So after 6 years of wanting one I finally pulled the trigger on a Chumby Classic, all black. It's used, but looks to be in great shape. I am soooo excited to finally get to mess around with one, but let's be honest
I have some noob questions I was hoping maybe you cats could answer. I'm excited to get my hands on the little dood.
Awesome to hear! Welcome to our little community.
-So we're all pretty confident that some kind of second Chumby app repo is coming? I hear great praise for this Duane fellow, and from what I've seen he is the saviour everyone says he is, but whats the business model to support something like this? I'm not complaining either way, to me the Chumby is a piece of internet history so I'm happy to have one even if it's just an LCARS clock.
Yes, Duane was a Chumby employee. When they folded, he was able to acquire much of what was left including software, licenses, and hardware. At the time he took over, the costs to run the service were huge because of certain features and requirements from vendors. With the start of "Blue Octy LLC", he was able to keep things partially up using a "stub server" implementation. It simply serves up the control panel and LCARS clock. He's close to bringing most of the original end-user functionality back.
-I have a classic coming. Was this foolish? Will I be able (assuming the forthcoming app stuff happens) to load it up with all the widgets? Are there specific things I should know about this model?
Not foolish at all. The only reason I would say it *might* be is the fact that it uses internal flash and a cramfs filesystem. If you're looking to "hack" things, that can prove to be more difficult, but not impossible. If you're just running the widgets using the Blue Octy ecosystem, you should be fine.
-I'm seeing lots of peeps with 9Volt batteries inside their classics, yet they don't seem to be designed to run long term on them; is this correct?
I'm not sure if it powers a RTC or what exactly, but it's not designed to run the device. It is designed to keep the device "ready" in the event of a power failure, it will keep time (for a while).
-My Chumby will come with a copy of Zurks offline firmware. Are there any things I should know before I try messing around with it?
I've never really played with Zurk's firmware much, but I heard that newer versions weren't as simple as "unplug USB" to get back to normal. I'm guessing you're going to have to download the original Chumby firmware and use the update procedure to get your new buddy back to a normal state. I'm sure others will chime in with details on this, if not and you run into bumps, ask away!
-How do you install widgets?
Right now, it's using one of the alternative firmwares, or manually editing a local channels file. There's Zurk's, Nathan's, and information on the manual editing can be found on the wiki. You'd have to have the widgets already downloaded so you can serve them up for the manual method. I believe both of the other two alternatives have a handful of widgets within them.
Thanks in advance for any patience you show me, just trying to get up to speed! So EXCITED!
There's a lot of people here that are still passionate about these devices and all willing to help (myself included). If you have questions, let us know!
Linux Guy - Occasional Chumby Hacker