Wednesday, October 31, 2012

I almost threw my Chromebook out the window

I had an important meeting yesterday, so I gladly took my Chromebook with me. I was proud to show it off and tell yet another person about my little experiment.

The meeting location had wifi but with crazy complicated security where each computer had to be added before you could connect. Of course, there was no guest network option.

So I quietly took out my Galaxy S3 and turned on the mobile hotspot. The only problem was I couldn't get the Chromebook to connect that way either. Not sure why.

I still wasn't worried. This is exactly the scenario I had anticipated when I decided to purchase the 3G version of my Chromebook. I disabled the wifi network capabilities and turned on the 3G function. It connected almost immediately to Verizon, yet I still wasn't able to connect to the Web.

I was very frustrated at this point. However, the offline capabilites of Google Drive and Scratchpad allowed me to do what I need to do for the meeting. I made it through.

Feeling frustrated on the way back to the office, I thought about throwing the Chromebook out the window. It just didn't make sense. I could see one of the three options not working...but not ALL three at the same time.

In a moment of clarity, it dawned on me that I probably hadn't registered my Chromebook with Verizon. That would explain why I could connect to Verizon's network but still couldn't access the Web. When I checked my account status through the "Settings" panel, I confirmed my suspicion.

There was nothing wrong with my Chromebook. It was total user error.

I simply failed to set up an account with Verizon which took about two clicks and two minutes to set up. And just to be sure everything was working properly, I worked the rest of the day using my 3G connectivity from my office. It worked perfectly.

And as far as the Galaxy S3 mobile hotspot not working, I realized later I had accidentally turned it off while trying to silence the phone during the meeting.

The Chromebook isn't perfect, and it can't do everything. But this episode is all on me.

So what's your Chromebook story?