Chumby, the Next Generation

Chumy One

If you're unfamiliar with the Chumby, you might want to go back to the May 2008 issue of Linux Journal. Daniel Bartholomew showed us all about the cuddly little gadget and explained why we might want one of our very own. The folks over at still sell the original Chumby device, but they've come out with a new model, the Chumby One. I'm rather fond of the numbering scheme they chose, because that would mean the original Chumby is number zero. If the next model is the Chumby 10, they will get extra geek points!

How does the new revision stack up? Quite frankly, it's great. Although it may have lost the rounded edges and squishy case, the Chumby One adds some welcome features:

  • A dedicated volume knob, for quick-and-simple volume control.
  • Rechargeable battery for Chumby uninterrupted mobility (battery not included).
  • FM radio.
  • Beefed-up CPU (454MHz).

I'll admit I always thought a Chumby would be more of a novelty than a useful gadget; however, I was pleasantly surprised to see its rotating "widget" display happily keeps me informed and entertained during my workday. It can stream Pandora (and other) music in the background, display LOLcats and show you the weather. At night, it makes an extremely useful clock radio. Because it has a rechargeable battery, toting it around isn't a problem. If you've been tempted to pick up a Chumby, but were concerned it would just collect dust, you might be pleasantly surprised!

Shawn is Associate Editor here at Linux Journal, and has been around Linux since the beginning. He has a passion for open source, and he loves to teach. He also drinks too much coffee, which often shows in his writing.

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