Topic: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

How do I run the single app that the welcome message mentions for "free". I've set up a new channel with a single app and rebooted my Chumby8, but all I see is the new default channel.

Do I select a single app from the App search. Tried searchig for the Image URL app and my Chumby froze.

Not oppoed to the $3/month, just wanting to be suree the apps I want are still functional, first.

Thanks...

Johniac

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

The single app is the blue clock. Beyond that, you have to pay for your apps. You can test them out for free on the website, however.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

I kind of feel like this bait and switch. I bought my info cast 3.5" years ago, and before Chumby died, I could have as many apps and channels as I would want.  And honestly, when the service died, I didn't mind, I liked the Space/Star Trek/LCARS Clock. In fact I loved it, more than any other Chumby app I had prior to the service dying.

That said I'm not paying $3 a month just for a clock. I'd be fine, with one app and one channel for free. Which is what the "free" or unregistered subscription says, so the whole being stuck with the Chumby clock, just makes me sad..

I really wish I could return this, when I bought this years ago, I didn't have to have subscription just to have the clock I liked. I don't think it's fair to require a subscription now. There is no guarantee this service won't go under again, and I have no faith in this. The device itself is way too under powered and slow, and the screen resolution sucks.

Tell you what I'll compromise. I'll pay a one time $3 fee, to get the space clock, then unregister from Chumby services so I can sit in my corner with my space clock and never bother with this again.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

With all due respect, and keeping in mind it's been a long day...

I guess I'm not understanding your "bait and switch" scenario.  You bought a device from Insignia (a division of Best Buy) that was supported by a company that went out of business nearly three years ago.  I made nothing from that transaction.

I personally created and paid for the service at my sole expense to continue to support the device you brought from someone else, for over a year.  Your device has been querying the server on a regular basis, and I have provided access to several music services, and provided that clock and the Control Panel that presents the alarms and the rest of the functionality you have been using.  Without these services, you'd have just had a brick all this time.

I simply cannot afford to do that any more, but I recognize that there isn't enough value in the single app use case to justify asking for reimbursement (though many folks have been generous with donations).  So, I built a system that gives you everything you had before these companies either went out of business or abandoned the product, and am simply asking you to reimburse my costs of providing that service to you should you decide to use it.  Otherwise, you can continue to use the device as you have been, at no charge to you, even though still at my expense.

How exactly did *I* bait and switch anything for you?

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

Geez, I sound like Jack Nicholson in "A Few Good Men".

6 (edited by nightwinggl 2014-07-01 22:57:05)

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

That's a fair response. And kudos, I didn't realize it was a brick with out your server. I suppose that's not entirely true, as their are plenty Linux hacks out there... But I get your point.

My frustration really lies in the value for me. I simply don't want to pay $3 a month for an LCARS clock. $3 one time, would be alright.

Out of curiosity, is there a way I could run a server in my home to do the same thing?

The bait and switch probably isn't fair to you. So I'm sorry about that.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

I am in the exact same boat as nightwinggl - I use my Chumby One strictly as a clock, and I was quite fond of the Space/Star Trek clock skin. But I think it's kind of unreasonable to expect people in our situation to be willing to pay a monthly subscription for a clock interface skin.

I appreciate your efforts in regards to keeping these servers up and I hoped that the $30 I recently shelled out for a replacement power supply through the Chumby store helped, but at this point I can't help but feel a little bit shafted.

The line about being able to use the device as we have been for the last year for free isn't really true when we can't use the device as we have been for the past year for free, you know?

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

I will look into possible solutions to this issue.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

You get more than just a clock for your $3 a month. You get all the apps. On the other hand, if all you want is the LCARS clock, (and not the default clock which you can have for free), then this will still cost you $3 a month.
I am keen to expand my Chumby collection to include the Infocast range, so if you feel that your Infocast, with its underpowered processor and poor resolution, is no longer meeting your needs and you would like to sell, then please pm me.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

Duane wrote:

I will look into possible solutions to this issue.

Thanks, it's sincerely appreciated.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

Congratulations Duane that you finaly achieved your stated goal.

I too am mostly interested in the clock / weather features.
Also the colors used for the free clock are very poor with little contrast. I think it will force people who do not subscribe, to leave the online servers and use an offline version that has a better clock. Unfortunatly it does make one question if this color scheme was chosen to force people to subscribe if they wanted a clock that had reasonable visibilty.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

Hate to pile on here, but calling the $3 fee "bait and switch" is hardly reasonable. Ways to fund the Chumby service have been discussed here hundreds of times over the past year+. It's not like this is some sleight of hand trick suddenly thrust upon us. You still can't buy an internet radio for anything close to the price of a Chumby. All of our Chumbys performed up to original expectations for free long beyond their warranty periods. Same as a car or anything else under warranty, do you really expect free service for years after your warranty runs out? C'mon folks, this is just the first step in what may be a long journey to make Chumbys live again. I'm sure there will be refinements, but let's go easy on these marvelous volunteers for a while at least. If you complain about the clock face for non-subscribers, you get (more than) you pay for. The silly threat "to leave the online servers and use an offline version" would certainly be appreciated rather taking a free ride on Blue Octy's bandwidth. BTW, I just tried turning down the brightness on (free clock) Chumby and gives the illusion of a little more contrast in daylight. The regular settings look fine in indoor lighting... although I certainly think the subscription price is fair.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

I should dig up all the emails I got loudly complaining about the "Space Clock" when I first put that one up.

However, as I recall, the biggest complaints I got about it were:

1) It's way, way, way too geeky
2) The fonts are hard to read
3) It's too contrasty and colorful
4) The calendar is useless on small screens
5) It looks like the stuff on the left side should be doing something and waste screen space

The new clock was constructed to address all of those complaints, with the additional goal to let people know, without being intrusive, that there is the option to get more through the full service.

If nothing else, I *had* to change *something*, otherwise the existence of the full service wouldn't have been noticed.  The vast bulk of users that have commented publicly or sent me emails found out about the relaunch just by the clock changing.

The truth is that there is no single clock I could provide that would keep everyone happy.  The question is really setting a reasonable balance on how much additional value should be provided to the "free" users vs the ones that have chosen to subscribe.

What's changing now is that instead of *me* subsidizing the "free" users, it's becoming the paying users subsidizing them.

14 (edited by directive0 2014-07-02 08:18:02)

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

I am happy to pay the 3 dollar fee, but I do hope this re-release increases community interest in localized third-party software that will let users move widgets onto the device without a central authority.

If that doesn't happen that's fine, the system as is is great and we appreciate all the hard work, Duane! The non-sub clock is okay, I agree the colours could use tweaking. But you get what you pay for!

LONG LIVE THE CHUMBY!

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

I think the "free" clock is pretty nice -- I think it could be a matter of just pushing to free users a few different channels all with that one clock widget, but with different palette customizations.  I wouldn't want that running in my baby's room as the screen is too bright, but the Space Clock was great there.  The channel choice is made on device and if it's just the config data that was sent down differently, you don't have a lot of data usage.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

unwiredben wrote:

I think the "free" clock is pretty nice -- I think it could be a matter of just pushing to free users a few different channels all with that one clock widget, but with different palette customizations.  I wouldn't want that running in my baby's room as the screen is too bright, but the Space Clock was great there.  The channel choice is made on device and if it's just the config data that was sent down differently, you don't have a lot of data usage.

I think your solution might be the most reasonable so far. If the people behind Chumby don't want to make a whole new clock face then being able to adjust the color palette might be a good compromise.
I wrote about my displeasure of the current free clock face here: http://forum.chumby.com/viewtopic.php?pid=50473#p50473
I don't get how the current one was picked for being more legible than the old Space Clock.
It's too bad there was no vote or some sort of community submission process to pick the free version.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

@Bobz"The silly threat "to leave the online servers and use an offline version" would certainly be appreciated rather taking a free ride on Blue Octy's bandwidth"

Bobz please read my post again. I made no such threat. I simply said that if one wants to remain with a non payng service you are stuck with a very poor contrast clock. Many of those people would most likely move to an offline version which allows for a better clock. I made no commenet regarding me subscribing or not.
It does not take any sort of expertise to recognise that the free clock has a very poor contrast between the numbers and the background.  Sometimes it makes more sense to ensure that what is given for free is a good demonstration of what you will get when paying instead of a poor one. It would also ensure that more people stick around using the online version and hopefully subscribe at some future time.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

I am sorry for the few ungrateful ones who pooh pooh what is actually quite an unusual feat by Duane. He took a dead device and made it come alive again. Duane (of course with the help of other volunteers) has made it possible to even have a chumby world at all. Maybe it is the climate of entitlement that has made people expect so much for nothing. Fact: There is no such thing as a free product or service. It costs somebody something. Somebody pays for everything. I don't think Duane should pay for providing service for the 40,000 or so chumbys (and infocasts) because he happened to have been associated with the company for a while. Duane was NOT Chumby when all these units were made. Duane acquired the rights of the company and properties with no strings attached. I suspect that anyone who does not like the very generous set-up for this device can quit using it and sell it to someone who would be glad to pay for the service. I guess I get pretty tired of the cry babies.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

Wow...
Quite a thread I spawned here ;-)

To reinterate or make clear (you decide) my original point: For "Free" any chumby login should be able to choose any ONE widget for any ONE Chumby.

Multiple apps... Pay up!
Multiple Chumbys... Pay up!

I realize that this scheme will put additional billing overhead in place and if that's a deal breaker, so be it.

Further to enhancing the cash flow into Blue Octy I would be willing to pay $3/mon per chumby to enhance the surviveability of the service. Maybe a tiered service with single price for 4 or more Chumbys of say $10/month.

No criticism of the current pricing scheme intended just thinking outloud to improve Blue Octy's chances.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

you're always encouraged to buy stickers in the chumby store to add extra money to the survivability of the service.

Cleaning up any loose bits and bytes.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

I'm very happy to see my Chumby's back.  Yeah, I have a bunch, and I should part with some.

I really want to thank Duane for his quick reply yesterday.  I had a first day at work since January and came home to a puzzle.  He set me right quickly.

Love Chumby.

By the way, I'm back into doing computer science instead of teaching it and doing fun stuff.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

Let me again apologize. I didn't realize the costs Duane was under going to keep the service running even to support the LCARS Space Clock and the Music functions of the Chumby/Infocast.

The "Bait and Switch" comment was unfair. Though I think Duane is certainly appreciative of the situation a few of us are in. We only really want one app for our one Chumby device.

As I've posted before. I'd be happy to pay a one time fee for that service, I just don't want to pay a recurring fee just to have a clock. I may pursue other options like buying the Sony Dash, and loading the Space Clock on it.

I also don't think I appreciated until now how the Chumby service truly works. I really thought the Widgets loaded to the device, and didn't need to constantly need to phone home. This is less than desirable for me, as I'd love to load it once, and not have it contact the Chumby.com again, or instead run my own home server for the Chumby services.

Thank you Duane for all your hard work, and for hearing me out.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

Huh.  I guess some folks want to make sure the idiom "no good deed goes unpunished" remains true.  I won't be subscribing to the paid service, only because I'm a cheap tightwad.  But you won't hear me complaining about the free services for sure.  However the clock looks, it's lot more legible than the free imaginary clock sitting on my dresser.

Thank you Duane for all your efforts.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

Although I wish the original service had not gone out of business, and so this would be free for "life," I am also thrilled that someone took the reigns and has done something so that the hardware isn't just a brick.

And better yet, if you want to use your device without paying, you can still use it as a fantastic alarm clock for FREE. Given that without the help, this would be a $1 piece of junk at the next garage sale, I'm quite happy.

IMHO, the current situation is less than we might have hoped when Chumby was in business, but is WAY more than we could have expected save for some great work by an enterprising individual.

Re: How to Use the Free Version of the Service

I agree with dmarks51.
What is it with these people? I like to equate things to beers. $3 per month is less than a beer a month. Great value I reckon.
Would it help if there were more cats?