Chromebook update: Printing and PDFs

Within 24 hours, I spilled a drink into my Mac’s keyboard and dropped my Windows netbook onto the floor. Until I got a new keyboard or a new netbook, whichever comes first, I was a cloud-computing guy. My netbook screen looks like this:


And, without a keyboard, I couldn’t even log into my Mac. (The keyboard is currently reassembled, after most if its innards spending a night in two bowls and a dinner plate on the radiator.)

So what does the cloud look like when you have no other options? Well, not being able to work on my current project in Garageband was a problem, and no access to Micosoft Word was limiting. Aside from that, here’s an update to how the C-48 is performing:

  • Printing is possible, via a very inelegant solution. You need to hook a Windows PC to the printer you want to use to be able to use it with CloudPrint. Google does not advertise this, probably a good move.
  • Complex PDFs, such as the manuals that come with some keyboards, sometimes are problematic in Chrome.
  • The keyboard on the CR-48 is better than that on my Mac, but I still prefer the Asus Eee keyboard for getting a lot of typing done. (Writing the last Chromebook article, for example, took me about twice as long as it should have.) The Asus keyboards have an odd glitch that turns off access to some of the less-often-used characters; there’s a keyboard shortcut that restores them, but I’m glad to not have that problem anymore.
  • The machine is still as speedy as the day I got it. Sixteen days isn’t really a good test, though.
  • The trackpad still picks up palm “clicks” and taps.
  • Stuff like this program claiming to allow one to install any OS on the CR-48 is intriguing. Luigi clearly isn’t ready for widespread use, but can the days of being able to dual-boot a Chromebook with Windows (or even OSX) all that far away? I’m certainly holding off on replacing the Win7 Netbook for a few weeks.

The CR-48 would be a lot more useful if it printed on its own, and that alone is going to keep Chrome OS in the “curiosity” category.


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