Topic: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

There's an awful lot about Chumby that I like, and I'm impressed with the effort that's gone into getting it this far along. I feel kinda bad providing negative feedback, but I signed on as an early adopter in the hopes that I could help the Chumbians make Chumby more successful (and, frankly, more to my liking), so I feel it's my duty to be honest. Please know that the following is said with respect.

I was very excited about Chumby when I first read about it on the Make blog. I have mad respect for Bunnie and his involvement particularly caught my interest. When I was able to sign up to buy Chumby, I was even more excited. When I put my order in, I was thrilled. And when my Chumby arrived, I was downright stoked. Seldom has a project so struck my fancy - cute, able, totally open hardware... right up my alley.

On the first day I had Chumby working, I turned it off when I went to bed. This wasn't something I had planned on ever doing - the always-on nature of it is something that appealed to me from the very beginning. But I found that in "night mode" the Chumby produced too much light to be in my bedroom - I like it dark. Off it went.

For the next couple of days, I read a good portion of these forums. I made a few suggestions as to how Chumby might be improved in my eyes. I created channels for my Chumby. I became Chums with one of my friends, who had also bought a Chumby after I showed him the website. I installed a user-created script to allow me to control Shoutcast streaming on my Chumby from my web browser.

And then I lost interest. At this point, I haven't turned my Chumby on for a week or more. I think the main reason why is that the Chumby doesn't feel like it's mine.

I have shares on my network containing music, movies and images. This is the media that's most personal and of the most interest to me. Chumby is on my network, yet there isn't any way I know of - and certainly no obvious or easy way - to integrate that media with my Chumby Experience. Chumby seems uninterested in *my* interests.

Chumby makes no effort to acknowledge my lifestyle and habits. I don't expect it to figure this stuff out - while I know it's feasible to implement "learning" algorithms that would make Chumby adapt to how I use it, I don't perceive that as desirable. I'd actually be happier being able to explicitly set rules for Chumby rather than discover that Chumby has "learned" something erroneously. I'd like to tell Chumby, here's when you're allowed to use your backlight. Here's when you're allowed to make sound. Here's when I care about the weather or the news and here's when I just want to be entertained. I suggested a way to accomplish this here ( ) but received no acknowledgment from anyone in any official capacity. Maybe this is in development; maybe it will never be implemented. I don't know - I got no response.

And Chumby is interested in selling me stuff. The fact that this has been brought up so many times and in so many ways in these forums is significant. Yeah, some people knew this ahead of time, and others are okay with it having learned after the fact. Browsing the forums, I get the impression that at least twice as many people are unhappy with the idea than are down with it, and many, like me, made the purchase unaware. My bad, sure, but it makes for a less than happy customer. When I see stuff on Chumby that I didn't personally choose, Chumby feels like an unwelcome visitor in my home who insists on talking about stuff I care nothing about. I buy what I want, what I see value in. Advertisements make me *less* likely to buy something. If I want it or need it, I'll seek it out. And I do - I'm a good little consumer. I fritter away all of my disposable income, mostly on stuff I don't need (like Chumby).

It seems to me that Chumby is being positioned as a little digital friend. It's cute, it's small, it's charming, it's hip, etc. It's kind of similar to the virtual pets in that sense. I have friends who have real pets with bad habits - they shrug and love them anyway. I'm not that way - I won't have a pet that howls or makes messes. That's kind of how I feel about Chumby right now; it doesn't really do what I want it to, and it has its own agenda. So it sits sadly on my desk, bereft of power, gathering dust.

Some folks are talking about making an alternative Chumby firmware. Maybe I'll go that route, or roll my own. I don't really have time, though, and I don't really want to. I like the idea of supporting the Chumby team. For now, it'll continue to sit around until I see what direction the official firmware takes.

I hope Chumby and I can be friends some day.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Perhaps you should take a look at the Beta Software section of the forum.  Many of the enhancements you're requesting are in the current Beta release, or coming shortly.

We don't necessarily respond to every suggestion in the Product Suggestions section of the forum - it doesn't mean we aren't listening.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

g33k wrote:

But I found that in "night mode" the Chumby produced too much light to be in my bedroom - I like it dark. Off it went.

That is really true. My workaround for the moment is: I turn my chumby face down - not very elegant, but really effective smile

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Christian wrote:
g33k wrote:

But I found that in "night mode" the Chumby produced too much light to be in my bedroom - I like it dark. Off it went.

That is really true. My workaround for the moment is: I turn my chumby face down - not very elegant, but really effective smile

That is an issue with most LCD screens. Even black puts out light unless it is an "E-Ink" setup.

"Those who would give up essential Liberty, to purchase a little temporary Safety, deserve neither Liberty nor Safety."

5 (edited by Christian 2007-12-07 11:47:02)

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Well - the solution would be easy: just turn the screen off completely. This is something the chumby already seems to support - it's just not used at the moment.

You can try it by setting the dimlevel to "2" by:

echo "2" >/psp/dimlevel

Then set your alarm, activate the nightmode and deactivate it again. (In this moment the dimlevel gets read and the screen turns off.) Afterwards reset the dimlevel:

echo "0" >/psp/dimlevel

And now when the alarm goes off, the screen is activated again. I haven't tested this over night yet, but it seems promising, even though this is just a test and no permanent solution.

Just realized that you can turn off the screen directly by:
echo 2 > /proc/sys/sense1/dimlevel

That makes things more easy smile

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

The Chumby isn't quite ready for the consumer end-user market yet, and I think the strategy guys at Chumby Inc are aware of this which is why it's currently only being sold to developer and developer-types. It's still in need of a killer app and without that, the units are either going to gather dust or get returned to the retailer.  I'm guessing at this point, Chumby Inc has a secret killer app in development.. or they are waiting for "we the developers", to come up with something innovative and marketable.

It's a truly daring business gamble to front a large hardware R&D investment hoping to generate and ride the wave of applications developed by the open source community. I hope for their sake, the timing is right. Flea markets and landfills are loaded with PDA's and other electronic devices which have been successfully linux-enabled by hackers.

For me, the Chumby is more like a Lego block, rather than an end product.  I have a barcode entry and time keeping system operating at a friend's bar. It's a standard POS system based on a USB laser scanner, touch screen, and generic PC which cost about $1500 in parts alone. I'm porting it over to operate on the Chumby, which should simplify and bring the total cost of the system down to less than $500. I'll also be acquiring 2 more Chumby's to update the DJ and Cashier with realtime entry and payment information which will simplify and improve the overall business workflow/process.  When it's all up and running bug free, I'll reveal the location so you can all go visit the first Chumby operated VIP/Champagne room wink tongue


Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

As far as connecting to a Windows share, I wrote a thread in the Software section detailing how to do so. Currently you'd be able to play your music from your Windows share. Without the proper widgets, you cannot play videos or show images quite yet though.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

dwatson wrote:

As far as connecting to a Windows share, I wrote a thread in the Software section detailing how to do so. Currently you'd be able to play your music from your Windows share. Without the proper widgets, you cannot play videos or show images quite yet though.



Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Hey G33k,

I have some of the same ideas.

First, the price point absolutely has to come down from the $175 range, if it's to be marketed to consumers.  I got this (asked for it for Christmas actually) just for the hackability factor, to have a small Linux computer.  I was also an early adopter of the Agenda VR3 Linux PDA, and the Sharp Zaurus PDA.  I have ideas for the Chumby platform, but they don't include a squishy container.  It'd be nice if I could just get the chumby without accelerometer, wireless, two speakers, and squishy container for a $125 price point.  (In this configuration it'd just be a hackable Linux computer, not something providing the Chumby environment.

Alternately, if the guys at Chumby could make a "kid only version" (i.e. registerable on only a kid-friendly network) and market the devices to Build-a-Bear stores, they could make a killing when kids want to install a "personality" into their bears.


Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

hmm i saw a wifi internet-radio alarm clock on firebox the other day for ~$300 and thought "why... i can do that and more on my chumby for $100 less!"

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I understand the feeling of it "not being your own".

Lately my channel has been displaying "Chumby 101" tips and an advertisement video, neither of which I added to my channel. Yesterday I just set it to night mode and I am probably going to leave it at that until I see a new Control Panel announcement or something.

There are some widgets I would love to use, but due to the nature of my internet access I am unable to see them. Adding support for proxies would fix this, but thus far no dice, so I can't use all the widgets.

So in short, I am feeling a little let down because my device displays content I am not interested in (and have no control over) and is unable to display the content I am interested in.

So what now?
Well, it makes a decent alarm clock, and I think I might try and get SNMP running on it out of sheer boredom.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I can't believe they intend to "ride the wave of applications developed by the open source community." Were that the case, surely they wouldn't have chosen Flash as the format for widgets, or even to limit development to "widgets" to begin with. That's not much like real development. Not only is the developer sandboxed, he's pretty much stuck using expensive, closed-source development tools. (Yeah, I know there are open source tools - sort of - but from what I've read and seen, that's more a technical than practical argument. To develop easily - or to develop full-featured widgets - I get the impression one is pretty much stuck with the proprietary tools.) This is no way to attract the open source community - it's a way to keep them away in droves. The only sense in which Chumby currently seems like it would attract the open source community is as a hackable hardware platform (ie, wiping the Chumby interface and repurposing Chumby altogether). Clearly this isn't what the Chumby crew wants to see happen, based on their revenue model.

I know that in some limited sense, the stuff I've written about can be done by SSHing in and running commands, hacking scripts, etc. But I administrate a dozen Linux servers at work and have several Linux machines at home, too - the last thing I want to do at the end of the day is remotely administrate my freaking alarm clock. It's too much to have to do that to run a single command. If I were asking it to do something outrageous and sweet, that would be one thing - but to turn off the backlight? Mount a Samba share on my local network? Start a music stream? Life is too short, friends - we've all got better things to do.

I have enabled the alternative control panel, and it is an improvement, as far as it goes.

I can start a Shoutcast stream on the Chumby itself, and that's sweet, and I do dig it. But when the stream glitches - as Shoutcast streams are wont to do - Chumby can't be arsed to restart the stream on it's own. I have to do it myself. I don't want to tend my Chumby, man - I already told it to play music. Don't make me tell it again.

As far as I can tell, there's still no means for me to teach Chumby the house rules, as described in my initial post. To me, that's the starting point, that's basic - if I can't forbid Chumby from annoying me, it gets no electricity. That's all there is to it.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

We've created a hackable device - the choice to hack it or not is entirely yours to make.

It's impossible to create an "everything for everyone" device - so we did our best to deliver the capability for people to tailor the device to their particular needs.  There's absolutely nothing we can do for someone that wants it do some something special but in not inclined to make any effort. The tools are there, they work.

I don't think we're interested exclusively in "Open Source" developers - everyone's invited to play.

Some of the Open Source tools for Flash are quite nice, particularly FlashDevelop.  Perhaps you should take a look at it - some of our own internal developers use it to create fully functional widgets with quality comparable with those created with the Adobe tools.  Personally, I don't use it because I develop on a Mac, which is not supported by FlashDevelop at the moment. 

If issues in the Control Panel Beta with regard to SHOUTcast support are causing you such heartburn, perhaps you should wait until the final version.  I can't see how we could possibly have been more clear that the beta is not for people that are looking for release-quality software.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust


Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I'm sorry if my tone seemed insulting and I apologize for offending you.

We certainly appreciate feedback - I think most people on this forum would agree that we've been *extremely* responsive, and many of the features in the Beta software are direct responses to stuff posted by users on this very forum.

However, if we did everything folks are asking for here, we'd have a bewildering mess of settings and options, and that's even *worse* than simply dropping a feature that appeals to only a small segment of the market, especially for the average joe user.

I'll get back to work now, and hopefully, eventually, your chumby will become what you want.

(NOTE: this post was originally *after* the next post, which was removed by the author, then reposted).

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I just spastically deleted the post to which Duane responded. Here it is:

I resent your condescending tone. Of course it's my choice "to hack it or not." I'm well aware that you can't make an "everything for everyone" device - I'm not asking you to. And I'm well aware that anything labeled "beta" isn't release quality - that's what beta means.

Completely aside from it being unnecessarily insulting, I feel you're making a mistake in characterizing me as unwilling to "make any effort." The initial setup of my Chumby borked, obliging me to download new firmware, put it on a flash drive, and restore the Chumby. I didn't send it back, blast it on the forums, or get ill with your support. Instead, with their help, I fixed it and complemented you guys on your excellent support. I've SSHed into Chumby, poked around, experimented. I've installed custom scripts. I've posted ideas and provided feedback. I've read lots of info, official and otherwise, here and elsewhere, to try to get the most out of my Chumby. And never yet has anyone posted a suggestion in response to me that I've ignored or failed to try out. I'm not complaining - this is what I signed up for.

But if you think that the average joe user is going to do this sort of thing - muchless whatever I would have had to have done for you to feel I'd "made an effort" - you are exquisitely unrealistic. I've worked in IT for a long time; I have a pretty good idea of both what the average user is capable of doing and what they're willing to do. When you unleash Chumby on the general public, you'll find your customers considerably more lazy, unrealistic, demanding and whiny than myself.

I'm not now asking nor have I ever asked you to alter Chumby to suit my particular needs and wants. If I had the expectation that you tailor Chumby to me, specifically, my suggestions would have been much different. I've limited my feedback to requests and problems I feel will be common. You may disagree with me and I may be wrong - fair enough. I think it's pretty lame to brush these things off as my being unreasonable, though - I don't think my feedback has been at all far out.

I appreciate your suggesting FlashDevelop - I wasn't aware of it. I've just had a look with the intention of installing it and trying it out straight away. To my dismay, it is Windows-only, requiring .NET. You're a Mac guy; I'm a Linux guy. And FlashDevelop has no GUI for design - it is code-only. Admittedly, it's been years since I did any Flash development, but lacking even basic WYSIWYG vector editing seems rather crippling. I have no doubt it can be done, but it sounds pretty painful. To my knowledge, there is no graphical Flash development environment for Linux.

If you don't want to hear negative feedback, just say the word and I'll shut up. Really, I will. I have no interest in wasting my time posting this stuff if it will only be discounted out of hand or taken as some sort of personal insult. And I certainly don't want to do so if I'm to be condescended to in response.

Despite what you may believe, I want Chumby to do well and that is the spirit in which I've contributed thusfar.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

sigh also...


I appreciate all your hard work and your feedback you have been giving, you are appreciated!

However, I have noticed that your default reply to many (if not most) ideas is

"We've created a hackable device - the choice to hack it or not is entirely yours to make."

I must say, that I have tried very hard to take your responses on the board in stride and on the positive side.  However it has been an effort.  Maybe it's the way your write or the language you use in your posts, but you almost always seem to come off as "Screw you, I'm the man, if you don't like what I've done - do it yourself".

g33k had some very basic and pretty much mandatory items that I think we can ALL agree that the Chumby should do.  He wasn't asking for much and to be honest, he is asking for much less than most of us have asked for.  So your typical response just wasn't merited this time and I couldn't let it go.

Hope you take this the right way (as constructive criticism).  Maybe you need to open up a bit on your opinions on some of these things and notice that 90% of the users are asking for the same stuff and they shouldn't have to "hack it themselves" since it a "hackable" product.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I don't unilaterally decide what goes into the chumby - there's a Product Management group that does that.  They create the specifications from which I, and others in the company, work. In many cases, I (and others) prototype stuff independently that finds its way into specifications.  The forums and the vocal proponents here are *part* of the input that we get that defines features - we also do focus groups and user testing, we talk to analysts and press, and various flavors of experts.

Here's the Big Problem - different people think of the chumby in completely different ways - what seems to be an "OMG Chumby is DOOMED if it doesn't do X" to some people is often of completely zero interest to other people that think something *else* is the Ultimate Critical Feature.  We have people that say we *must* support GPS, that we *must* support SD cards, that we *must* support webcams, video out, Ethernet, EVDO, meshes, iTunes sharing, iPhones, Java, .NET, VOIP, etc etc etc.  The Product Suggestions section is an interesting read.

We kinda knew this going into it - that we will never accommodate everyone's pet ideas.

So we made something that allows folks to implement whatever they want independent of what *we* think people want.  So - if someone thinks it's Really Important that the screen be turned off, or it's Really Important to mount Windows shares, it's easy to do for someone so inclined, with the appropriate skills.

We have constraints that often limit what we can do in the chumby - patents, licenses, practicality, performance, ease of use, discoverability, support - and product management takes all of those into account when coming up with a feature set.

Many of the folks that hang around here, and are the most vocal, are technical people.  This makes a lot of sense because they're typical early adopters, and the device in its current form is very attractive to that group - if I didn't work here, I'd have definitely bought one by now.  Unfortunately, highly technical people, and I explicitly include myself in that group, often make very poor product designers.  In many cases, I actually *agree* with what people are suggesting from a theoretical standpoint, however, I recognize that I am a poor gauge of what actually makes sense for the product - I often sneak in Easter Eggs that make this stuff at least possible.

In the long run, technical people are *not* the market for the chumby - we have to design the feature set around the mass market. They're the ones that will call Support when they turn off or dim the screen and can't figure out how to turn it back on, will never use any ability to mount Windows shares, will *never* be able to enter a meaningful URL in the My Streams music source, and will *never* get SlimServer working.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I think g33k's very first post only mentioned a few items that I think are pretty much mainstream.  It doesn't take a marketing mental giant to figure that one out.  Hmm, I have a sh*t load of media on my home network (itunes music, pics, etc...) and I have this wifi device that can't see any of it.  Hmm, lemme see - $175 for what - a clock?

Open your mind & check your tune.  I am the mass market customer.  I could give a crap less about linux, but I bought this thing for the widgets and building widgets (I'm not the open source fanatic at all).  I want this thing to work as easy as an iPod.  I am looking to build widgets for it for your "mass market"!

I know one thing for sure, that your replies to the majority of things like this in these forums can be taken the wrong way very easily.  I hadn't been back to this forum for a long time, but recently came back on and what is one of the first things I see?  A rude post from Duane again.  sigh...

I started a big fan of this thing, but am quickly seeing that it is getting left behind by other things very quickly.  In fact, an iPhone can replace this thing already.  You had the jump, but you are or have wasted your lead.

Keep trying and I do appreciate your efforts, but I hope you can get it together and rolling a little faster or the Chumby will just be some old "toy" that never made it out to the market and has been left behind.

It's your company and your product.  I'm merely a customer - what the heck would I know!?!?

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I'd *love* to support iTunes sharing - unfortunately Apple has locked that system down, so it simply can't be done.  To my knowledge, the necessary authentication scheme has yet to be broken - and even if it were, the DMCA would probably prevent us from implementing it in the chumby.

Likewise, Microsoft has sent some pretty clear public signals that they believe that Samba infringes on some of their patents. I don't know if that's truly the case, but I don't think this company is currently prepared to take the risk without some clarity on the issue.

Chumby lives in a *very* hostile environment for data sharing - closed, undocumented, proprietary protocols, protected by software patents and copyright law.  These companies are holding your data hostage - if they used open, unencumbered protocols, we'd be all over it.

As you probably know, we *do* support SlimServer, which provides access to the iTunes music directories and any music not encumbered with DRM, as well as any other directories of music you might happen to have, and it's supported across several operating systems.

There are no common protocols for photo sharing - Apple uses something called DPAP for iPhoto, but it's a moving target and not officially documented.  The last time I checked, the Picasa application does not share photos except to other applications on the same computer.

21 (edited by limbo 2008-01-08 08:44:28)

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

I used iTunes as an example most could relate to.  My drive is loaded with shared music folders with MP3's.  All my other devices find those files very easily and display them up all over my network.  Even a lot of my iTunes are .mp3 format.

Same goes for photos.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Can you give me a list of those devices, so I can take a look at how they implement these features?

23 (edited by g33k 2008-01-08 09:59:32)

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

> Likewise, Microsoft has sent some pretty clear public signals that they believe that Samba infringes on some of their patents. I don't know if that's truly the case, but I don't think this company is currently prepared to take the risk without some clarity on the issue.

It's my understanding that Samba - the free / open reimplementation of Microsoft's proprietary SMB filesharing protocols - has been developed from the ground up as a "clean room" reimplimentation. Further, it is my understanding that reverse engineering for the purpose of interoperability is explicitly protected by US and international law. The Samba codebase is used in many commercial products based on Linux and to my knowledge no one has encountered any legal difficulties with that.

A recent ruling has allowed the Samba team access to more of Microsoft's protocol specs, and Samba will become all the better for it. This new development will also be compatible with the GPL, bringing more integration and network interoperability to Linux-based devices legally.

I don't believe there are any legal impediments - patent-based or otherwise - to adding SMB-based network operation to Chumby. Whether the Chumby team will agree that meaningful participation on the consumer's home network is Really Important is another question, of course.

My argument is that Chumby is of no use whatsoever unless it participates on the consumer's home network - without wifi access to the net, it's just a quirky and expensive alarm clock. Clearly, wifi access to the net is presumed. Having already joined the network, the next logical question seems to me "what network resources can the Chumby make use of?" I've shown my Chumby to several non-technical, non-geeky friends and their first response in every case was to ask whether it can show photos, music and/or video from network shares. This stuff used to be geeky, sure, but the landscape has changed - regular users are aware of this and expect it. When I told them that sadly, no, Chumby can't do that, I was met with a polite "WTF?" It has a touchscreen, speakers and network connectivity; they felt instinctively - as do I - that that is basic functionality one can reasonably expect.

Regarding your list of other allegedly Really Important features - GPS, SD cards, webcams, video out, Ethernet, EVDO, meshes, iTunes sharing, iPhones, Java, .NET, and VOIP - I respectfully disagree with both (whomever's) suggestion that those are Really Important and your categorization of my suggestions as equivalent. SD card, video out, EVDO, meshes and Ethernet support would be various degrees of nice, but those would require hardware changes - not something I would suggest or expect. .NET is a Microsoft technology and clearly incompatible with your chosen (Linux) platform. As you rightly said above, integration with Apple technologies would require access to closed and protected protocols - again, not something I'd suggest or expect. And IMHO GPS and VOIP, while they could be accomplished, seem pretty disconnected from the stated primary intentions of Chumby. These are all suggestions to which I, at least, would consider "it's a hackable platform - knock yourself out" to be a perfectly reasonable response.

Local media access via SMB, by contrast, requires no additional hardware and would be based on established, free and open code. It would provide functionality with broad appeal and meet common expectations. Perhaps most importantly, it would enhance Chumby in the usage I understand you to intend - as a media-rich entertainment device that integrates with one's existing home network. It would also allow future enhancements to Chumby's current features - by facilitating custom audio and even video alarms - while removing the necessity of acquiring, loading and installing an external USB flash drive.

Devices I've used that integrate in this fashion do so simply - one has only to specify the SMB resource locator and, optionally, login credentials, to access a root folder containing a folder hierarchy containing media. One then browses through folders as necessary, ultimately selecting a single file to play/display. This works for both audio and video files. For images, one might simply choose a folder for a slideshow, or perhaps to browse in terms of thumbnails. $50 photo frames widely available right now do all this with dramatically less hardware (though from local storage rather than over the network, usually).

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

"Clean room" and "reverse engineered" implementations get you around copyrights, not patents.  "Interoperability" is not a defense for patent infringement in any country.

While it is true that in the past, Microsoft has not sued anyone over the use of Samba, they've made it very clear in the last year that they may be changing that policy, to the degree that several Linux distributions have obtained blanket license agreements from Microsoft.

The recent EU situation with regard to Samba, is brand new, and actually reinforces the possibility that the current implementation infringes Microsoft patents, since they were obligated to disclose specific patents to the Samba team, unfortunately under a non-disclosure agreement.  The only purpose of this was so that the Samba team could modify their code to attempt to avoid infringement - the patents themselves were not licensed to them or any of their users.

It may be the case that this company is willing to take the risk, but that's a decision for upper management. I will bring it up with them.

Another *huge* issue, of course, is that Samba is moving to GPL3, which makes it license-incompatible with the Linux kernel, which is released under the GPL2-only.  It may be that we will be unable to integrate a patent-clear implementation even when the Samba team releases one.

I keep hearing about all these cheap devices easily that stream music and pictures from desktop computers over the LAN using open protocols - would somebody please tell me what they are so I can see how they do it?

Somebody brought up the iPhone earlier - I have to point out that even the iPhone won't stream from iTunes shares or stream photos from iPhoto shares, products from the *same* company.

Re: Why my Chumby is gathering dust

Duane wrote:

Can you give me a list of those devices, so I can take a look at how they implement these features?

Well I'm sure you can find plenty without my help.  This is of course your business market right?  Anyway, for what it's worth here is a short list:

Tivo - great example as it's Linux based
Linksys Network Storage System
DLink DSM-G600
Many LCD Digital Frames (just seach on Amazon to find some)
Mvix Wireless HD Media Center (Linux)
Neuros OSD Linux Media Recorder
Pertelian External LCD Display v5
HP OfficeJet 7410 Printer

Countless software examples (ie.  iTunes, Media Center, etc...)