Topic: End of Chumby as we know it...
As most of you know, Chumby Industries went out of business just about a year ago. The current service has been maintained by a handful of volunteers, including myself, and the service itself has been paid for by various entities - the Chumby estate, then the assignee for the assets, and finally a company that does not wish to be identified.
Unfortunately, that will be coming to a halt soon. As of the end of this coming February, the current service will no longer be paid for.
So - what does this mean? Well, if nothing happens, all of the devices go dark, and all of the various services, including this forum the wiki, the widgets, the Control Panel, source code, development tools, etc., all disappears.
I really don't want that to happen.
I am currently in the process of creating a new company to keep at least some form of the service running, so that we're not all left with bricks. Since I would be funding this out of my own pocket, that means some sacrifice, at least initially, of some of the features currently enjoyed by Chumby users.
What's happening at the moment is that I'm working to clear and acquire title to the assets necessary to run the service - that means at least some of the Chumby trademarks, the domains, the copyrights to all of the servers, control panels, widgets, and other miscellaneous stuff. We should know shortly if that will be successful.
I am also working with some ex-Chumbians to back up everything for possible restoration in the future.
From a service standpoint, my priorities are as follows, in order:
1) Provide enough service for the devices to boot, download a Control Panel, and play a single fixed widget (probably a clock). This will allow alarms to work. I will probably have to rev at least some of the Control Panels for this to work properly.
2) Post the source code required to be posted under the terms of the GPL and other licenses for the software incorporated in the devices - essentially the same as the current http://files.chumby.com/source - the toolchains, and other development tools.
3) Find someone in the community to host this forum and the wiki. If you can do this, please contact me.
4) Support as many of the current music sources as possible.
5) Clean up and post the source code to some of the previously non-public software - mainly Control Panels. Note that this will require some scrubbing to remove code covered by Chumby's content contracts, as well as third-party trademarks.
I will be dropping support for certain clients - "virtual chumby", "chumby" and "chumby Lite" Android clients, NeTV (to the extent that they're still using Chumby services) and probably all of the TV sets, at least for now.
You'll notice that I'm not currently thinking about supporting widgets - that's the largest ongoing cost to running the systems. If there's a way to deliver widgets in some form without incurring large bandwidth bills, I will do so, but it's not my highest priority.
I will be putting up some method of donating to keep the ecosystem running - I would certainly appreciate any donations.
I wil post more about the current structure of Chumby's systems and economics.