Thursday, June 13, 2013

Making the Chromebook Unusable

I finally figured out how to compile a kernel on the Chromebook. Brilliant! I've been missing a few things. Zram doesn't work on Chrubuntu for example. And I've got an arduino thingee (FTDI cable) that the Chromebook just refuses to see - it turns out it's missing a module.

Yep... geekspeak. Sorry folks. So, after a few hours, I had zram... and no wireless. I can't for the life of me figure out what happened. It turns out you can no longer just build a module and put it into the right place any more... or I'm missing something? I had a go at hacking things and no modules would load. Undo the chances, find wireless isn't working, wonder what's going on. Do the whole installation again.... and the Chromebook complains. Not in it's usual "I'm going to be scary" way, but in a more... I can't do a thing sort of a way. I can only presume that it really wasn't happy with the kernel.

Bugger... ah well. The only thing I've lost is a couple of saved games (I'm making a concerted effect to relax a bit more). Download recovery media. Setting it up is horribly frustrating. The screen scrolls by with what you can only assume is going to be explained... only it sits there asking you to enter in your model number. The funny bit is that it doesn't want the model (and it seems there are 3 different bits of information, all called "the model number", that it could be asking when asking for a model). Instead, if you scroll up, you find that the bits of information that scrolled by are arranged into groups - find the number that corresponds to the model (which appears on the "I'm really sick" type screen) and wait around 25 minutes while the damn thing downloads and installs.

Once I had the media set up, put it in and it the complains about an unexpected error... Uh-oh. This really isn't looking good. Power it off. Flick the developer switch, try again. Same result. Weird... Okay. Starting to panic. Power off, shove a paper clip into the bottom of it. Turn it on and it boots into ChromeOS. Of course, it's ChromeOS... It just leaves me with a feeling of wanting to get out of there... and quickly. In fact, don't even bother with the EULA. I just don't want to go there. I don't want to read it. I don't want to use it anyway... The only thing I'm really using it for is to make the Chromebook a lot more capable (downloading Chrubuntu).

Back in developer mode - starting to feel a little more comfortable. Type in the commands for a long term support version and no desktop (I really do dislike Unity). A few minutes later and it's all done! Hit enter to reboot... and there it is! A freakin' sick computer screen. Bugger...

A Chromebook that'll only run ChromeOS... worse thing ever...

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