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no Chromium for me



Although I bought my Acer netbook as a temporary stopgap I've really grown to enjoy it (especially with the RAM & SSD upgrades). Sure it's not as fast as a Core based desktop and the screen can be a little small, but it's dang portable and seems to run forever on a full charge. Surprisingly, it's the keyboard layout which trips me up more than the reduced size.


Anyway... I had the thought of giving Chromium OS a try. So I downloaded the current Hexxeh Vanilla build, borrowed my wife's USB key and booted up to the chromium logo screen. And waited. And waited. And the screen flashed. And waited. Not the lightning fast boot I was expecting. But like a teapot, it finally did something when I wasn't looking - presenting me with a simple language selection screen... which I couldn't navigate (probably because there are no OSS drivers for the trackpad).


Sigh . . . but that's a typical problem with OSS - compatibility can be hit or miss. (The compatibility wiki for Chromium even mentions that other Acer netbooks may or may not work depending upon the wireless chipset.) Vendors have to provide Windows drivers for their hardware or they won't even be considered, but the OSS community is lucky to be even given enough info to code their own drivers without substantial reverse engineering.


I also disliked the Chromium boot screen. I understand that many people don't want to look at the typical Linux boot logs go scrolling by - but they at least tell me the computer is doing something and might even given me enough hints about where it's failing.


I then spent the next half an hour trying to reformat the USB key back to MBR/FAT32. (The magic command line utility is diskpart. Just be very careful as it has no idiot checks.)


Oh well... back to playing Half-Life & Half-Life Blue Shift.


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