51 (edited by Nomad 2017-08-17 08:04:40)

Re: Disappointed

My Observations:

I applaud those who worked so hard in bringing the Dash back to life and providing a usable dashboard for us all to use.  While it is not perfect and am sure will be tweaked as time moves forward, it is still better then the Sony (screw you) clock only option.

With that said I was disappointed in the "$3.00" per month subscription fee required to get additional content by Chumby.  As a past software developer I understand the need to be paid for your work but question the approach that Chumby is using.  I think asking us to pay $3.00 per month (unless your paying for a online streaming app service) is unreasonable and will drive many away.  Many of us hate Apple and the Itunes store but I must say to a degree they have it right.  Pay for what you want and forget the rest.

The ability to be able to update your dash with applications you actually want on a a la carte basis is really the way to go.  This way those who actually do the programming get a slice of the pie as well as those who host the servers and web site.  It also assigns responsibility to those creating the apps to get them bug free and working as they should.

Will I subscribe to Chumby, maybe for a few months to support what they have already done but it wont be long term.

One last comment, the current "startrek" control panel looks out of place with the chumby clock overlaid on top of it, how about an option to be able to delete it completely and use the one that comes with the startrek panel.

Thanks to all that makes wonderful things happen and to hell with Sony, a company I for one will NEVER buy anything from again.

Re: Disappointed

Nomad wrote:

One last comment, the current "startrek" control panel looks out of place with the chumby clock overlaid on top of it, how about an option to be able to delete it completely and use the one that comes with the startrek panel.

Tap on the bottom icon in the lower left corner of the "chumby clock".

Re: Disappointed

I have to note that there are several successful companies that use the "all you can eat" subscription model, most notably Netflix and Amazon Prime, but also practically all music streaming services, including Apple's.

The $3.00 monthly recurring fee is to cover Chumby's monthly recurring expenses in operating the service, not for any individual apps, or even for the development.  The problem with "one-time" fee (either per app or for the service overall) inflow is that it doesn't match the structure of the cost outflow.

I asked several developers if they would support a per-app model, with the requirement that if they accept the money, they'd have to support the app indefinitely, and they'd they have to cover the costs of any chargebacks, and they all declined.

The whole goal here is to keep Chumby in the black financially.  The "deep pool of venture capital" model failed, the advertisement model failed, the donation model failed.

Re: Disappointed

$36 a year doesn't seem like a lot to ask to me. Especially for something I use daily and for all 3 of mine, that's a bargain. If it were per device, I couldn't afford it. But this I can and grateful for it. And they even allow free use if all you need is the basic clock and weather functions - very generous.

I remain very thankful to Duane and all the guys here for their work resurrecting our orphaned Dashes.

Re: Disappointed

I don't think Nomad is asking for free stuff, but rather proposing an alternative business model for chumby without a complete understanding about the economics of how the service operates.  For instance, the current subscription fee comes nowhere near covering any development costs - it mostly goes to paying for the service, local, state and federal  taxes, licensing fees, etc.

The common advice I hear, both here and in private emails is "you'd have more users if only you did X", which X almost invariably would result in less revenue, quite often to the point of financial unsustainability of the service.

I honestly don't think there's much price elasticity at this level - for instance, I would not expect 33% more users if I dropped the subscription from $3 to $2, yet the net revenue would be more than proportionally lower due to fixed transaction fees.

What if app developers don't want to charge for their apps?  Do I still have to offer and support them for free?

One option that's rarely discussed is someone else offering an alternative service.  There's nothing stopping anyone from doing it.  They just have to write the software, just as I did.  I'm not some super genius here.  Yes, it's a lot of work, and it's expensive to do, but those are the only barriers.  Well, that and you have to convince people to write apps for the new service, and then convince people to use the new service.  I even created a forum section for people to discuss it.

There have been "alternatives" presented before, back during the Great Hibernation period - however, the ones I know about mostly bulk copied my software and the third party apps without permission.  Frankly, that's a pretty sad way to go about it.

Re: Disappointed

Duane wrote:

I don't think Nomad is asking for free stuff, but rather proposing an alternative business model for chumby without a complete understanding about the economics of how the service operates.

I honestly don't think there's much price elasticity at this level - for instance, I would not expect 33% more users if I dropped the subscription from $3 to $2, yet the net revenue would be more than proportionally lower due to fixed transaction fees.

I find it very hard to believe that some people would balk at paying $3.00 a month when they pay $1.50 for a bottle of water or up to $10.00 for a cup of coffee more than once a month.

You get what you pay for and now without a Sony service to support the Dash, that is not saying much!

Re: Disappointed

I just want to thank Duane for making my Dash(s) work at all. Mine went full brick with the update and the fact I have my advanced alarm back is beyond what I was expecting at that point. The fact that it was free, makes it absolutely rude to complain, especially when he posted pics and videos of what it would look like.

That said, I really only use mine for 3 things, click, weather and music so I'm more than happy. The only thing that would make it perfect for me would be the main screen spilt half weather, half clock, but that is called a dream/request that I'd be willing to pony up cash for before asking for it. I also would only ask for something like that if enough people also wanted that to make it worth his time to do it.

Thank you again Duane and I'm looking forward to anything to do going forward. I was one of those dopes that paid $150 each for two of them...

Re: Disappointed

Wanted to add that I really like that the clock and weather automatically rotate. Cool feature.

Re: Disappointed

"I would have been willing to donate something for the effort to get these devices going again."

Did you?

"I don't feel the $3 a month for life is something I will subscribe to.  $36 a year is going to add up."

For life?  How about you join up for 3 months and consider the 9 bucks your donation?  Or would you rather the rest of us subscribe and let you know when everything is perfect.

I see you spent $100 for a device for your garage.  I sure hope it is still running 3 years from now so you get your $3 a month worth.  Keep us posted.  We'll keep a light on for you.

By the way, I just use the Full Screen Theme and have local radar, local weather, and the time rotating 20 seconds each.  I can see them all from a good distance away.

Oh, one more thing.  A sentence that starts "I'm sorry but" is not an apology.

Re: Disappointed

Uplate wrote:

"
Oh, one more thing.  A sentence that starts "I'm sorry but" is not an apology.

Spot on cool

Re: Disappointed

Figured id thow my cents into the ring..
There will always be things we are hoping for.. But the work of Duane et al... has resurrected devices that were likely heading to the trash bin... Do I miss X and Y.. Yes.. but its MY subscription that did this... along with the others who subscribed... You dont have the backing and the people power to have the UI design and apps and such.. And the paid services from third party providers..  Vageuly remember when the Oh Noes the Ads! were running rampant... It wasn't feasable... and thats one of many things that ended us where we are today... Do I hope its just the start of more to come.. Yep... Do I miss the paid weather and traffic services that SONY paid for... Yep... (yes I do miss the full screen weather report for the week) But do i think we might come close to it over the next months and possibly years if folks arent cheap .... Yes I do...

And I get to say my favorite Duaineism..... The Exits are clearly marked.. but you can now either hack yourself or donate a unit to the group ...... smile

-J

Re: Disappointed

Well said, @joltdude.

Personally, I am actually quite surprised by how happy I am with the current setup. As you say, some things gone, but it's currently, now, in a very usable and useful state that I am enjoying and that's just so fantastic considering we were looking at a paper-weight just a month or so back. So very happy and think my subscription is great deal for what I get. Very grateful to everyone who made this possible.

Re: Disappointed

Bron wrote:

Well said, @joltdude.

Personally, I am actually quite surprised by how happy I am with the current setup. As you say, some things gone, but it's currently, now, in a very usable and useful state that I am enjoying and that's just so fantastic considering we were looking at a paper-weight just a month or so back. So very happy and think my subscription is great deal for what I get. Very grateful to everyone who made this possible.

Agreed.  I actually picked up a chumby from ebay for my daughter (who loves it).

I set up a simple php script on my home web server that will randomly show a pic using the URLImage (or was that ImageURL) app.  I just dump random pics in to a folder on my server and it "works".  On the dash, it's great.  I have my old "app view" theme with clock, weather and large app area.   Note:  I got much better consistent performance out of it when I reduced pics down to 800x600 (or about that size).  Loading a 3 or 4 MB pic (or more)?  You could almost see the dash smoke.  (Not really, but there would be long pauses trying to resize that sucker).

I even mapped to my media share (for music).  I did for movies too but I would sometimes experience a crash so bad I would need to power cycle my Dash.  Honestly hardly use the Dash for watching videos or listening to music.  I have my $19 Sony Dot (yay sales day!) for music.

Re: Disappointed

@jhonryan -- Sounds great! 

You're way ahead of me, ha ha.  A good sign that you were able to get all that working so well.

Re: Disappointed

Bron wrote:

@jhonryan -- Sounds great! 

You're way ahead of me, ha ha.  A good sign that you were able to get all that working so well.

The "good sign" is my wife is actually interested in it now that it shows pics AND the time.  She actually inquired about getting one for her office desk (not practical, but it floored me that she asked).  The app selection from Sony wasn't exactly the same and many of those that did work had problems so I never did more than a few apps on rotation.  Once I got root (YAY CHUMBY.COM) I was able to do more and had some direction on glitches (like memory leak issues -- again YAY CHUMBY.COM).

Re: Disappointed

"I set up a simple php script on my home web server that will randomly show a pic using the URLImage (or was that ImageURL) app.  I just dump random pics in to a folder on my server and it "works"."

I have a Qnap server, not running a web server, would love details on how to do this.

Re: Disappointed

jhonryan wrote:
Bron wrote:

@jhonryan -- Sounds great! 

You're way ahead of me, ha ha.  A good sign that you were able to get all that working so well.

The "good sign" is my wife is actually interested in it now that it shows pics AND the time.  She actually inquired about getting one for her office desk (not practical, but it floored me that she asked).  The app selection from Sony wasn't exactly the same and many of those that did work had problems so I never did more than a few apps on rotation.  Once I got root (YAY CHUMBY.COM) I was able to do more and had some direction on glitches (like memory leak issues -- again YAY CHUMBY.COM).


Your wife?  Ha ha - that is a big win!  Usually the eyes just glaze over.  :-)

Re: Disappointed

ccchuck wrote:

"I set up a simple php script on my home web server that will randomly show a pic using the URLImage (or was that ImageURL) app.  I just dump random pics in to a folder on my server and it "works"."

I have a Qnap server, not running a web server, would love details on how to do this.

It basically reads the file and spits it out as if it was called directly.   I didn't spend any "real" time on it.   Whatever folder you drop this in, have a subfolder called "img".    Drop your pics there.   When it's called from "http://webhostname/photoframe" it will randomly push a pic from the webhostname/photoframe/img folder as if it was called by filename.  (webhostname and photoframe could be anything you want to call them) 

Not sure how you can do that off a NAS without some type of PHP supporting web service...   I haven't played with the dash web service yet.  Might be able to move that to the dash directly if it supports PHP. 

<?php

$imagesfolder = 'img/';
$images = glob($imagesfolder . '*.{jpg,jpeg,png,gif}', GLOB_BRACE);
$randomimage = $images[array_rand($images)];
$imginfo = getimagesize($randomimage);

header("Content-type: {$imginfo['mime']}");
readfile($randomImage);

?>

Re: Disappointed

i just wanted to inject another THANKYOU and say that there are scores of people reading this and shaking their head at the OP and how someone could be so ungrateful. most people out here do not take this effort and work for granted. i will add, i didnt appretiate the space theme at first, being so sony-centric... but in reality i just wasnt getting it a nd now that i have the aability to switch themes, i dont know that i even want to.