Edit: this is now the first of a series of articles I am writing about the Chromebook. Feel free to take look: The Chromebook Chronicles
So, I just purchased a Samsung Chromebook.
Yes, as you can see from the picture below, I paid a $50 premium to not wait. I had one on order from Amazon for several weeks, but even Google doesn't know when stock will be available so I really don't mind. Now you may be surprised (even horrified) to know that I sold my Macbook (5,1 - aluminum) to buy this. Of course, I made a nice profit, but many would consider this a huge downgrade. I did so for several reasons.
1) I'm quite heavily invested in Google's ecosystem. I use Gmail, Google Docs, Google Calendars and almost every other app they offer in my day-to-day life. No I don't like their privacy policies, but the services they offer (for free I might add) are just amazing!
2) I realized that about 95% of the work I do is web-based. Seriously. I am a photographer by trade, and so I can never be entirely without a real computer, but apart from that all I do is blog, write articles, review products and browse the web. Having a hackintosh desktop means I can (and do) run any OS, and I can always do my real work there. I rarely (and I mean almost never) have to do work away from home, so it's not really an issue. Also I would say 95% of the places I hang out (home, cafés, friend's places, even my church) have high-speed wi-fi. Being cloud-based, Google's OS is very limited without wifi. The good news is, there is support for playing media, managing files and certain apps offline, so if I don't have wi-fi or am not willing to pay for it (airports), it's not dead!
3) The macbook was just not a great laptop to run Linux from. I tried multiple things, but for some reason it was just a pain. Support for the network card was spotty at best, the bluetooth would lag my mouse, the trackpad was difficult to work with. I just wasn't impressed. Now while there is no official support for Linux on the Chromebook, some clever folks have already created a version of Ubuntu that can be run directly from an SD card. I have two reasons for wanting to run linux; the first is to be able to use the Tor browser safely. The second is to have a safe environment in which to learn some Unix (yes I know OSX is based on it, but it's different). The chromebook is ideal for this because you can return to factory settings at the flip of a switch! With a cloud-based OS, this means that if you mess up you don't have to reinstall a bunch of programs/data, you just log back in with your Google credentials.
So why am I boring all of your with all of this nonsense? What has this got to do with InsanelyMac?
1) Apple's iOS is capable of running on ARM processors, and parts of OSX (Darwin included) have been running on ARM for some time. So does the Chromebook. I honestly believe it's only a matter of time before we see a port of iOS or OSX to the Chromebook. This is a $249 computer with a dual-core processor, 2GB of RAM and a 16GB hard-drive...$249 will get you a used iPad 2 from cragislist right now...I think this could be a very nice solution for a lot of people.
2) More importantly (looking towards the future), Apple has reportedly been looking at switching to ARM processors for their other hardware! I think this makes sense (at least, I can see any potential reasoning for this), seeing as technology in general is moving towards touch-based, cross-platform unified operating systems. If both iOS and OSX ran off of ARM processors, it would be a lot less work for Apple to integrate the two. We already have see the iOS-style come to OSX with Launchpad - I don't see why we wouldn't see more changes at the core-level. With some R&D and promise of Apple-sized business, quad-core desktop-performing ARM processors are just a few million bucks away. Since this change hasn't even been confirmed this can be considered wild speculation, but wouldn't it be amazing if an ARM-based OSX could be hacked to the Chromebook? We're talking having a mac laptop for $249 here.
Either way, none of this has really been talked about yet. The latest Samsung Chromebook hit the stores in later October, and were already out of stock by December. This is brand new technology and therefore a brand new discussion, but if this is to be talked about anywhere I think that InsanelyMac is the place! My chromebook isn't a hackintosh yet, but maybe one day it will be?
Interested to hear your thoughts!