Topic: The good, the bad, and the chumbly.
Being an "insider" I feel compelled to provide some feedback. Overall, I'm pleased with my Chumby. I've been wanting a more generic touch-screen based device after realizing that my other info-toy, an Ambient Orb, just sat there doing very little...being ambient.
Install & Setup:
Good: For the unique packaging although it took me a day to notice the instructions hidden under the inner pouch.
Good: For having the chumby logo on the power slug. My partner fried an external hard disk earlier today because he plugged the wrong power supply into it (that didn't have the devices name written on it)
Bad: Having to enter my wireless key in HEX. Supporting passwords would be more friendly. I also had to disable MAC based filtering on my access point until after setting it up. I think the need to move the MAC address earlier in the setup process has already been brought up elsewhere on the forum.
Bad: For the confusion over the 9V battery. The battery connector is there so it should be covered in the manual. I put a battery in my chumby mainly to angle the screen so that I can look at it while it sits on my desk.
Bad: I would have like to have another go at calibration when I was on the enter WEP password screen. It was here that I realized that I didn't calibrate it very well (I used my fingertip instead of my nail) and I had to push the key to the left of the one I actually wanted to complete the setup.
Good: Activation was easy. The chumby also updated itself with no issues.
Usage & Issues:
- The Youtube widget, Albino Blacksheep, and Anime Kiosk seem to all have very choppy sound. I'm guessing something slipped in a recent chumby software update.
- Most of the other widgets I've tried work great.
- I tried connecting my 80GB iPod classic to the chumby, but the chumby got "stuck" trying to load in its contents. I let it spin for maybe 20 minutes before giving up (let me know if there is a way I can provide more info on this). I also connected an iPod shuffle which worked fine. The listing came up almost immediately.
I like how the a chumby logo appears and winks when you turn on sshd. I also like having the clock icon on the control panel show the actual time. Little touches of polish like this give the Chumby style and make it more fun to use.
I'd like to use the chumby as an alarm clock but would like some additional functionality first. I get the impression that changes are a commin'. Here is what I would like:
- Allow the user to specifiy a time for the chumby to go into and come out of Night mode.
- Alarms based on the day of the week.
- The ability to hear the alarm noise while on the settings screen.
- Extra Credit: (Without quite knowing what I'm talking about) An open API to allow developers to create their own front-end interface for the alarm clock that would get called by the control panel. The user would set which alarm clock widget they would like to use.
I'd also like to flag widgets so they only appear on my physical chumby and not the virtual one. I don't really want to broadcast my Google Calendar to the world (via my blog)...but I do want it on my desk. There are workarounds for this (like create a separate account...or just not publish a virtual chumby), but I'd prefer not to.
(Minor) When listening to the ipod, I'd like the volume slider to adjust the volume while I'm moving it instead of after I "finger-up". Currently you have to adjust by trial and error.
Instead of having Chumby 101 tips be a hidden ad-widget, I'd prefer it if they were explicity added to the default channel as regular widgets when a chumby is registered. That way the user could remove them when they get tired of them (which took me maybe 1 day).
I'll shut up now:
I'd like to thank everyone at Chumby Industries for taking a risk bringing this unique product to market. It shows promise and with a bit more work I think it will kick off a new wave of internet connected do-dads.