Sunday, February 27, 2011

Panelize

Panels are awesome. When opened they’re always-on-top across the bottom of the screen. They’re capable of being resized, or quickly popped down out of view. By default, the download manager, google talk and the media player display in panels, but for some reason, there's no way to load websites in panels, until now. 

With Panelize you can put anything into a standalone panel that stays visible when switching to other tabs or windows. Now you can  look up information while composing an email or document, or update Facebook or Twitter while you’re watching a YouTube video.

Download Panelize

To open your current page in a panel, just click the Panelize button and then click Reopen current tab as a panel, but be prepared to do a lot of scrolling, unless it's a mobile version of a website.

This extension supports customizable bookmarks. Add your own links to "Other Bookmarks/Panels" and they'll show up in the popup menu. On first use, you can optionally pre-populate this list with some links to panel-friendly versions of Google web apps.

The mobile versions of websites and applications work best.

Here’s a list of some mobile versions of websites you might want as panels:
Google - http://www.google.com/m
Gmail - https://mail.google.com/mail/x/gdlakb-/gp/
Google Images - http://images.google.com/m
PicasaWeb - https://picasaweb.google.com/m
Facebook - http://m.facebook.com/
Twitter - http://mobile.twitter.com/
wikipedia - http://mobile.wikipedia.org/
A google search can lead you to more mobile websites.

Discovering this extension completely changed the way I use Chrome OS. It’s a definite must have for your cr48.

App Alternatives for Moving to the Cloud



Now that you’ve got a cr48, it’s time to leave your old computer behind and start living in the cloud. Here’s a list of apps that have helped me cross over to Chrome OS more smoothly.

Google Docs for word processing
Scratchpad and Halfnote for note taking
Pixlr Editor as a Photoshop replacement
Picasa and Min.us for storing photos
Picnik Photo Editor and Pixlr Express for simple photo editing
Sketchpad and Kleki for painting and drawing
Audio Editor by Aviary for audio editing and Audiotool for music creation
YouTube Editor for video editing
5calc for a calculator
Chrome Notes or Sticky Notes  for a stickies program
RawScripts for Final Draft
Bitdrive for cloud storage of small files

Please comment and tell us what apps you use in place of old non-cloud PC programs.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Transfer files to the cr48 using uTorrent

Are you sick of waiting for USB flash drive and SD card support?

Do you wish you could easily transfer files to your cr48 from your Windows computer?

With uTorrent you can.


First you must download a special Alpha version of the uTorrent 3.0 client and sign up for an account within the client. You'll need a Windows computer to run the client.
Go to http://www.utorrent.com/labs/get-falcon and download uTorrent onto your Windows PC.

Install the client and run it.

Click the uTorrent Web Access Preferences button in the ĀµTorrent toolbar.
Check "Enable uTorrent Web Access". Choose a username and password and enter it here.
Click the "Apply" button. After a few seconds, you should see "Status: Accessible".

Close the preferences.
Congratulations! You can now access your client from anywhere at https://web.utorrent.com or https://falcon.utorrent.com/

Now in utorrent create a new torrent by clicking this toolbar button.
Or by going to file and selecting create a new torrent.

Select the directory you want to access or an individual file. 
Make sure to select start seeding and preserve file order at the bottom. 
Click create and save as. Name your torrent and save it somewhere you can find it.
Then just pause or stop the torrents you just created by selecting one and pressing one of these buttons in the toolbar.

Now on the cr48 download the utorrent app from Chrome Underground.

Sign into the utorrent web app with the info you created on the host computer. Once logged in you should see the torrent files you created. 

Now click on the files tab in the lower half of the window. 

You can download the individual files by clicking the dark green download button under actions. 
Or, right click the button and save link as, then pick the folder you want to download the file to.

You can also double click the file name to open a file. Please note Chrome OS can only open certain files, other files will just automatically download when double clicked. So if you have a directory of mp3s, you can just double click one to open it and listen to it or, if it’s a bunch of pictures, double clicking one will open it in a new tab.

When you're done with a torrent just select it and remove it by clicking the big red X in the toolbar.
Or, leave them up so you can access your files anytime.

P.S. You must keep utorrent running on your host computer at all times to access it from the web app.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Google Cloud Print

The Google Cloud Print service lets you print from any device, such as your Chrome notebook or mobile phone, without the need to install print drivers or plug in any cables. Instead of physically connecting your printer to your Chrome notebook, you connect it to the Google Cloud Print service. Then you can print to it from any app, on any device, and from any location.

What you'll need:

In order to print using the Google Cloud Print service, first connect your printer to the service, by enabling the Google Cloud Print connector in Google Chrome.
  1. Log in to your user account on the Windows computer.
  2. Open Google Chrome.
  3. Click the wrench icon in the browser toolbar.
  4. Select Options.
  5. Click the Under the Hood tab.
  6. Scroll down to the “Google Cloud Print” section. Click Sign in to Google Cloud Print.
  7. In the dialog that appears, sign in with your Google Account to enable Google Cloud Print.
  8. A message appears confirming that Google Cloud Print has been enabled. Click OK.
The printer is now associated with your Google Account and connected to Google Cloud Print. You can print to this printer whenever you’re signed in with the same account on your Chrome notebook. You can connect up to three printers to Google Cloud Print using the same Google Account.

In order for other users of your Chrome notebook to print to the same printer, they’ll need to associate the printer to their Google Accounts, using their own Windows user accounts. Google is working on ways to let you easily share access to your printer with other users.

If you've already connected your printer to Google Cloud Print, follow these steps to print from your Chrome notebook:
  1. Make sure you’re signed in to the Google Account that’s associated with the printer.
  2. Click Ctrl+P to print your webpage or click the wrench icon and select print.
  3. A dialog appears, containing a list of printers that you’ve connected to Google Cloud Print. Select the printer that you want to use. To adjust page and printer settings, click Options.
  4. Click Print.
If the printer can’t be reached (e.g. the Windows computer or the printer is turned off), your print job will be saved in Google Cloud Print. You can see a list of your jobs at https://www.google.com/cloudprint/manage.html. Once Google Cloud Print is able to reach your printer, your request will automatically print.

To close the printer dialog without printing, press Esc.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

How To Switch To The Development Channel

WARNING! The Development Channel is where ideas get tested, but can be very unstable at times. Please proceed with caution.

By default, your Chrome notebook uses the beta version of Chrome OS.

The version in the development channel houses features that are still being built. You're welcome to try it out, but be aware that things may not always work as expected.

To switch to the Development Channel click the wrench icon.
Select About Chrome OS. 
Then, click More Info in the first section on the Chrome OS page that appears.


Then, on the next page, click the channel box that says Beta and select Development.
The next time the system updates, you'll be switched to the development channel. Or you can force an update by clicking the Check For Update button at the bottom of the page. It will then download the latest development build of Chrome OS. You'll have to click restart when it says you must restart for changes to take effect.

P.S. To go back to the Beta Channel just change it back to Beta. It won't immediately change though. You won't be switched to the beta channel until the beta channel updates to a version that is newer than the version you're currently on.

cr48 Channels and Modes

One thing that might not be obvious to cr48 users is the distiction between Channels and Modes. You may hear of OS upgrades coming over the Beta or Development channels, or you might hear of people running in Developer mode. What’s the difference?

Channels

Channels determine what version of the OS is loaded onto your cr48. There are currently two channels: Beta and Development. 

The Beta channel is the latest Chrome OS release intended for normal users. This channel provides a more stable and reliable OS. 

The Development channel gives you the latest developer build of Chrome OS. It’s intended for developers and more advanced users to get a glimpse of what is coming soon for the beta users. It’s more of a test platform. While features and functions may be added, releases coming from the Development 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 the Beta channel.

Modes

The mode is the manner in which the cr48 operates. There are three specific modes that the cr48 can operate in : Normal, Developer, and Recovery.

The Normal mode is the stock user mode that boots Chrome OS and permits the user to interact with the web browser. Verified boot is enabled 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 Chrome OS. In the terminal there is an additional shell command 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.

More Secure Sleep

If you want to put your cr48 to sleep but don’t want anyone to just be able to open it up and access it, simply press and hold the Power button briefly until the lock screen displays. Now close the lid. Your cr48 is now in standby mode and will instantly come on, but when it does, it will require a password to gain access. After entering your password, you’re immediately back to where you left off, but you have the assurance that the system was properly locked out to unauthorized users.

Multitouch Selecting

Put the cursor where you want it and physically click the bottom portion of the trackpad and hold it with one finger. With another finger, move the cursor to the end of your selection. Remove your fingers and it will be highlighted. Highlighting is easy again. It’s also a good way to drag and drop. So just click and hold with one finger and drag with another. It does have a bit of a learning curve, but it’s pretty nice once you get the hang of it.  To extend your selection, click while holding down the Shift key.

cr48 Verizon 3G Data Plans

Along with Wi-Fi, the cr48 has 3G data capability through Verizon. It’s useful for those times when you have no Wi-Fi access but need internet. Once activated, you get 100MB of free data a month for two years. You can also purchase several different plans:
  • $9.99 for a day pass with unlimited data
  • $19.99 for 1GB of data 
  • $34.99 for 3GB of data 
  • $49.99 for 5GB of data 
The day pass provides unlimited access, and the session lasts for 24 hours. The other plans provide the specified amount of data and the session lasts for 30 days from activation. These are “no contract” services, so you only pay month-to-month for what you want to use. So if you want to get 1GB this month and not use 3G next month, you can do that. In addition, there is no Early Termination Fee.

To see how much data you have 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.

The cr48 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.

You can choose to receive notifications whenever you’re about to run out of data. With notifications 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.

If you’re out of data, you’ll see the 3G gray warning icon in the top-right corner of the screen. So if you run out of data, your only option is to buy more.

If you’re having activation problems, call Verizon at 1-800-786-8419.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Forward Delete

To forward delete hold Alt and then press Backspace.

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Third Click

If you put three fingers on the trackpad and press down this is the same as a wheel click on a PC. This opens links in a new tab and you can also third click on a tab to close it. You can also third click by holding Ctrl and clicking the trackpad.

Right Click

To right click, put two of your fingers on the touchpad, then push down. You can also hold the Alt button and click the trackpad to right click.