I got a Chumby as a holiday gift; it’s really cool and really hackable.
- Hardware and software is open-source.
- Runs Linux.
- Very easy to hack: SSH, BusyBox, lighttpd, Ruby, etc.
- Two USB ports.
- Audio out (internal speakers sound amazingly good for their size).
- Built-in microphone (haven’t figured out how to use it).
- Can play FLAC files from USB drive.
- It’s very difficult to get it to show pictures off a USB drive. The only way apparently is to install a local HTTP server and use a widget: http://www.discarded-ideas.org/chumby/photoframeusb
- Flash widgets/apps only — Flash is not open-source.
- Switching between widgets and channels is fiddly.
- One button is not enough considering widgets take up the whole screen modally.
- It needs more RAM. 64MB is just barely enough.
Below is the “Virtual Chumby” showing my “Clocks” channel:
Overall it’s a very cool device. Right now it’s in the bedroom but it’s too useful to sit there as an alarm clock.
At some point I’d like to try to interface a small webcam to it.