Tag Archives: chumby

Chumby website redesigned

The Chumby website has been redesigned, as announced on the forums. My favorite? The ‘My Chumby’ dashboard:

Chumby Dashboard

Check out major redesigns on these pages:

The shiny new front page now uses the theme “Wake up to your internet life” and offers a Chumby overview video. The page also highlights popular uses:

  • In Your Life
  • Clocks and Alarms
  • Photo Viewing
  • Sports
  • News and Entertainment

Don’t get the chumby? Take a look at chumby.com, as Scott Jansousek suggests.

And if you’re not impressed by splash, there’s always the code:

<!--
	 ___
	(O o)    Chumby says, "I'm now at version 773."
	/||||\
	-->

Oops, I mean, the developer page. 🙂 Community widgets are now easier to find, sorted into categories in the widget guide, instead of lumped into the widgets laboratory.

Scratch-proofing my chumby touchscreen

I kept the original film covering on my chumby for awhile. It’s not meant to protect the chumby in normal use. The sticky bits holding the film in place are prominently marked “peel here”. But it held up pretty well for 6 weeks:

Chumby with scuffed film

The chumby is a fingernail-operated touchscreen, so I ordered a custom invisibleSHIELD, a plastic originally used to “protect the leading blades of helicopters from wear and tear” and now sold for iPods, laptops, cameras, etc.

They come with a lifetime guarantee so I’m guessing my chumby screen will be safe from my fingernails from here on out.

If you want your own custom-order invisibleSHIELD, you’ll need good measurements and a link to a photo. Here’s what I gave them:

  • Inset in a bevel
  • 2 1/8 inch x 2 27/32 inch, plus a hair on each side
  • Radius at the corners at about 1/32 of an inch
  • a link to chumby.com for photos

Expect to pay about $18 with shipping and to leave your chumby powered off for about a day after applying the screen protector. For better results, recalibrate the touchscreen afterwards to compensate for any loss in sensitivity.

Chumby streams your favorite internet radio station

Want to stream internet radio to your chumby? Type its URL on the chumby’s on-screen keyboard:Add a stream URL with the chumby's on-screen keyboard

Or choose from preloaded audio streams:
Radio Free Chumby

Chumby can play music and podcasts from:

  • iPod
  • SHOUTcast
  • Mediafly
  • Radio Free Chumby
  • My Streams
  • SlimServer
  • My Music Files (USB)

with beta control panel 2.6.54.

‘My Streams’, automatic rebuffering, and screen art are new since my last report.

Chumby is getting better fast. In November, when I got my Chumby, you could play music off an iPod, or use btplay at the command line to stream audio from any URL. The beta control panel makes this easier–and lets your chumby play widgets while you listen to music.

Streaming radio on my chumby

Streaming internet radio is a consumer’s killer app #1 for the chumby.

Hackers immediately find the joy in a cheap, hackable, portable linux mini-computer. But Muggles might ask, “How much did you pay for that?” or “What is it for?”

While the chumby still lacks a webbrowser (a tall order on a 266MHz ARM9 with a 3.5 inch screen), the beta control panel brings the chumby *much* closer to being an end-consumer device. If the rate of improvement and community interaction continue, I’ll be quite pleased, come spring, to have dubbed myself ‘chumbylover’.

I’ve used chumby more this weekend than anytime since Thanksgiving. Yesterday, I flipped from Berkeley’s KALX to skip sports programming from their match with Princeton, just to find WPRB gearing up for coverage of the same match. Earlier, Handel’s Messiah was streaming from my chumby. (Thanks WCPE!). Now I’m listening to oddly soothing music from Bob Brainen’s show on WFMU–a nice mix of instrumental (I’ve never heard a bass clarinet do *that* before), jazz, and pop music. Easy-listening, but not in the pejorative sense.

And how easy streaming is–in the control panel sense. 🙂

The default control panel has one music option: playing off an iPod.

Beta control panel 2.6.49 music options are much richer:

In either case, you can also ssh into the chumby to access other music sources.

Bottom line: Sure, I could pull streaming audio off my computer or a dedicated device, but the chumby–with its built-in speakers and rounded, hand-friendly shape, makes internet radio much more fun.

If only my house had more power outlets!

How to get a chumby

Quick answer: Go to http://store.chumby.com/

Are you sure you want one? The chumby isn’t ready for the masses yet [says CEO Steve Tomlin]. Still want to buy a chumby? They’re

“Insider’s versions will be upgraded … via WiFi to the full launch version, for free” [bunnie:studios, blog of designer Andrew “Bunnie” Huang]

Chumby now available