Should I get a Chumby?
October 16, 2009 9:42 AM   Subscribe

Why do you like Chumby? I'm not trying to be cheeky here. I really want to know. Of those of you who love your Chumby, what is it that you love the most? Why did you get one? Where do you use it? What are your favorite widgets?

If you have strong feelings against Chumby, I would love to hear you too. I want to know if I should get one.

Let's not devolve into a religious war, k? :)
posted by velvetsmog to Computers & Internet (11 answers total)
Mine sits on a bedside table. Biggest use is as a customized alarm clock with Internet radio (NPR during the week, Pandora on weekends). Having rail delays and forecasts are nice too.
posted by djb at 9:53 AM on October 16, 2009

I looked at the Chumby as a alarm clock similar to djb, I just couldn't justify the cost for internet radio - though I do like the metro rail delay notification. I also thought it would be nice to have. I wonder if there is a cheaper alternative...
posted by gagoumot at 10:30 AM on October 16, 2009

In college, prior to the Chumby, I had an old HP iPaq PocketPC (similar to this) for checking email and streaming TV between classes via WiFi. No widgets, but there were apps or sites that could do most of what a Chumby does. The biggest drawback was Windows Mobile.

If you're near WiFi most of the time, what about an iPod Touch? Cost is comparable, and you can use it places other than home.
posted by djb at 11:31 AM on October 16, 2009

They seem pretty boring to me. A friend of mine has one and he kind of uses it as a cross between a TV, alarm clock, and photo frame.
posted by reddot at 12:31 PM on October 16, 2009

I have played with Chumbies and have a "virtual" Chumby widget and would love one of my own. But I don't get the price tag at all. It's more expensive than an iPod Touch, a device which can do all the same things and much more.

That's my strong feeling "against." Brilliant device, priced at twice as much as I would ever pay for it.
posted by quarterframer at 12:52 PM on October 16, 2009

When they announced the Chumby, I declared I would buy one when the price went down.

It did not, at least, not nearly enough. So I bought a G1 instead. I'll second recommendations on an iPod touch, with money left over to get a nice dock.
posted by InsanePenguin at 2:29 PM on October 16, 2009

I have a little Flash app on mine that makes me type in a code to turn the alarm clock off (snooze is fair game). That way, I have to at least be awake enough to manipulate the touch screen in order to deactivate the alarm, preventing the "turn off the alarm and fall back asleep for an hour" scenario.

One of my friends wants me to link it up with a PayPal account, so that every time you hit snooze, it donates money to a charity you hate. While it might be effective, it would get probably get expensive pretty darn fast, and there are donor some mailing lists you really don't want to be on. Still, it would be pretty awesome.

Plus, you can always wake up to lolcats if you want. How much better can it get? :-)
posted by zachlipton at 2:59 PM on October 16, 2009

We use it as an alarm clock with really customized alarms. Likely not worth the cost of admission to most folks, but it is the most/best customizable, multialarm clock I've owned. (I have it next to a Squeezebox, so we'll use the internet radio where it's a little louder/clearer.)
posted by Gucky at 6:09 PM on October 16, 2009

I was all into the Chumby before it came out, but like InsanePenguin, I found it too expensive. It was a great idea that was ahead of its time, but by the time they actually got Chumby to market and ramped up, the times had caught up with it. An iPod Touch seems to fulfill the same niche and more (is portable, has battery, etc.). But maybe I'm missing something.
posted by mumkin at 9:10 PM on October 17, 2009

Best answer: So here's what I'm hearing: awesome, customizable alarm clock with internet radio nice for glancing and seeing information at home. Really expensive, so why not buy an iPod Touch (as I could travel with that).
posted by velvetsmog at 12:31 PM on October 18, 2009

I think that's about right -- although Chumby's new OEM partnerships may tilt things back in its direction. A full-ish review of Chumby appeared on my site a couple of months ago and, in it, I lay out my guesses (and hopes) for where I think the platform is going.
posted by Veritrope at 8:22 PM on October 18, 2009

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