0002 -- Goodbye, ChromeOS! (at least, on the old Chromebook CB5)

I feel like a gorram hacker.

TL;DR: I said to my Chromebook CB5 what Diana Chang (a Conan O’Brien staffer) said to a van she was passing when learning to drive: “You’re my bitch.”

After the Crouton install failed last night, I decided I had enough of messing with ChromeOS. I discovered that Chromebooks are write-protected in two different ways: hardware and software. This is to prevent noobs from screwing up their Chromebooks. I’m not a noob. So I found out how to disable the hardware and software write protection before I fell asleep.

Fast forward to today. I took the back off the CB5 to remove the hardware write-protect screw. Since my apartment is mostly packed up in a PODS container sitting in my driveway, I thought I could get away with using my Leatherman (aka a “diggit” in Navy terminology; I’ll talk about the origin of the name in a later post) and its attached Phillips screwdriver. Well, that worked for the screws on the back, but once I got to the motherboard, the diggit’s screwdriver was way too big. I walked down to the POD and got my drill and a Phillips bit that I though would work. Wrong! I stripped the screw head so I had to go back down to the POD to get a drill bit to drill out the screw. Annoying; I hate making multiple trips but hey, I was initially lazy and paid the price. I got the write-protect screw drilled out and replaced the back. Then came the matter of disabling software write-protection, which turned out to be much easier to do; the hardest part about it is enabling Developer Mode, and it’s really not that hard. Then I just flashed the new firmware and just like that, I have a fresh new computer waiting for a Linux installation!

Of course, much more techie people than me came up with all this stuff; I just followed the directions. Also notice that there isn’t just one source to go to; rather, you have to know what you want to do, then find resources that will get you to that point. Maybe making a flow chart would help, but that’s not my style.

Now I’m just waiting for my USB stick to finish formatting, as I made the terrible mistake of unchecking “Quick Format” on my Windows machine when I decided to format the stick. An hour and still going….

I’ll post another update when I get that custom ham Ubuntu installed on the CB5’s SSD.

Source: https://youtu.be/1Za8BtLgKv8

0001A -- Crouton install failed!

Like the title says, the Crouton install failed on the old Chromebook. I guess I’ll just have to run that ham-centric Ubuntu from the live USB; I’ll just never turn it off (not a great plan). I’m too tired to figure out what happened; fortunately, it’s not a big deal and I’ll come back to it another time.

On another note, I discovered I can’t crosspost these blog updates to Facebook from Squarespace. I’ll have to do manual updates until I can figure out a workaround. I’m too tired to do that now, and I have to take the car in for maintenance tomorrow morning. Problems to be solved another day!

0001 -- New Year! New learning!

I have been a nerd for many years, but there are three things that I haven’t done thus far in my life:

  1. Created my own website.

  2. Had my own domain name.

  3. Installed Linux on a computer or created a live USB for a Linux distro.

Well, I took care of the first two a couple of days ago when I created this blog site. Yay me!

I’m currently working on the third one right now. I recently obtained my ham radio license from the FCC (KE0UAK for those of you interested) and of course I looked for ways to use a computer somehow with my new radio hobby. A quick Google search showed that an industrious ham named Andy Stewart, KB1OIQ made a remastered version of Ubuntu Linux specifically for hams. I had an old Chromebook 15 lying around, so I decided to try out the distro on the Chromebook. I had to put the Chromebook into Developer Mode and create a live USB stick for the ISO of the distro. I created a persistent live USB stick (meaning that any files I save are supposed to be saved on the stick) but the files weren’t being saved. So now I’m using Crouton to install Ubuntu on the Chromebook with the hope that I can mount the ISO file like a CD-ROM. It’s installing right now so we’ll see what happens! Fingers crossed! If all goes well on this old Chromebook, I might try it with my Pixelbook, as that’s the computer I usually carry around with me.

This is my first real post! I’m excited to be embarking on a new online presence and I hope I don’t regret it :)

0000 -- Test Post

Well, I’ve decided to finally make a webpage, get a domain, and start a blog. My goal is to write about stuff every day starting in the new year, but this is just a test of the platform.