R.I.P. Chrome Laptop

I was thinking about what to write for a blog post — today I’m coming up empty on ideas — when I realized I’d not written about the death of my Google Chrome laptop several weeks ago. The story is somewhat embarrassing:

We were making cookies, which called for finely chopped nuts, the chromebook was closed, on the table where we were preparing the dough, and I placed the New York Times Cookbook flat on top of it.

Rather then chop them up, requiring a food processor (or patience, a sharp knife, and a broom), my preferred procedure to transform nuts into little pieces is to simply put them in a sturdy ziploc bag, burp the air out, and whack the bag against a solid surface… yeah, that.

A few months after dropping my (first) netbook, I broke another laptop screen; and, despite their video showing a Chrome laptop being run over by a steamroller and a new, brightly smiling laptop appearing as if by magic, I’m told I’m unlikely to get another one of these. (Google did generously pay for return shipping.) I’m not lacking for computers, but the chromebook was handy. Once I replaced my netbook (running MS Word, which I need for work), I still used the Google machine for anything where I might make a mess, or didn’t need to type all that much. That basically meant that this laptop with its black, rubberized case with a black keyboard and a black bezel around the screen got used in two places: The kitchen and the shop. And damn it, the trackpad on that CR-48 is a thing of beauty; two-finger scrolling on an Asus feels like a tacked-on feature, clumsy and hard to control.

A white laptop may look pretty, and the keyboard is much easier to read, but this new Asus picks up dirt. I find myself wiping it clean frequently. So, I ended up using the chromebook when preparing food from a recipe, or stripping down a bike to fix or clean it. There are an amazing number of recipe sites on the net, and there are tons of videos on Youtube telling you how to adjust a derailer or align an internal hub. Some of this varied information is quite good.

(Oddly enough, I discovered that we get better wifi reception in the basement — two floors down from the router — than we do in the kitchen, two rooms away.)

It’s becoming apparent that I should perhaps stay away from computers, but that would be difficult in 2011. I’ll have to stick with being careful not to get chocolate chips and pieces of minced garlic on my netbook, and clean my hands of grease and dirt before typing on that white keyboard. I can do that, but I miss that smooth, simple trackpad.

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