I heard about Chumby sometime last year from one of the founders, Duane Maxwell, when he decided to move on from the Linspire company. Since then, I’ve been patiently waiting for the product to be made available for the public. I wished I could be one of their first 50 (or 100) testers though. Judging from their comments so far on chumby forum, the early testers were having a blast tinkering with the toy. Some even customized chumby’s physical appearance and I like this one the best. I think it would be a blast if somebody implements it on the teletubbies (ignoring trademark and copyright.) ;-)
Anyway, they finally opened up the product for people who left their email address to be notified when chumby is out for the public. This group is called the “Insiders”, and I assume I’m one of them now. I believe they’re still in the “Insiders” mode until December this year; anybody can still register their email to be notified later.
So, I received my chumby last month (October 2007.) I didn’t bother to document the whole experience (opening the box, setting up the first time, etc.) Anybody who’s interested to see it can always find chumby-related pictures on flickr.
I haven’t really explored its full capabilities yet. So far, I only use it to track and display several places: flickr, facebook, lolcat, icanhazcheeburger, google news, clock, and weather, using their widgets. I also implemented chumby app. on my facebook. Since the whole concept is open-source application, anybody could hack their own chumby and/or create their own widgets.
So far, it’s been fun.