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8/15/2019 7:24:18 PM
Posted: 1/11/2014 9:10:31 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2014 9:10:59 AM EDT by gcw]
This is a very technical forum and I like talking computers here. Since most of my ham QSOs are digital, computers play a big roll. I came across a Acer C7 Chrome book for cheap because 1 it was a chrome book (lots of haters) and 2 because they had lost the charger. I am not a fan of the Google Chrome OS but I like the idea (just not in todays world)

If you don't know what a chrome book is, well it is a brand new $200 laptop that is designed to be used with a cloud service (google drive, google docs, etc). Lots of people are throwing around bum scoop about them being required to have an internet connection to work. This is not true. They do need an internet connection to setup but after that you don't. Enough with the google side, onto the good stuff.

With 3 USB ports, HDMI and VGA, gigabit ethernet, and bluetooth it has some good features. The cpu is a Celeron 1.1GHz which is nothing very impressive but handles this projects tasks just fine.

First you have to wipe your bios and install coreboot and seabios. I am a huge fan of these projects and they get my stamp of approval.
http://johnlewis.ie/pre-built-coreboot-firmware-for-chromebooks/#comment-1129945355

To get it installed you have to disable write protection. Needless to say this voids your warranty.
http://www.coreboot.org/Chromebooks

Here is a look inside.
http://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/developer-information-for-chrome-os-devices/acer-c7-chromebook

Once I got that going and installed Mint 16 XFCE I noticed I had no touch pad. I found this article and added the modules and it fixed it.
https://groups.google.com/forum/#!topic/chromebook-central/hhyiAEhTSks
loop
lp
rtc
i2c-i801
i2c-dev
chromeos-laptop
cyapa

And that is it. I fully functional Linux laptop with great features, a 4 hour battery life, 1" thick and weighs 3 pounds.

Crap pictures;


Link Posted: 1/11/2014 9:16:04 AM EDT
Excellent Post!!!!
Link Posted: 1/11/2014 9:43:36 AM EDT
Too bad I didn't see this yesterday. WOOT had these for $179.
Link Posted: 1/11/2014 9:48:19 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By vettman1:
Too bad I didn't see this yesterday. WOOT had these for $179.
View Quote


Newegg.com has them right now for $179.99 with free shipping.
Link Posted: 1/11/2014 9:52:06 AM EDT
But this one has the option for 3G for the same price. Compare them both, one might meet your needs better than the other.
Link Posted: 1/11/2014 10:49:06 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By awptickes:
But this one has the option for 3G for the same price. Compare them both, one might meet your needs better than the other.
View Quote


That one only has a 16GB ssd stock. IDK if you can replace it, but I bet you could. Coreboot supports it.
Link Posted: 1/11/2014 1:15:44 PM EDT
You may convert me to Linux if you keep posting threads such as this one. Excellent work on the chrome
.
Link Posted: 1/11/2014 1:22:51 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2014 1:23:11 PM EDT by gcw]
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Originally Posted By dammac751:
You may convert me to Linux if you keep posting threads such as this one. Excellent work on the chrome
.
View Quote


Haha. You can try it out for free by just booting your computer from a cd. It is a little slow that way but still works fine.

I have plenty of laptops to use, but I really like the size of the c7. I saw the video below and legitimately got pissed by the miss information. So it motivated me to look into it. From start to finish, including research time it took about 1.5 hours.

Link Posted: 1/11/2014 1:32:44 PM EDT
I did try a boot CD about 10 years ago. I had trouble getting all the right drivers and gave up. I've been contemplating a PI unit. I'm thinking it would be a good for tucking in a go box with a USB powered monitor and small keyboard for digital work. So far its just thoughts in my head, hasn't gotten any further than that.
Link Posted: 1/11/2014 1:43:40 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2014 1:44:18 PM EDT by gcw]
A pi is sweet to use for stuff that doesn't require a monitor. When you add a monitor IMO you are better off just to get a small netbook, or now chromebook.

This little acer has been running my RTL SDR for 3 hours without external power. I bought one of these 12v car laptop chargers. With an anderson power pole adapter I can run it anywhere.


ETA. 10 years is a long time. Get a Mint 16 disk.
Link Posted: 1/11/2014 6:56:06 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2014 7:18:06 PM EDT by Amish_Bill]
This could be an answer for the mobile data setup thats been bouncing around the back of my head.
Cool.

I'm going to have to check out the link above for setting up linux on a Chromebook. That will fill a specific niche very nicely.

ETA - Cool - this can be done to the HP Chromebook. (I'm rather taken with being able to charge via USB cable)
Link Posted: 1/11/2014 10:02:59 PM EDT
Careful about buying non intel ones like the samsung exynos. A lot of the ham packages I like in linux land aren't available reliably on ARM. Now if you want to debug and compile then jump right in!

Link Posted: 1/11/2014 11:42:21 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 1/11/2014 11:49:31 PM EDT by MCSquared]
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By echomancer:
Careful about buying non intel ones like the samsung exynos. A lot of the ham packages I like in linux land aren't available reliably on ARM. Now if you want to debug and compile then jump right in!

View Quote

While the Intel Atom is not an ARM processor does it use the x86 instruction set?

ETA

The 3G Chrome book linked above is based on the Atom.

Edit #2

I am assuming so based on this quote from Wikipedia

"Intel Atom is the brand name for a line of ultra-low-voltage IA-32 and Intel 64 (x86-64) CPUs (or microprocessors) from Intel, originally designed in 45 nm CMOS..."
Link Posted: 1/12/2014 4:52:07 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MCSquared:

While the Intel Atom is not an ARM processor does it use the x86 instruction set?

ETA

The 3G Chrome book linked above is based on the Atom.

Edit #2

I am assuming so based on this quote from Wikipedia

"Intel Atom is the brand name for a line of ultra-low-voltage IA-32 and Intel 64 (x86-64) CPUs (or microprocessors) from Intel, originally designed in 45 nm CMOS..."
View Quote View All Quotes
View All Quotes
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Originally Posted By MCSquared:
Originally Posted By echomancer:
Careful about buying non intel ones like the samsung exynos. A lot of the ham packages I like in linux land aren't available reliably on ARM. Now if you want to debug and compile then jump right in!


While the Intel Atom is not an ARM processor does it use the x86 instruction set?

ETA

The 3G Chrome book linked above is based on the Atom.

Edit #2

I am assuming so based on this quote from Wikipedia

"Intel Atom is the brand name for a line of ultra-low-voltage IA-32 and Intel 64 (x86-64) CPUs (or microprocessors) from Intel, originally designed in 45 nm CMOS..."


Yes the Atom is a x86 based CPU, it is what's in my Dell netbook I used for the digital thread.

But if you are looking for an integrated 3g solution check out the Nokia Booklet 3g. It has a bios which saves you from having to flash one onto the Chromebook.

Ebay link
Arch Wiki <-- You don't have to install Arch, they just have amazing documentation


The other option is a hotspot. This is what I do. I have an ATT mifi that has a built-in GPS and file server.
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