Chumby

I have bought a Chumby One from Amazon a while ago and I love it!

    PROs:

  • The sound is amazing! Even tough it comes from a single speaker(mono) but the base is great!
  • It is a Linux box with loads of pre-built drivers and packages
  • Great USB connectivity! I bought a cheap USB hub for it but it has a spare USB inside that is not exposed.
  • Video output (this was amazing, but now with RasberyPi comming along with HDMI output, PAL video out seams archaic, but nice anyway)
  • CONs:

  • Flash application is crap! Loses connectivity all the time! It’s a piece of $#%#$*@!
  • Company has gone bust in early 2012. It’s a shame!
  • Touchscreen is not that accurate, mine had also developed a fault where it produces a spurious response when you release a tap… poor quality resistive touchscreen.
  • I got the 500Mb micro sd card.

But overall, for the price of £59 , I couldn’t ask for more!


CHUMBY ONE – FIRST IMPRESSIONS
Well at first I was excited like a small child at Christmas! I unboxed the little wonder, however I had a somewhat low expectation from it. I roughly would knew what I was getting. A device with a pretty small screen and limited functionality which is pretty much unusable for the regular user and I wouldn’t have bought it if I were a regular user. But I am NOT!

I bought it in order to tear it apart and modify it in weird ways only a nerd would do! >:-> (and it was cheap to get one too so I thought, “Why not get one?”) Since it was meant for geeks like miself!

But then I had some terrible problems connecting Chumby to any wireless network!

The first problem I encountered was that Chumby One does not support WPA2 in Enterprise Mode… (I fixed this issue some time later, it works wonderfully!)
Ok fair enough! It is NOT a business product, it is intended for your night table… (although it would have been nice to work!)

Then I tried to connect it to an AdHoc Network to my laptop with 2 wireless cards. One connected to the internet and the other one for the Chumby’s AdHoc network.

Three hours later I figured it out! … IT CANNOT BE DONE! I was ready to pull all my hair out! One by one!

Then I Google-d the question, as proud Alpha males do not bother to read the manual nor check the Internet before going to the battle so I wasted 3 hours of my life… Nevermind I learned something, or so I like to make myself happier.

So, on this link http://forum.chumby.com/viewtopic.php?id=1111 I have found THE WAY! Ahhhh, MEKA! Let’s see if it works… BRB

This link http://wiki.chumby.com/index.php/Debugchumby describes what requirements are there for the debugchumby file.

However, IT STILL DOES NOT WORK!

I have to go now, will try later! The night is young….


GORGEOUS SOUND!
AMAZING, for a plasticky device! It has base I was listening to it just for fun!
If I plug it in a set of nice LabTek speakers we had lying around the house it is even more amazing in Stereo!
I also tried my iPod headphones sound quite sharp without too much base. But the iPod does not have too much base however it compensates using and equalizer (I use the Loudness setting on the iPod/iPhone)

Chumby has been streaming SKY’s Smooth Jazz using Shoutcast for the past 4 hours or more!

Even though I haven’t register it on-line with chumby.com it still can play music. Which is nice at least you have a basic functionality like have alarms and music without selling your privacy.

I found a few bugs too, here they are in decreasing order of their annoyance:

1) the most annoying bug is the one that after you tune into *any* streaming option (using any of the pre-built widgets), the network connection seams to drop. At least the GUI it thinks so, even though the device seams actually connected and I can access it through SSH and it streams (audibly), the GUI fails to recognise this fact. So, you have to reconnect using the GUI each time so that you access another widget that tunes into streams. Ahh also the “Control Panel” => “Settings” => “Info” fails to display any IP network info. But at the console you can clearly see the IP using ifconfig.
This is very bad! I will probably drop an email to the developers or inquire at the forums.

2) The default screen where the time & date is displayed flickers showing for a brief moment the date “1 January” and the time probably “00:00” which again is annoying, because I can notice this flickering with the corner of my eye, and is NOT pleasant.

3) the volume is set using very big steps, 14 in total I counted them! That is not enough, I would prefer a much finer control over the sound level. Also, the level increases exponentially (I guess). I hate that! Again I would like the sound volume to increase proportionally with the position of the slider volume in the Control Panel.
From 0 to 100 in steps of 8.
The values are 0,8,16,24,32,40,48,56,64,72,80,88,96 and 100. I got these values by querying the file: /psp/volume very helpfull to have the current volume value stored so conveniently :)

5) The content is mainly biased towards the US audience, which is not that comfortable… I would like to see more of the local happenings, in the UK and Europe.

4) The graphical user interface is … well… chubby, and not very chummy (i.e. friendly) 😉 The real estate is not very well used, but it does a somewhat decent job. Nevertheless there is room for improvement. And the lack of other control buttons makes the job of designing a full robust GUI harder. A joystick would be amazing, so that you can have button combinations with the big dial to adjust the brightness “on the fly” without having to go trough menus to do it!

Ahh, this brings me to the next annoyance.

5) Night mode. What the heck was wrong with whoever designed that button on the Control Panel? The whole functionality is wrong!
Here is one scenario. You go to the Control Panel press “Night” and “Done” to dismiss the dialog that pops up asking for the activation of the timer.
The screen goes darker, ok, you still have the time faintly displayed. That’s fine!
But why do you want to have a button on this darker screen saying “Skip” for my next daily alarm? This is completely pointless and counter productive on the main screen! I wouldn’t go near that “Skip” button if I would have to wake up at 7am and would have to rely on my Chumby to wake me up! But by mistake in my sleep I might knock down the Chumby and I might press this “Skip” button and miss to go to work the next day! Not good at all!
The next thing in this scenario, if you press anywhere else on the screen, but not on the darn “Skip” button or the “Dark” button that also is present on this screen then, guess what? The device magically pops up it’s regular blue chumby clock at daylight brightness! Ouch! I would label this feature the “The eye killer!”.

There is a file called /psp/branding which contains the word: “chumby” I wonder if I change it to “insignia” will I get the other set of logos?!? I guess yes! Will try soon… hihi 😉

Very interesting things to be found in this directory:
/psp/
&
/usr/arm-linux/lock
/usr/arm-linux/lock/chumby/network_status.xml <--- this file contains the network key IN PLAIN TEXT!!! OUCH!!! LEAK !!! BIG LEAK?!!?!?!??!!! /usr/arm-linux/psp/crontabs/root. ============================================================ 0 3 * * * /usr/chumby/scripts/sync_time.sh * * * * * /usr/chumby/scripts/flashplayer_watchdog ============================================================ Nice certs and shit are here: /usr/arm-linux/psp/.config/libiphone (iphone ?!?) Misc interesting things: in the bowels of the ChumbOS i have found this: /usr/arm-linux/etc/firmware-url ============================================================ http://stormbuild.chumby.local/builds/updates.xml?upd_product=falconwing&upd_configname=falconwing ============================================================ /usr/arm-linux/etc/hwconfig.pl ============================================================ #!/usr/bin/perl # $Id: hwconfig.pl 383 2008-08-20 20:56:16Z henry $ # Perl globals for hardware config # # Usage: # require "/etc/hwconfig.pl"; $CNPLATFORM="stormwind"; $HAS_CRYPTO=$ENV{"HAS_CP"}; $USB_TESTDIR="/sys/devices/platform/s3c2410-ohci/usb1"; $NETWORKIF="rausb0"; if ( -f "/psp/hwconfig.pl") { require "/psp/hwconfig.pl"; } return 1; ============================================================ Some awsome ideas from 2007! WOW! Juices2007-10-17 22:04:24 New member Offline Registered: 2007-10-17 Posts: 2 I am one of those poor souls that purchased a Pertelian a while back, and all I can say is that it was, mostly, crap. The hardware was ok, but the software was terribly lacking, and horribly written. So.. I stumbled onto Chumby today (and signed up for the email list hoping to be able to get one.. do you have any idea how hard it is knowing that I am a mile away from you guys and I can't get a Chumby yet??!! Ok.. ok.. I'll be patient. I swear. But I was wondering... can you guys be bribed with doughnuts? ) So.... anyway.. the Pertelian just wasn't what I had hoped, and it simply didn't work like it was supposed to. So..... here are some things I would love my Chumby to do, and given enough time and effort, I will likely try to code some of them if I can... but I'm not currently knowledgable on Flash.. going to have to learn that soon, I guess.) 1. Log into the Teamspeak or Ventrillo server of my choice, and show me who else is logged in, and lighting up to show me who is talking at the time. 2. Monitor my network servers, and alarm (and send me email) when something isn't as expected. Even a simple ping could be helpful, but full monitoring would be great. 3. View an internal webcam.. like a baby monitor, or, in my case, a biotech robotics machine monitor. Or.. allow me to pick a webcam of my choosing.. though, I may have to either run the cam in 320, or, run a server that would down-convert incoming video, and pass it along to Chumby. 4. Monitor Dealsucker.com (or, a widget that lets me select the sites listed on dealsucker.com individually, like the woot monitor) 5. An easily configurable countdown to whatever widget. Maybe configurable from my computer, magi-webically. 6. Allow me to push video to it, ala push my tivo video to it like slingbox. 7. Connect my ipod video and watch the shows on it. (Can it do this already? Or is it strictly music it reads?) 8. A chumby webmail client that would involve a server of some sort, allowing me to pop3 or mapi into multiple accounts and actually read my email on the chumby, ala blackberry. 9. Interface with HomeSeer software to allow me to build custom control panels to control all aspects of my home. This would let me use it as a remote control for thousands of electronics, control my lighting, my alarm, etc from my desktop at work. 10. Skype plugin that shows me who is on, and, if talking to someone, their webcam, if present. If in a conference, show who is talking at the time. 11. Built in IR receiver and IR transmitter. Allow for remote control of Chumby, and, allow Chumby to be a remote control itself. Imagine the Chumby wars within cubicles, each firing off ir signals to each other. Heh. 12. A reminder widget for my favorite tv shows so I remember they are on and when. 13. A 'what's playing' widget that tells me what is playing at a theater near me. 14. A recipe widget that uses whichever recipe websites to find recipes. 15. An internet monitoring widget that adds a flashing background, or icon when internet connectivity is unavailable. Ok. That's all for now. A big list of stuff, some of which is unlikely to be possible at this stage.. some which is definately doable. Some, if done, could open entirely new markets (homeseer integration for instance).... Anyone up to trying to make some of this work? Which of these will never work? Which can work? What limitations would I run into? Sorry.. just heard of Chumby today, and I want one of these damned things. With the widgets already available, they are useful.. with the promise of more widgets and functionality, it can only get better. (and if not doughnuts... what? Cerveza? Pizza? Anything? Throw me a bone!) That's it for today, this is probably the longest email I have ever wrote in my whole entire life!!!


Very nice post about building the “stuff” on a VM and doing stuff with it!
(I didn’t really understand what it was but I guess it might come handy later on!)
http://forum.chumby.com/viewtopic.php?id=5974
same thing here?
http://wiki.chumby.com/index.php/Scratchbox

Streaming stuff (GStreamer & co.)
http://www.damonkohler.com/2009/01/streaming-music-to-chumby-with.html

Interesting link, describing how to install/run Debian (Leny?!? whatever that is) on a Chumby!
http://www.openminddev.net/projects/wiki/4/Debian_on_a_Chumby

GCC is here now! But the paths are not set yet so it does not work from any directory…
/mnt/storage/gcc/usr/bin/gcc

Files to play:
http://radioarad.no-ip.org:8654/

/usr/chumby/alarmtones/Bugle.mp3


Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.