Thursday, April 7, 2011

My mom was right, about one thing

Where has that money been?
When I was young, my mom told me I shouldn't put money in my mouth, because "you never know where that money has been."

I could alway understand that about coins. Coins get dropped in the gutters and then given back as change ten minutes later at the Seven Eleven. Coins even get fished out of the toilet and reused.

When I was young, I got a science kit for Christmas. My favorite thing from the science kit didn’t even need the science kit. I learned that if I mixed baking soda and vinegar, and then dropped my dirtiest pennies in the mix, then they come out ‘clean.’ It’s not really clean, but this shiny alien-like, neo-neon type of penny that is technically clean but is rendered completely non-penny-like.

My point is that pennies are really dirty. So, it’s obvious you shouldn't put them in your mouth.

Bills on the other hand don't get dropped in the gutter or fished out of the toilet. That's why I didn’t believe my mom about putting those in your mouth. I did see this mobster movie where there were tons of bills with blood all over them, but the nice mobsters washed the bills all clean and hung them up to dry.

The worst I could picture a dollar going through is being dropped in the mud. I've eaten dirt before and it wasn't that bad.

Then, a few months ago, I was at this strip club. The stripper was just wearing a thong.

She bent over, and this guy with a dollar bill moved her thong aside, spread her cheeks, crammed the dollar bill up to her nether regions, and twisted it back and forth, for a very, very long time. Now, I like beautiful strippers in thongs and nice behinds as much as the next guy, but something just struck me as unsettling with what I was looking at.

Suddenly my mind turned into one of those movies where a tape played fast backward through significant points in my life.

I was ten years old again, with a dollar bill crammed in my mouth, smiling sheepishly, and my mom yelling at me. 'You don’t know where that’s been! Get that thing out of your mouth!'


Photo purchased from iStockphoto.

Monday, April 4, 2011

How to buy a CR-48, and how to sell a CR-48

Note that I'm not encouraging you to buy or sell a CR-48, I'm just giving you info on it if you choose to do so. You should obviously check with Google before you do anything.
Woman thinking about checking with Google before she sells her CR-48
The CR-48 is the prototype netbook from Google for Google's new operating system, Chrome OS. Google gave out about 90,000 of these for free, but now you can't get them anymore.

Either the new Chrome OS laptops coming out late 2011 will have the sweet deal on Verizon internet that the CR-48's do, or the CR-48's will be in very very high demand later this year. In addition to this being a cool computer with a cool operating system, it turns wireless broadband from something that's ridiculously expensive to something that's very economical.

Here's a list of FAQs for buying and selling a CR-48.


Q: How easy is it to transfer ownership of a CR-48?
A: Extremely easy. You should do a factory reset, and then you're good to go. However, this is an optional step that's only needed if you want to get rid of the previous owner's icon on the startup screen.

Q: What if the person I buy the CR-48 from doesn't disable the administrative account?
A: There's not really an administrative account, just an owner account which can be deleted by restoring to the factory default. Because this really is a cloud computer, each person who logs in gets their own account with the exact same rights. So everybody is either an admin on the computer or a guest, depending on how you look at it, and there's no way to give any user more rights or less rights. Except for the owner account, which really doesn't do much.

Q: How do I reset the CR-48 back to factory default?
A: Take off the battery. Remove the piece of tape by the battery. Turn the switch to the left (dev mode). Replace the battery, and turn it on. Click through the frowny face screens. Turn the computer off. Take off the battery. Turn the switch to the right (regular mode). Replace the battery, and turn it on. Attempt to log in, and it will power down. Turn the computer on, and it is completely reset.

Q: If I log onto another CR-48, will it remember my extensions and passwords and stuff?
A: Yes

Q: How does the previous owner transfer ownership of the Verizon 24-month internet?
A: No transfer is needed. If you just use the previous owner's 100 MB per month, then you'll have the length remaining on the previous owner's remaining internet. However, if you ever buy more than the basic 100 MB per month, with a different account, then the whole thing will reset, and you'll get 24 more months attached to your account. I read somewhere that you can get it reset, without an additional purchase, if you call Verizon, but I think you should test out how much 1 GB of internet is.

Q: Is the Verizon 24-month internet tied to the user who first activated it?
A: Not really, it's more tied to the computer. Anyone who logs onto the CR-48 can use the Verizon 24-month internet.

Q: Is there a Verizon card that someone could take out?
A: If there is, it's deep inside the computer, and not something removable like an SD card. Someone would have to open the CR48 with a screwdriver to even see it.

Q: What are the rates for buying more internet bandwidth?
A: $20 for 1 GB, $35 for 3 GB, $50 for 5 GB, which all expire in a month, and a 1-day unlimited pass for $9.99. You should start out testing with 1 GB, because 5 GB is super hard to use in a month unless you're downloading stuff all the time, and you won't download too much with the CR-48. Also, you have to run out of internet before you can buy more, or even see what the rates are, which is kind of a pain.

Q: How much stuff can I do with 100 MB?
A: This will give you about 10 hours of light internet time, meaning everything but videos and downloads.

Q: How fast is Verizon broadband?
A: I average about 1 Mbps.

Q: Does the wireless broadband disconnect all the time?
A: No, it's very reliable. I used it as a passenger in a car driving all over New Mexico, and it only disconnected once, for about a minute.

Q: Is it easy to turn off the Cellular (Verizon) so I don't accidentally use all my allowance?
A: Yes, just click the internet icon at the top, then click "Disable Cellular"

Q: Is there a better deal anywhere on wireless broadband than what you get with a CR-48?
A: No.

Q: Which takes preference, Wi-fi (wireless internet), 3g (Verizon), or does it pick the fastest one?
A: It always uses Wi-fi when it's connected, so temporarily disable it if you have slow wifi and want to use Verizon instead.

Q: How do I sell a CR-48?
A: Either eBay or craigslist or your local classified ads. However, Google is regularly removing these, so make sure your auction is either a 1-day or 3-day auction. Buy it now with a low price is the best way. If you have a lot of positive feedback on your eBay account, you probably want to use a friend's account to sell your CR-48, so your good account doesn't get a bad status from getting your items de-listed. Also, you really should check with Google first.

Q: What's the current street value of a CR-48?
A: $350 to $450 used, $450 to $550 brand new, untouched.

Q: I see eBay auctions for CR-48s for only $100, what do you mean it costs $400-500?
A: Those cheap auctions are still in the early bidding process, and will probably even get removed. Check what auctions actually sold for. Also, some sneaky eBayers are just selling the box or a non-working laptop. Check the listing thoroughly before you buy.

Q: Is Google tracking who's buying and selling CR-48's?
A: Probably, but right now they're not doing anything but reporting and de-listing eBay listings every two weeks.

Q: What inputs and plugs does it have?
A: Only the following: VGA, SD card, USB, power, headphone/speaker, battery, developer mode switch (hidden). There's no ethernet port.

Q: Where's the right click on the CR-48?
A: It doesn't exist. You right click by either Alt+Click, or by clicking on the touchpad with two fingers instead of one. As a side note, the whole touchpad can be clicked, but it's easier if you click the bottom.

Q: How do I scroll with the touchpad on the CR-48?
A: You can't use the side of the touchpad to scroll. You have to use two fingers, anywhere on the touchpad, at the same time, to scroll.

Photo purchased from iStockphoto.
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