Category Archive: Site

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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Feb 10

Advanced sign-in security for your Google account

(Cross-posted from the Google Blog)

Has anyone you know ever lost control of an email account and inadvertently sent spam—or worse—to their friends and family? There are plenty of examples (like the classic “Mugged in London” scam) that demonstrate why it’s important to take steps to help secure your activities online. Your Gmail account, your photos, your private documents—if you reuse the same password on multiple sites and one of those sites gets hacked, or your password is conned out of you directly through a phishing scam, it can be used to access some of your most closely-held information.

Most of us are used to entrusting our information to a password, but we know that some of you are looking for something stronger. As we announced to our Google Apps customers a few months ago, we’ve developed an advanced opt-in security feature called 2-step verification that makes your Google Account significantly more secure by helping to verify that you’re the real owner of your account. Now it’s time to offer the same advanced protection to all of our users.

2-step verification requires two independent factors for authentication, much like you might see on your banking website: your password, plus a code obtained using your phone. Over the next few days, you’ll see a new link on your Account Settings page that looks like this:

Take your time to carefully set up 2-step verification—we expect it may take up to 15 minutes to enroll. A user-friendly set-up wizard will guide you through the process, including setting up a backup phone and creating backup codes in case you lose access to your primary phone. Once you enable 2-step verification, you’ll see an extra page that prompts you for a code when you sign in to your account. After entering your password, Google will call you with the code, send you an SMS message or give you the choice to generate the code for yourself using a mobile application on your Android, BlackBerry or iPhone device. The choice is up to you. When you enter this code after correctly submitting your password we’ll have a pretty good idea that the person signing in is actually you.

It’s an extra step, but it’s one that significantly improves the security of your Google Account because it requires the powerful combination of both something you know—your username and password—and something that only you should have—your phone. A hacker would need access to both of these factors to gain access to your account. If you like, you can always choose a “Remember verification for this computer for 30 days” option, and you won’t need to re-enter a code for another 30 days. You can also set up one-time application-specific passwords to sign in to your account from non-browser based applications that are designed to only ask for a password, and cannot prompt for the code.

To learn more about 2-step verification and get started, visit our Help Center. And for more about staying safe online, see our ongoing security blog series or visit Be safe!

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Feb 07

Priority Inbox in Gmail for mobile

(Cross-posted from the Mobile blog)

If you’ve ever cursed a phone’s tiny screen as utterly inadequate for sifting through an overflowing inbox you’ll be pleased to hear that the Gmail mobile web app now supports Priority Inbox. Priority Inbox helps combat information overload by automatically identifying your important messages so you can focus on those first. Until today it was only available on the desktop and Android devices.

Now, once you set up Priority Inbox in the desktop version of Gmail, you’ll see Priority Inbox sections when you visit from your phone’s browser and click on the ‘Menu’ screen. You’ll also see importance markers in your inbox, so you can quickly identify which messages are important.

This feature is available for most mobile browsers that support HTML5, such as devices running Android 1.5+ and iOS 3+. If you have suggestions or want to learn more, visit our Help Center and forum.

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Feb 03

Two improvements to contact groups

Organizing your Gmail contacts into groups can save you time when you’re writing messages to multiple people at once. For example, if you create a “Family” group, instead of addressing an email to your mom, dad, sister and brother, you can just start typing “Family” and Gmail will complete the rest. Today we’re making two improvements to contact groups which should make them easier to create and control.

First, let’s say you have a list of coworkers you think you’ll want to contact again in the future. Now, you can paste that list into the Add to group menu when viewing your “Coworkers” group to populate or extend it.

Second, we’ve added the ability to specify which one of your contact’s email addresses you want to use in a given group. So, for example, you can now use your friend’s personal address in your “Poker Buddies” group and that same friend’s work address in your “Coworkers” group.

We’re always listening for feedback about what we can do to make Contacts, and all of Gmail, better, so let us know what you think.

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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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