re: not having portable power. One salient, good example in my mind of why we avoid this on chumby is the Li-Ion battery return debacle that Apple and Dell are going through. I just sent in a power book battery that probably costs as much as a chumby--maybe more--and Apple is doing that for me free of charge. And the lawsuits over iPod batteries dying, and the fact that Li-Ion really is only rated for a couple hundred charge-discharge cycles......on laptops, probably the two most failure prone items are batteries and hard drives. Every laptop I've ever owned has gone through at least one set of each.
This is not to mention the extra $20-$40 the whole portable/mobile thing might add to a chumby's cost to the end customer.
Any of these hardware problems resulting in a recall or a mass-return would wipe Chumby Industries out! And companies like Apple, Dell, and IBM/Lenovo have much more extensive testing and QA departments than our little startup...it's a similar line of reasoning that eliminates features like bluetooth from the baseline feature set. We can't afford hardware returns because of bluetooth interoperability bugs--the margins just aren't there to do that. Chumby as a platform has to be robust to sell with razor-thin margins, and one method for getting there is to provide all the features you need and nothing more. The beauty of a connected content-player though, is that the *real* features that make people love the chumby are delivered through the internet from our servers so there is much less cost for providing people with a very featureful and capable content service.
As I said before, chumby is open so I don't feel too bad about not including certain very neat client hardware features that appeal to select customers. Quite likely those who demand portability will be satisfied by any number of small businesses that start up to explicitly provide upgrade kits and features to extend the chumby platform. Or, possibly, chumby may offer some day very far down the road "deluxe" versions that have PDA-like features at PDA-like prices, but not everyone can afford a $300-$400 chumby.
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