Chrome OS

Today I followed the announcement of the new Chrome OS from Google and the acclaiming response it received. Am I the only one thinking: very simple, maybe TOO simple?

Since the beginning of the “browser as an OS” idea, I always wondered how I am supposed to run my favorite program, Wireshark, in a browser. Wireshark, of course, is an example, but many people do things with computers that don’t translate well into the cloud paradigm. Will they just be dismissed by OS manufacturers as a “nerdy minority”? Or will they need to stick with old uncool OSes to do their things? I’d like to be cool too, Google, but I’d still like to run Wireshark.

Another thing I feel weird about: Google is telling me not to worry about data loss, because from now on all my documents will be online. Nothing will need to be saved locally.
Actually, I like that my documents stay in my computer. Am I really the only one in the world? I’m not only talking about personal stuff like the love letters to my wife or the drunk pictures at the party last week. What about the trace files that I get all the time from customers? Will they have to go online too? Hmm, I’m sure my customers will love having them on Google’s server.

I can already hear the objection: “this OS is for netbooks, and netbooks are only used for simple things like going online, so this is perfect for them”. Actually, I love using Wireshark on a netbook! Together with an Airpcap adapter, it’s the perfect portable wireless troubleshooting station.
Why does small need to mean “limited”? Personally, I’d actually love to run Wireshark on my wireless-enabled IPod Touch! Ok, maybe I’m going too far…

7 thoughts on “Chrome OS

  1. Aaron C. de Bruyn

    I just had the pleasure of using Wireshark on a netbook today.

    Looks pretty good on the small screen.

  2. vasiljevich

    If Chrome OS is only for internet surfing, it seems to be useless, as there are many devices (more comfortable and portable than netbooks) with the same functionality.

  3. Dan

    Is there any reason wireshark couldn’t run as a javascript webapp?
    I look forward to building an ultraportable sniffing machine using the wireshark webapp for Chrome OS on a netbook…
    Of course, if I have to rely on a live connection to run the app to sniff the packets to troubleshoot my live connection, that may be a problem 🙂

  4. Varun

    Hi Loris,

    Thanks for posting this. I’ve been thinking about using a sniffer on my iTouch too. (Don’t want to pay for upgrade to 3.0 though :)).

    This proves either I’m not an idiot or not the only idiot to think that up 😀

    BTW I’m not going for ChromeOS at all after watching them explain how only web browser will take care of my PC experience…


  5. Terry

    Loris, You are not alone. Going a bit beyond using applications like Wireshark, the cloud paradigm will have a boundary established by financial interest or technical and legal limitations. A recent example is the I Phone and the attempt to use a voip application not licensed by Apple. In the Chrome cloud Google not the individual or group will determine what is permitted. It will be cheaper for those doing email, Facebook, desktop publishing. The cost will increase for anyone using a standalone OS. I hope the Chrome like goes away quickly.

  6. Yuval Levy

    Loris, you’re not alone. All of these freebies are cool candies to attract consumers into selling their souls. I rather have a known price tag in US$ than an unknown price tag in relinquishing control over core strategical and personal things. Call me uncool.

    I wanted to thank you for wireshark. I am trying to use it to reverse engineer USB camera communication, although with little success so far. My Ubuntu 9.10 system freezes a few seconds after I start sniffing. I’ll keep googling for a solution – that’s what I like google for.

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