Its a bug... Hang in there... Geesh...
Its like returning a PC for a bug in the network stack...
I'm sorry, no, I don't see it that way. This is an all-in-one appliance -- like a NAS or CD-Tower Server (goodness, those things only worked half the time) with its own built-in 'operating system' or in Chumby's terms, 'firmware' -- which implies a level of closed system. It should work without me having to hack at it or work around, etc. That's why I have yet to really lay my hands on it as a hackable toy -- I wanted to ensure that it works(ed?) as designed. If networking doesn't work reliably, the add-on stuff i wish to do is waste of my time.
The fact that this gizmo is based on GNU/Linux, a kernel/userland combination which has years of tried and true practices and is even being 'sold' (well, okay, the support and stability is what's truly sold) by RedHat and Novell (SuSE) as Enterprise class operating systems leads one to believe that they used most of the stuff that had already been built, tacked on the bits needed to interface with the hardware, create the control panel which could do the stuff they wanted it to do and be done with it.
Wireless networking has been around for a shorter amount of time, but the practice is the same as a wired network -- if I lose connection, notify the user/administrator/whatever and when the network is available again, reconnect. Its that simple. The tools are there. Is the hardware that different that these bits don't work as they do on a 'true computer' (what is that anyhow, these days?)
In my not so humble opinion, a device that's made to be so very network centric as the Chumby should have had the wireless/connectivity piece on the very top of the testing stack. If the network doesn't work, the content display system is for naught and, suddenly, I have an expensive alarm clock. If [reconnecting] is not even feature that was designed in, shame on Chumby, Inc.
Don't get me wrong, I like the device and the options it brings; I really want it to work The Right Way(tm) and be able to add some tidbits of personal functionality to it at a later date.
That said, the techs (Chumbicians?) have agreed that it appears my Chumby is defective and are going to cross ship me a new one Real Soon Now(tm). So I'll give it another go and I'll have a few home made tools to track the Chumby status and we'll see where we go from there.
Edit: Wow, didn't realize how much I had rambled on. But I needed to say it. I don't have a ton of disposable income and was trying to decide between the Chumby (which was all about fun and playing) and an Asus Eee PC (which was more utilitarian and COULD be fun but wasn't really designed that way.) ... wow ... more rambling ... well ... whatever.