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Picked Up $5 Google Developer Chromebook Mario Cr-48 at Estate Sale

by Hawke Robinson last modified Aug 01, 2016 08:10 AM
On a run to the waste transfer station near Elk-Chattaroy, on the way back I saw a sign for an Estate Yard Sale, and I picked up a Chromebook for $5, apparently a developer edition...

I didn't find anything of interest, but tucked back in the corner of the shed, was a slim looking plain flat black laptop, with no logo or anything to tell me what it was.

When I pulled the batter, all I could find was "Mario". I guessed it was a chromebook, but really had not idea, and the battery was fully discharged.

I asked them about it, and apparently the person it had belonged to, was given it as an early beta by Google, for testing. But he had been disappointed with it, since as the sales take said "only browsing, that's it folks". They also said the battery was shot, and it had to be plugged in to use it.

On a whim, after what I discovered earlier this week about one of Google's ChromeOS developers point to my research on PPTP vulnerabilities as one of the reasons they refused to includes this popular VPN protocol that all the other OSes do include, I offered $5, and they accepted.

I went to my vehicle, and plugged into my 1100 watt power inverter, and charged the battery and booted it up. Within 5 minutes I was logged in, learned it was indeed a "Mario" release early beta Chromebook (looks like maybe circa 2011?), and the battery was slowly charging, but I couldn't tell if it was any good.

https://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/developer-information-for-chrome-os-devices I am especially interested in the "flip into developer mode" information here: https://www.chromium.org/chromium-os/developer-information-for-chrome-os-devices/cr-48-chrome-notebook-developer-information 

Of course this is totally obsolete, but geek fun! :-)

Especially with the announcement that Google will be abandoning Webkit/FreeBSD based Chrome OS, and merging to Android OS.

I quickly discovered the command line options, and let it charge while I drove back to town, swinging by Batteries+ to see what a new batter would be (if they could even find one to match). They couldn't find a match, but said it would likely be around $150 (far more than it was worth), they recommended searching Amazon for a replacement.

But I wasn't sure the battery was toast, so let it charge all day.

It is now coming up on 11 pm. At 10 pm the battery finally showed 100% charged. And unplugging it calculated supposedly 5.5 hours of battery life.

I then ran from the "crosh" command line, battery_test, it ran for 300 seconds.

While letting a Youtube movie (Dead Gentlemen's "The Gamers") run in the browser.

It finished with "Battery discharged 0.00% in 300 second(s)".

And now 10 minutes later, calculation stated 6.09 hours left.

I will delve into more about this to learn more about it. I'll have to find out how "hackable" this device is. Since ChromeOS is FreeBSD based, I imagine I could put a full OpenBSD on it? But what kind of performance?

Right now it is very surprisingly snappy (for 2011 netbook). Looking at Settings > About Chrome OS > Version 44.0.2403.54 beta.

Platform 7077.49.0 (Official Build) beta-channel x86-mario_freon

"Nearly up-to-date! Restart your device to finish updating"

Apparently the channel fort the device is locked to "beta channel" with no option to change.

Webkit: 537.36 (@43d1d9b24080d771303d4a936018ad60d3cec946)

V8 4.4.63.7

Build Date: Thursday June 18 2015.

Interesting, clicking "Advanced Setting", lots of standard options, but like this: "Powerwash - Remove all user accoutns and reset your Chrome device to be just like new". 

Since they gave me this device, with the old user account still listed, they probably didn't know about this option. I will likely run that before too long, but curious what I can see with it as is for now...

Now 11 pm, and battery indicator 6:29 left.

Alas it does not have a touch screen, nor backlit keyboard.

Now 15 minutes later, still running the movie, it states battery life is 6:39 hours! Lol!

Still running movie. 11:10 pm 95% battery, reports 6:44 left. 

 Going to interrupt the movie, and go ahead and reboot for the update now...

Resumed movie after reboot, while doing the other tasks. Multi-tasks just fine.

Now version information states:

Version: 52.0.2743.85 beta

Platform 8350.60.0 (Official build) beta-channel x86-mario

Firmware Mario 03.60.1120.0038G5.0018d

I notice now that some black video square glitches I had before update, so far not recurring since update.

WebKit 537.36 (@0)

V8 - 5.2.361.45

BuildDate Thursday July 21 2016.

 Display Settings Resolution: 1280x800 (Best) (option to go to 1440x900)

I changed to 1440x900 and ...

Screen all in disarray and laggy, so switched back.

Running full screen of movie, begins lagging (doesn't appear to be network bandwidth, appears to be CPU maybe). 

1:10 am 63% - 3:41 left (reported).

 

 

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