Category Archive: Google Chrome Tips

Mar 10

CR-48 and eyeOS – a match made in Heaven?

eyeOSMany years ago, I played around with an “online desktop” site called eyeOS. After playing around with the CR-48, it got me thinking that a virtual, online desktop just might be useful on the CR-48.

Remember, the CR-48 is a completely Web-centric device. It is truly a “cloud computer” because almost anything you do with it requires an Internet connection. When it boots, it boots directly into the Chrome browser fullscreen. In fact, there is no “desktop” as found on other OS’s because everything is done within the browser. Settings screens are displayed in the browser. System logs display in the browser. Everything.

I logged into eyeOS and it turns out that it works like a charm on my CR-48!

I installed eyeOS on one of my domains so now I have personal access to an online desktop, accessible from pretty much anywhere, including my CR-48.

Yes, I still have to be connected to the Internet (which is what the CR-48 is all about) but now, I have a relatively seamless desktop environment that I can enhance my productivity. Very nice!

eyeOS can be found at

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Feb 17

CR-48 Important Security Tip

I love the CR-48′s fast bootup, and I absolutely love its instant-on feature: Leave it powered on, close the lid, and when you re-open it, it’s instantly on where you left off. This standby mode is easy on batteries, and it is extremely useful to me.


I just realized that anyone who gets a hold of my CR-48 will have complete and full access to whatever is open, and worse, they will have complete access to all of my Google applications because I’m already logged in. At home, this is not a problem because I trust my wife implicitly and I can control access when people are visiting. But when my CR-48 leaves my house, it’s a very different story. This is a HUGE security issue for me, but there is a simple solution:

Click the Wrench icon at the top right of your screen and click “Settings”. In the “Personal stuff” tab, check the “Require password to wake from sleep” checkbox. Now, when you open the lid from sleep mode, you will be prompted for your password. You can have the peace of mind that your CR-48′s data, and more importantly, your Google Account data will be more secure.

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Jan 31

CR-48 Verizon 3G Info and Tips

I was searching for some specific information about how the Verizon 3G data plan works for the CR-48. I found very helpful information at Google’s Chrome OS support pages. By all means, go through those help pages. There is much useful information to be found there.

Here are some tips and general information that I found in various places throughout those pages that are specific to CR-48 3G usage:

1. How much data do I have left?

“Click the Network icon in the top-right corner of your screen. When 3G is enabled, the amount of data remaining should be listed under “Verizon Wireless” in the menu that appears.”

2. The CR-48 will favor Wi-Fi over 3g

“Chrome OS transmits data over the Verizon Wireless Network only when no other networks are available. So if you’re connected to both Verizon and another Wi-Fi network, the Wi-Fi network will be used to transmit data.” This is great for keeping 3G usage down. So wherever you are, leverage Wi-Fi access, leaving 3G for those times when Wi-Fi is not available.

3. You can’t “go over” data usage

“If you’re out of data, you’ll see the 3G gray warning icon in the top-right corner of the screen. You can choose to receive notifications whenever you’re about to run out of data.” So basically, when you run out of data, your only option is to buy more. There is no fear of “going over” on data and you will not be charged for additional usage unless you specifically purchase it.

4. Notification triggers

“If notifications are enabled, you’ll see notifications for the following situations:

  • You have less than 30 minutes before your data expires.
  • You have less than 50 MB of data left.
  • You’re out of data.”

5. Activation issues

“To resolve the problem, call Verizon at 1-800-786-8419 (when you hear the menu options, press # on your phone and select option 2 for prepaid support). Make sure to let the agent know that you’re using a Chrome notebook and that you need to manually set your modem to override failed activation attempts.

When prompted by the Verizon technician, find the modem number for your Chrome notebook:

  1. Press Ctrl+Alt+T on your Chrome notebook to open a terminal window.
  2. Type the following command and press Enter: crosh
  3. Type the following command and press Enter: modem status

Once the technician knows the modem number, he or she can help you reset your modem and walk you through the remaining steps to fix the problem.”

I hope this is helpful!

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Jan 31

CR-48 Verizon 3G Data Plans

In addition to Wi-Fi access, the CR-48 has 3G access capability through Verizon. Once activated, you get 100MB of free data per month for two years. You can also optionally purchase several plans:

$9.99 day pass with unlimited data
$19.99 1 GB (valid for 30 days)
$34.99 3 GB (valid for 30 days)
$49.99 5 GB (valid for 30 days)

The day pass provides unlimited access, and the session lasts for 24 hours. It is probably most useful for those rare times when you have no Wi-Fi access but require Internet connectivity.

The other plans provide the specified amount of data and the session lasts for 30 days from activation.

The other plans give you the flexibility to choose how much data you want.

So how much data do I need?

The size of plan you purchase really depends upon your data usage. Based upon Verizon’s Data Calculator, here are some examples of the kind of tasks you do on your CR-48, and the usage you could expect based upon the plan purchased:

Task Data used 100MB 1GB 3GB 5GB
Email (text only) 0.01MB each 10,000 100,000 300,000 500,000
Typical Web page Lookup 1.5MB each 67 667 2,000 3,333
Audio Streaming 34MB per hour 3 29 88 147
Lo-res Video Streaming 46mB per hour 2 22 65 109
Hi-res Video Streaming 356MB per hour 0.3 3 8 14
Digital photo upload/download 1MB each 100 1,000 3,000 5,000

Note that these are estimates only, and your usage or experience could and probably will vary greatly. Further note that tasks such as rich email with pictures and attachments will take up significantly more bandwidth than plain text email.

One benefit of these plans is that they are “no contract” services, so you only pay month-to-month for what you want to use. So if you want to pay for 1GB this month and then not pay for anything next month, you can do so. In addition, there is no Early Termination Fee.

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Jan 31

CR-48 Keyboard Shortcuts

The trackpad on the CR-48 is quite useful with its (somewhat limited and quirky) multitouch capabilities, and a USB mouse can be a God-send for long sessions, but there are many keyboard shortcuts that can simplify or speed up your interaction with Chrome OS. Here is a pretty much exhaustive keyboard shortcut list:

Tab and window navigation
Ctrl+N Open a new window
Ctrl+Shift+N Open a new window in incognito mode
Ctrl+T Open a new tab
Ctrl+O Open a file in the browser
Ctrl+Shift+Q Sign out of your Google Account on Chrome OS
Ctrl+W Close the current tab
Ctrl+Shift+W Close the current window
Ctrl+Shift+T Reopen the last tab you’ve closed. Google Chrome remembers the last 10 tabs you’ve closed.
Ctrl+1 through Ctrl+8 Go to the tab at the specified position in the window
Ctrl+9 Go to the last tab in the window
Alt+1 through Alt+9 Go to the window at the specified position
Alt+9 Go to the last window open
Ctrl+Tab Go to the next tab in the window
Ctrl+Shift+Tab Go to the previous tab in the window
Alt+Tab Go to the next window you have open
Alt+Shift+Tab Go to the previous window you have open
Click and hold the Back or Forward arrow in the browser toolbar See your browsing history for the tab
Backspace, or press Alt and the left arrow Go to previous page in your browsing history.
Shift+Backspace, or press Alt and the right arrow Go to the next page in your browsing history.
Press Ctrl and click a link Open the link in a new tab in the background
Press Ctrl+Shift and click a link Open the link in a new tab and switch to the newly opened tab
Press Shift and click a link Open the link in a new window
Drag a link to a tab Open the link in the tab
Drag a link to a blank area on the tab strip Open the link in a new tab
Type a URL in the address bar, then press Alt+Enter Open the URL in a new tab
Press Esc while dragging a tab Return the tab to its original position
Ctrl+H Open the History page
Ctrl+J Open the Downloads page
Shift+Esc Open the Task Manager
Ctrl+Alt+/ Toggle the display of the keyboard viewer
Ctrl+? Go to the Help Center
Browser interface navigation
Ctrl+Shift+B Toggle the display of the bookmarks bar. Bookmarks appear on the New Tab page if the bar is hidden.
Shift+Alt+S Place focus on the status area in the top-right corner of the screen. Use the actions listed for Shift+Alt+T to move the focus.
Shift+Alt+T Place focus on the browser toolbar
Press Tab or the right arrow to focus on the next item in the toolbar
Press Shift+Tab or the left arrow to focus on the previous item in the toolbar
Press Ctrl+Alt and the up arrow to focus on the first item in the toolbar
Press Ctrl+Alt and the down arrow to focus on the last item in the toolbar
Press Space or Enter to activate buttons, including page actions and browser actions
Press Esc to return focus to the page
Alt+Shift+B Place focus on the bookmarks bar. Use the actions listed for Shift+Alt+T to move the focus.
Alt+E or Alt+F Open the wrench menu on the browser toolbar
Text editing shortcuts
Ctrl+A Select everything on the page
Ctrl+L or Alt+D Select the content in the address bar
Press Ctrl+Shift and right arrow Select next word or letter
Press Ctrl+Shift and left arrow Select previous word or letter
Press Ctrl and right arrow Move to the start of the next word
Press Ctrl and left arrow Move to the start of the previous word
Press Alt and up arrow Page up
Press Alt and down arrow Page down
Press Ctrl+Alt and up arrow Home
Press Ctrl+Alt and down arrow End
Ctrl+C Copy selected content to the clipboard
Ctrl+V Paste content from the clipboard
Ctrl+Shift+V Paste content from the clipboard as plain text
Ctrl+X Cut
Ctrl+Backspace Delete the previous word
Alt+Backspace Delete the next letter (forward delete)
Ctrl+Z Undo your last action

(Note: This list comes from Google’s Chrome OS help pages. I highly recommend you browse around there as it has a wealth of useful information.)

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Jan 31

CR-48 Channels vs Modes

One point that may not be obvious to both new and seasoned CR-48 users is the distinction between “Channels” and “Modes”. You may hear of people running in Developer mode, or you may hear of OS upgrades coming over the Beta or Developer channels. What are the differences, and why should I care as a user? Here is a brief description of the differences between modes and channels, and the distinctions of each.

Channels determine what version of the OS is loaded onto your CR-48. There are currently two OS channels: Beta and Developer. The Beta channel makes available the latest Chrome OS release intended for normal users. This channel provides a more stable and reliable OS version. The Developer channel makes available the latest developer build of the Chrome OS. It is intended for developers and more advanced users to get a glimpse of what is coming next for the beta users. It is more of a test platform. While features and functions may be added, releases coming from the Developer channel are typically considered less stable than those coming over the Beta channel.

Users who are not computer-savvy or don’t want to hassle with possible instability of new or untested features may want to stick with releases from the Beta channel.

The “mode” is the manner in which the CR-48 operates. There are three specific modes that the CR-48 can operate: Normal, Developer, and Recovery.

The Normal mode is the stock user mode that boots Chrome OS and permits the user to interact through the Web browser.
It enables “verified boot” meaning that only OS images signed by Google will be bootable. In the terminal screen, user interaction is limited to a small set of diagnostic-related commands.

Developer mode is an operating mode similar to Normal mode, however “verified boot” is disabled meaning that the system, can boot OS images that are not signed by Google. This gives the ability to load other OS’s or modifications of the Chrome OS as they see fit. Further, terminal mode adds an additional “shell” commend providing full shell access to the underlying OS.

The third mode is “Recovery” mode designed to get you back to a factory state. It will not boot the installed OS, it prompts you to insert a USB drive containing a valid boot image, and it will only boot an image signed by Google.

So when someone refers to a “Developer channel” release of the OS, they may or not be referring to running in “Developer mode”.

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Jan 31

Updates to Google Chrome Tips!

Initially, I set up to be a repository of general tips and tricks for Google’s Chrome Web browser application. Recently, however, Google has released working versions of its new Chrome OS, and operating system designed to be centered around the Chrome Browser, providing a complete “Cloud Computing” experience. Currently, the Chrome OS has been loaded on the CR-48 notebook computer that Google has been giving out through its pilot program. The current tips that I will be adding will be more focused on the operation, use, and understanding of the Chrome OS as found on the CR-48 notebook.

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Sep 14

Google Chrome Tip #6: Where’s the Status bar?

Google has really gone to great lengths to try to increase the viewing space in its Google Chrome browser such as moving the tabs into the window’s Title bar, etc. One thing that appears to be missing, though, is the Status bar at the bottom. So how do you see what URL you are hovering over? How do you know what URL is loading? The status bar is there on the lower right of the page, however it’s just not always there. Hover over any link, or load a page, and you will see the Status bar slid in.

Status bar

When you move off of a link or when the page finished loading, the Status bar slides away when not needed. Slick!

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Sep 12

Google Chrome Tip #5: How to see Browsing History

Browser HistoryUnlike in Firefox and Internet Explorer, Google Chrome has no dropdown integrated in the back and forward buttons, so how do you view your recent browsing history? Simple! Just click and hold either button, and if there is history, a dropdown menu will appear. You can alternately right-click on either arrow with the same effect.

To view your full browsing history, select the “Show full history” selection from the same menu, select “History” from the “Customize and control Google Chrome” button (the “wrench” icon), or simply press and a full browsing history page will open in a new tab.

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Sep 10

Google Chrome Tip #4: about:stuff

aboutEnter about:memory into the Omni bar (the address bar) and Google Chrome will display a nice summary of your memory useage and all Google Chrome-related processes. As a bonus, the summary section also displays the memory usage information for all other open browsers giving you a nice comparison!

Here is a list of other “about:” commands that provide interesting information and do some interesting things:


Most of these can also be easily bookmarked by clicking the Star in the Omni bar.

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