|Inside the box
There was also a sheet of stickers inside the first box. This sheet was my first real clue to what was waiting inside the second box.
I opened the box and inside was my chromebook! Several months ago I had signed up for the pilot program and had forgotten about it. I opened the rocket diagram box and inside was the chromebook, if you search the web you can find several pictures and videos out there, so I won't post them here. What I will give you are my experiences thus far.
In order to log in, you need to have access to a wifi network. This is because you use your google login credentials on the chromebook. Setting up the wifi was straight-forward and not a problem. The Verizon 3g, however, was a different story. More on this later.
Google talk worked well, and I tried the video chat. The quality was ok, the camera blurs motion a bit more than on my macbook pro.
I tried a couple of videos on YouTube and it played them well. After that, I tried Hulu, while the video did play, there was a noticeable jerkiness. I did try Netflix, but it is currently not available on the chromebook:
The laptop has no marks on it whatsoever, it is basically a rubberized black matte. The keyboard is a Mac-like 'chiclet'-style keyboard, which makes it very nice for typing. The touchpad supports some multitouch (two-finger scroll and right click). It is also like the Mac trackpad, but is more 'sticky' and thus a bit harder to use.
So the 3g...I have not had much time with it. Initially, when I tried to set it up, the activation failed. After searching the web, I found some people saying that you could grab the link from the modem status and use that to register, after that, activation would work. I tried that, but no dice. The next day I called Verizon and was on the phone with tech-support for a couple of hours. He was trying to get the system to do a manual activation, but I kept getting a dbus error. Finally, he said I would have to contact a 'google ninja' and open a ticket there. I did that, and in the mean-time I thought I would try some things out. I had copied down the mdn, min, and system_id that Verizon tech-support gave me earlier and went about trying different combinations of booting with wifi/3g enabled/disabled.
No luck. Then I tried manual activation again---same dbus error. Now, I tried manual activation, but I did not supply any of the parameters on the command line. This time it said activation failed, but did not give me the dbus error. I checked the modem status, and saw that it had the min and mdn number were there now (previously they had said 'partial'). I went back to the chrome screen, it still had the 'Activate 3g' option. I went back to the terminal, and typed 'modem connect'. Success! 3g connected and was working. I rebooted, just to make sure. I still have the "activate" option in my network settings, but 3g appears to be working.