A good friend of mine, who I basically grew up with, came to visit for the Google IO conference. I’m almost kicking myself for not going, mostly because all 5,000 people who attended also got a complimentary Samsung galaxy tablet 10.1. He was also one very lucky beta tester chosen for a limited edition Chrome OS laptop, the Cr-48. They are now releasing this device under the name Chromebook. Don’t know what a Chromebook is? Just watch this:
Luckily for me, my friend brought it with him to sf. Unlike the computer you’re probably reading this on, all content on this machine is held remotely. There isn’t even a desktop background on this thing. The Cr-48 has a 16GB hard drive which is only used as a temporary place to hold your data until you post it to the ‘cloud’. The first thing that I thought of when I heard this was where would I keep all the music I own? (most mp3 players, if not all new ones, hold at least 3x that amount!) “What about the music, man?” I ask. Well, good news. All that music that you have pirated purchased can now be held virtually by Google music beta. Well that’s all fine and dandy, but what happens when one doesn’t have access to the web? According to some guy named Chris who works on the music team at Google, “The songs you’ve recently played will automatically be available offline. You can also select the specific albums, artists and playlists you want to have available when you’re not connected.” (source)
Enough geek talk.
One of the highlights of having a visitor, and quite honestly one of the best places I’ve visited in sf, was taking him to The Exploratorium. Ever heard of it? Since everyone is going coo-coo for information graphics, here is a diagram that I ‘made’ of what the museum is like:
The Exploratorium made me feel like a little kid in a candy store. The first thing we did when we got there was watched the dissection of a cow’s eye. I knew right then and there that THIS PLACE WAS GOING TO ROCK. A small excerpt from their website, “The Exploratorium was the brainchild of Frank Oppenheimer. At various times, Frank was a professor, a high school teacher, a cattle rancher, and an experimental physicist. While teaching at a university, Frank developed a ‘library of experiments’ that enabled his students to explore scientific phenomena at their own pace, following their own curiosity.” It is basically a science museum filled with lots of hands on experiments and activities. There will be something here for everybody. Seriously, if you haven’t visited yet, you are missing out on some cool stuff. Just look at this place:
If you thought that was cool, wait until you experience the tactile dome. Imagine yourself squeezing and climbing through tunnels, tubes and up ramps with walls that are covered in all kinds of textured surfaces. Here are some images of the inside of the tactile dome:
Oh yeah, did I mention that you experience tactile dome in complete darkness? Whoa.
In conclusion, if you are even remotely close to the bay area, visit this place already. Here are some other pictures from The Exploratorium and the rest of the weekend.