This is dumb.
In a related development, after fighting with Chrome off and on all day, I have finally gotten it to send the user-agent string I specify. Apparently there is a known bug in Chrome for linux which means it doesn't respond to a change in the user-agent string under the developer tools option. I finally installed a plug-in which does the right thing, and now I'm sending out a user-agent string identifying my device as an Android phone. This seems to be working okay on this extremely memory-bound netbook. For different bug-related reasons, memory expansions are not recognized by the OS.
But I think I need a new travel machine.
ETA: I said OS, I mean bios. There is a huge amount of ranting on line about it, but it all happened after I bought the machine.