Yesterday I arrived home to discover an unexpected package. That I had signed-up a week prior to participate in the Chrome OS pilot program hadn’t crossed my mind; I received no indication that I had been selected. In fact, my application had gone completely unacknowledged – not even so much as an automated reply.
The package was unremarkable and the return address did not betray its origin. Curiously, I opened the plain container to reveal… an inner box, this one marked with a familiar diagram I immediately recognized from posts about the beta pilot. Giddy that I had been chosen to join the exclusive1 ranks of CR-48 beta tester, I hastily connected a USB mouse (because I loath touchpads – and this touchpad is the worst I’ve ever used), plugged in the supplied power adapter2 and powered on.
As accurately described by Google, in very short order the notebook sprang to life. I was pleasantly surprised the mouse was immediately functional without prompt or indication that a driver was required. The OS informed me it was installing updates, within two minutes they were complete and I was prompted for my Gmail authentication as entry to my user account.
Upon input of my password, I was surprised by the activation of the built-in webcam, I had a mere second to consider the paparazzi moment when the OS offered to take a snapshot for my profile (displayed on the user selection screen). I refused – bad hair day. I’ve since read there is (currently) no way of modifying the user profile image. Glad I declined to save for posterity a self-incriminating mugshot, I’m also miffed that I’m stuck with the bland default avatar.
As a product development professional specializing in user experience, this lottery event3 has inspired me to expand upon my limited Twitter and LinkedIn link-sharing endeavors starting with updates about my experiences using the CR-48.