Most of the work we do at Grosse Pointe Geek is fairly run of the mill hardware and software troubleshooting: virus removal, fan or battery replacements, data transfers, etc. Of course, mixed in with these traditional computer repairs are more complicated and unique situations that require more diligence and effort to resolve. Last weekend I came across a situation similar to the latter in which a customer asked us to figure out how to run Minecraft on a Chromebook she bought for her daughter.
This is unique because Chromebooks do not run a standard operating system (Windows, OS X), but rather a special Chrome OS that runs primarily as a web browser, limiting further computing abilities, i.e. you cannot download games like Minecraft.
This project was not particularly daunting, as a quick Google search revealed an in-depth tutorial on how to make it happen (a lot of computer repair, I have realized, involves Google and YouTube). It involves installing Crouton, a script that allows Linux to run simultaneously with Chrome OS. This project was my first time during the internship where I used code and command prompts, which is exciting as that is most of what I have learned studying EECS in school.
Chromebooks are finicky devices. To install Crouton you must switch the device into developer mode, which wipes everything on the device. Granted, there is not much physically stored on Chromebooks as they are a very light device with most of the data being stored on the cloud. However, during the process, which took three days and three technicians in total to complete, the Chromebook was inadvertently switched back from developer mode, causing the Crouton skin to be removed altogether. So I had to start the whole Crouton installation process from scratch.
Before the Chromebook was wiped, I successfully had Minecraft up and running and even created a .desktop file in Linux to create a shortcut to the game. This was one of my first times using Linux, so it really was a learning experience, and eventually once we had it up and running again the family was entirely grateful so I am glad to have been able to contribute to that.