Can you turn a netbook into a Chumby?
December 8, 2009 2:39 PM   Subscribe

Is there a way to convert an old eee701 into something with a web-widget interface, like a Chumby or an AndroidOS-like device?

I've got an early model ASUS eee701 netbook that's probably going to be retired after Xmas (if Santa brings me a newer netbook).

It's a little underpowered to really use for a modern netbook (and the keyboard is a bit too small for my fingers), and it doesn't have a touchscreen like later models do.

But I'm thinking that it might be a cute little cubicle companion at work if I could convert it into something that was a web-widget-based interface, like a Chumby ( or something that ran Android widgets instead of the default Xandros OS or the eeeBuntu that I'm running on it.

Something sitting off to the side of my desk with a half-dozen widgets (RSS, Pandora, skype, random flickr, etc.) that I can flip through.

But I also don't need to make a new hobby out of it. So if I'd have to code it myself, or spend a weekend recompiling, then never mind. But before giving up on the idea, I figured I'd ask around and see if anyone's done anything similar and had any opinions or advice.
posted by bartleby to Computers & Internet (7 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
How about Chrome OS?
posted by espire at 2:48 PM on December 8, 2009

I imagine you could hack together a little webpage to provide this, since most of what Chumby provides is convenient access to internet resources. Leave some space for Skype to sit beside the browser (or force it to be always on top, if you can't get it to embed into a webpage), and you've got it there.
posted by filthy light thief at 2:54 PM on December 8, 2009

IIRC, Screenlets will run on the stock linux install.
posted by wongcorgi at 3:28 PM on December 8, 2009

Ubuntu is quite flexible. I'm pretty sure if you ask this question on the Ubuntu forums (if you haven't already) somebody can tell you how to set this up without too much trouble (and hopefully without making a hobby project out of it).

wongcorgi's right. Screenlets are available in the repositories, along with documentation.
posted by nangar at 5:43 PM on December 8, 2009

The Ubuntu Moblin Remix is almost exactly what you want, and very cute. But it's still experimental. You can ask around here and find out whether it works well enough suit your needs.
posted by nangar at 5:58 PM on December 8, 2009

You know you can add a touchscreen, right?

eeeuser forum is a pretty substantial resource for eee info. I didn't see anything about turning a 701 into a chumby but they're working on a tablet mod that looks pretty cool.
posted by irisclara at 11:03 PM on December 8, 2009

Make a Korg DMS-20 with it.
posted by jdfan at 5:56 AM on December 9, 2009

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