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Cr-48 Tips & Tricks

I wanted to document some of the noteworthy tips regarding the Cr-48 Chrome Notebook. There are a few tricks/hacks regarding customizations and bandwidth that I already have.  Some of these may turn in to features as the OS matures but for now I will hack away.  This will be updated on a semi regular basis.

Customizations

Login Picture: I am guessing that there will be a feature in the future that will allow you to modify your login picture but I’ve figured a way around it. Essentially I used Aviary to do it as the app lets you access the OS file system to some degree.  I’ve written some high level instructions below.  I make some assumptions that you are familiar with Aviary and know how to install extensions and are generally tech savvy (i.e. I was lazy).

  1. If you do not already, create an Aviary account.
  2. Install the Aviary extension if not already installed.
  3. Login to Aviary and start the “Image Editor”.  It’s under the Create menu once you login.
  4. Once loaded you have the option to create an image from scratch of from an existing file, choose existing.
  5. Click the browse button an find the /home/chronos directory.
  6. Change the file type to *.png (bottom right)
  7. You should see a list of files that match the accounts you’ve setup.  Essentially the email address of each user with the .png extension.
  8. Once chosen click the Okay button and you can then choose the Upload button.
  9. If all works correctly, you should see your image.
  10. I would save a backup for starters.
  11. Next, create a copy and edit all you want, exchange it for something else, etc.
  12. Now, save the image locally.  We do this using the exporting option in the File menu.  Choose File –> Export Image.
  13. Make sure the file type is set to .png and Generate the image.
  14. Click the Download button once its green.
  15. Save this file over the original file.
  16. That’s it!

Minimizing Bandwidth Usage

For the most part, this section deals with cellular usage.  The free 100 mb provided by Google/Verizon is nice but it’s something you will want to manage (unless you have unlimited funds).

Enable/Disable Cellular: Once the Verizon 3G is all setup, I’d suggest you disable cellular.  Once setup was complete it was . on and using bandwidth and with only 100 mb a month you want to conserve.  Of course, when you need it, you should turn it on, just don’t forget to turn it off.  You can  enable/disable cellular by clicking on the wrench (top right corner) and select Options. A new tab should open up with the url chrome://settings.  On the left hand side select Internet (see image below).   The description on the button is the action it will take so make sure that its left as shown.

I’m not aware of any battery issues when the cellular option is turned on.  I’ll test it later once I have a good reason to use it.

Pinning Tabs: For startup speed and bandwidth I’d suggest not “pinning” a lot of tabs.  Once you login for the first time, it will try to load all the pinned tabs.  If you’ve enabled cellular you may be chewing up bandwidth you don’t have to.

Closing Tabs: Similar to “pinning tabs”, if you are done for the time being I’d suggest closing all your tabs.  The os will remember you last state.  I suggest this mostly due to the bandwidth that could be used on cellular.  If you’re on Wi-Fi it’s probably not much of a worry.

Extensions: Some extension may burn bandwidth.  May want to keep them to a minimum.

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