people would suffer less data loss, nor would they ruin their computer in one way or another.
    Now if you don't want to trust google you probably will be able to use other web apps, even self-hosted on a home or external server if that's you want. It's not like the web browser is hard-coded to http://xxx.google.yy
     
  7. rpg.314

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    My biggest problems are not with the net connection, or google's policies, but with my inability to install a different OS on my own netbook, my inability to install gcc, python, emacs etc. on my own hw. These things rule it out completely for me, unless they can come up with a less draconian os for proper laptops.
     
  8. Grall

    Grall Invisible Member
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    That it may have held your crap for many years doesn't mean it will do so forever. I'm pretty sure most were convinced MS could be trusted to run a cloud datacenter properly, and ruthlessly found out a couple months ago they could not.

    And then it's one thing to hold some webmail crap. Would you really want ALL of your most valuable stuff held by some company where you had ZERO control over it?

    What happens if you're responsible for some important company/financial/whatever data, you store it on Google's cloud, and you die? How will third parties reclaim it if your user name and password or whatever mechanics is used to access it is gone?

    Perhaps. Maybe even probably! That said, when you screw up - either directly or through neglect - and lose data, you can only blame yourself. Who will you blame when Google loses your data? You can be certain it will happen some day, not to you probably, but then to some/many other people. They'll undoubtedly hold themselves indemnifiable in their EULA and whatnot. So there's nobody to blame!

    ...Well, except yourself - again - for being dense enough to put all of your eggs in someone else's basket. ;)

    Most apps don't run through a browser though. If all you can run on the bloody thing is web apps that must be loaded through a browser then you're damn limited in what you can do with your own hardware.
     
  9. rpg.314

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    I think the way it will work is the version in the cloud is the authentic one and you just hold a local cache on your netbook. If the cloud withers away, you can still work off from your local copy, or back it up into more stable formats like office,openoffice, pdf etc.
     
  10. DemoCoder

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    These netbooks are going to be built for tweens and teens who use them to do little more than socialize on the web. They're not for hacking, as a primary development system to run your IDE, or to run Adobe Photoshop CS. As such, they will do great, they are not a desktop replacement or a corporate desktop, anymore than a high end smartphone.

    However, they are essentially Ubuntu Linux underneath, so I wouldn't worry, if you really want one, there will be a shell prompt, perhaps as an easter egg or development mode.
     
  11. rpg.314

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    Let's hope so. Until I can get my dev environment on my machine, I am gonna stick to Fedora/Ubuntu.
     
  12. pcchen

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    However, the Google Chrome OS machine could have very little amount of harddisk space (they already mentioned that only SSD will be used). It could make installing your own Linux distribution not practical.
     
  13. Blazkowicz

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    I thought google was using the linux kernel, but not the usual user code. See Android : that means no X11, no common unix/gnu tools, no bash etc.

    but you CAN get a shell prompt that runs on the cloud, see there :
    http://anyterm.org/demos.html
     
  14. rpg.314

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    I don't think that you will be able to install anything on a machine running chrome OS because of it's security features. :roll:. It is a google sponsored web-console.
     
  15. pcchen

    pcchen Moderator
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    Well, considering it's open source, I don't think they can easily lock the machine out (I mean you can certainly install your own OS over the built-in Chrome OS). But as I said the harddisk space may be limited to be practical for anything else.
     
  16. Blazkowicz

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    it's similar to a thin-client, but operating on a higher network layer.

    a thin client is worthless too. If it's got flash, its software only allows to connect to a windows or unix-like computer, can't allow python or c/c++ hacking on its own. if it hasn't got flash it won't even boot anything without a PXE server. but since you bought or built that thin client, you knew what you were getting!

    on the other hand, a thin client costs $100 (if you aren't just using an old PC), uses a few watts, contains no moving parts, and you can swap it with another or use any one on the network. It allows to better use resources (that quad core or eight core can service many users, spending less time idle), your data is fully backed up and a single admin takes care of the system without having to move his ass. only, you've got to trust that admin.

    almost same deal to me.
    if anything Google OS could be used in place of thin clients ; processor power and memory have got so cheap that you can move back some to the $100, < 10 watts boxes. it's a more complex system, running worse and fewer apps (for now), but would put less stress on the network for a large setting.
     
  17. rpg.314

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    It is not hw alone. It has a verified boot process with custom firmware (not the bog standard BIOS thing), whose opensource credentials are unclear atm, which will likely prevent you from booting from a usb stick.

    http://sites.google.com/a/chromium.org/dev/chromium-os/chromiumos-design-docs/verified-boot
     
  18. Blazkowicz

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    very interesting. to be read carefully, as it's a case of unclear boundary between security and DRM. (once I were wondering : are signed debian/ubuntu packages DRM?)

    if anything, if you read the "Goals of verified boots" and the "Attack cases", it's made to mitigate the security risk of allowing external boot (which may be a tiny usb stick or sd card, or from ethernet).

    so, you can lend your USB-bootable netbook to your mom or girlfriend, without her rooting your filesystem and installing a keylogger. If she does, you get a message on boot in big red letters : "Warning! Your system has been tampered with. Press enter to initiate recovery"

    they specifically say you will be able to bypass it. pretty clever to me
     
  19. rpg.314

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    No. Because you (ie the root) have the option to force-install them. The packages are signed to prevent silent installs of untrusted/hacked/perverted sw. Also, when you compile stuff, you get executables in your home partition which can run perfectly well.

    In chrome os, google knows better than you about what is safe and what is not.
     
  20. Blazkowicz

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    I happen to often use ltsp : a thin-client OS, network booted whose only purpose is to VNC into another machine (usually the same one that hosts it). I know its root password, and thus can login if I ctrl-alt-F1 into a text console. then I can do all I want in that limited environment (i.e., ssh into another machine or rm -rf /) but it's pretty worthless. it resides in a small ramdisk and all "changes" are lost when rebooting.

    that doesn't mean it sucks : it's a fantastic piece of software, allowing to turn a modern PC into a true multi-user machine, using junk hardware. want better? use something else.
    If you feel chrome OS is a limited, single purpose OS, then run android or debian instead.
     
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