|The Chumby One, running Zurk's Offline Firmware.|
Sadly, while the devices sold okay over the years and even spawned versions from Sony and Best Buy, the company shut down in 2012. There are many of reasons for this. I even gave a eulogy of sorts for the Chumby company and outlined some of my own thoughts about what happened. Luckily, one of the
Then abruptly, though not surprisingly, the Chumby servers shut down recently. This seemed to be the beginning of the actual end of Chumby...but not so fast!
In January 2013, one of the volunteers initiated an effort to create a company to acquire all of the remaining assets of Chumby Industries for the purpose of maintaining the service. That company, "Blue Octy, LLC", completed the transaction in mid-February.They created a temporary stub service that will allow the following devices and apps to boot to a clock:
- chumby Classic, chumby One, chumby 8
- Insignia Infocast 3.5" and 8"
- Insignia Connected TV
- WOWbox 3.5" and 8"
- chumby Lite (Android)
- chumby for Sony Tablet S (Android)
Full text of the the Chumby announcement is available on Chumby.com. At this point there is no timeframe for when the full service will be back, but at least you can get a basic clock and even Pandora and other streaming services still seem to work as well.
Alternatively, and what I've decided to do with my Insignia Infocast 3.5" and Chumby One, is to run Zurk's Offline Firmware for Chumby. This runs off a USB stick to insert into the device and you can customize the widgets and settings using XML files as well as Zurk's very cool browser-based dashboard.
I am both anxious and excited to see what happens next. While I still expect my Chumbys to become expensive paperweights one day, I do not think that is going to happen just yet.
Chumby is dead. Long live Chumby!