Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Free data service through Verizon Wireless

The Cr-48 comes with 100MB of free data service, per month, for two years, from VZW. I activated it today, with no problems. It took about five minutes, during which time I furnished my personal information, including a credit card. I don't really have an objection to the credit card. It establishes my identity with the company, and it provides insurance/assurance to them that I won't run amok.

So, I'm on the subway blogger. Bizarre. Not something I ever really considered, and the sound of it makes me want to punch my hipster alter-ego in the face.
Still, I feel that Google provided me with this great piece of tech and great opportunity, I should keep a log of how it's going and impacting my life (and it is a great piece of tech).

So far, I'm really liking this thing. The Cr-48 is not going to replace my primary computer. Right now, it won't replace my primary laptop. However, I frequently have two laptops in tow, One for work, and another to "work from". That second laptop is currently a mini-netbook. I think as an experiment, for the next couple of months, I'll be leaving that on the shelf.

The Cr-48 always has internet access. I can pull down notes, web pages, technical documents (I haven't tried PDF's yet. The lack of PDF capability is a definite e-reader killer. If your e-reader doesn't have it, I won't buy it), run a couple of programs on it, and use it to check a couple of things.

Speaking of programs: Google! Please figure out how to let us run and code Python programs on these things (The Cr-48 and the Android OS). You'll see more amateurs (like me) flocking to the platform because we can make it do what we want.

The 100MB a month is interesting. It's a very limited connection to the net (you can buy more, but I'm broke as hell). You're not going to be playing any of the latest and greatest video games on this thing, but then again, the Cr-48 isn't capable of playing the latest and greatest video games (In fact, as of this post, the Cr-48 is having trouble playing a couple of the games in their app store).

But like I said, the Cr-48 is not going to replace your primary computer. It's going to be sitting there next to you at home while you're fragging your friends. A quiet little chat window will pop up when your other friends are trying to figure out if you want to come out to dinner with them (or which server you're on, so they can join in). It's going to let you check your email when the round is over. It's going to go with you when you leave the house to jump on the bus to go to work.

Let's see how far I can stretch those 100MB.
I'd like to have a bar on my browser, that shows how far I've used my data allotment, versus the time left in the month. Something tiny and out of the way.

Ok, a couple of dings: I still haven't gotten used to the double-fingered right-click. I'm still working on that.
The screen needs to open just a little bit further. Curled up with this laptop can be difficult in some positions, and this laptop begs to be curled up with. Light, and lap friendly.
In that same vein (this is not a ding, but I direction I want to see this go), I really want to somehow flip the screen around, and have a tablet option with this computer. This thing just screams "usability", and I think that would be an addition I would pay extra for.
The system really bogs down if you have multiple tabs open. For an attention deficit disorder guy, like me, this can be annoying. However, you really don't need to have 15 tabs open. Finish what you started, then go play Steambirds (excellent game).
I'm having trouble with the touchpad at times. I love it, but it seems that the cursor jumps around a bit at times. It seems that this is happening more when I'm tired, which makes me think user error. It also doesn't help that one of my fingers is in a massive metal splint, which probably has a near field effect on the trackpad.
I still haven't figured out what the SD card slot is for. I tried loading music onto it, but nothing.
Oh yeah, music. The currently offered music player, mSpot (I think) needs work. Generating a playlist on it was a pretty painful operation (to the point that I gave up, and pulled out my laptop to play music while I was working). Google, please figure out a way to make this a local app.

Big bonuses, and things I like:
The keyboard is just stellar. Engineers, please take note: This is how to do it

The battery life is incredible. On 3g, it's saying that I have close to eight hours remaining on the charge.

Instant on OS, that seems to remember everything that I was doing.

Easy help feature.

I love the documentation that came with this thing. Two pages. I read them start to finish, back to front, and I'm saving them to show to people.

ok, here's my stop. Gotta go

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