so now that i’ve had my chumby for a while now, i’m finally getting the chance to write a review about it, so here goes nothing
first off, let me explain a little bit about the concept of the chumby. the official chumby website explains it as “your personal internet player. there’s always something good on.” but i didn’t really understand what that meant at first either. basically it looks like an oversized hackie sack, with wi-fi, speakers, usb ports, a touch screen and a motion sensor built in. you plug it in, activate it, and let it run flash-based widgets. it’s all set up to be open-source in software and hardware… so all in all, you can basically make it into what you want it to be.
so how does it work? well it’s pretty simple to set up. you activate it by visiting chumby.com, pairing it up to your account (similar to how you pair up a bluetooth headset to your phone… you only have to do it once and then they can talk to each other) and then setting up channels. a channel is basically a loop of widgets. you can put as many or as few of these widgets in a channel as you want, and you can create as many channels as you want as well. and then you can have this thing on your desk, your night stand, whatever. also built into the chumby is a clock (which automatically gets its time via internet), and alarm clock, and even a music player (just plug your ipod in, and let it play music through it’s speakers, while charging your ipod at the same time)
so.. what are my thoughts about my chumby? was it a good use of $175 off my paycheck? i believe so. i really enjoy the idea of this. i’ve found some really great widgets, heck i even really like it as an alarm clock to wake me up in the morning. (and actually, i’ve spent more on an alarm clock before, with less features… so for me $175 was a very reasonable price for this technology) i also like being a part of the “early adapters” group, when i can afford it. but some things i noticed so far that need improvement. 1) if you have a lot of songs on your ipod (which i do) it will ‘hang’ on that because the music player is too heavy for the little processor of the chumby. this fault has been noted on the message boards, and i’m sure they are working on a “lighter” music player to address this.. so i’m not worried. 2) also sometimes the chumby freezes up on a processor intensive widget. which is fine, since the thing isn’t meant to be a “processing powerhouse” by any means… but that does point out the limits of the widgets that you can use for the chumby. 3) if you are in a wireless network that requires that you log in via a browser (not one that has a password to join the network, but one that you physically have to open up a browser and log in) you’ll run into problems joining that to the network. because there is no real “browser”, it doesn’t allow you to log into a website. you can easily set it up on most wireless networks though, and then, even when there is a password on the network, you can have it remember your network profiles and log in automatically.
with that all said, i think it’s an amazing little device, and a great idea. the construction is great (it’s even fallen out of my loft a couple times, and just bounces back… what a little trooper ) and the widgets are way fun. i’ve found that i really enjoy the traffic widget, weather bug widget, and even a couple games. i also enjoy the flickr widgets (there are a couple of them, from what i’ve found) as well as the twitter widgets (there’s at least two of those as well) so even if you wanted to just use this to display random pictures from your flickr account it’s still worth the money! (heck, digital picture frames are gonna cost you $60-250 anyways.. and there you’re limited to what’s on the card in the frame.) i enjoy the fact that it is very “open” in it’s creation, so many people are jumping on board and helping create great widgets and improvements to the chumby. all the widgets and updates are free, so you really can’t go wrong by buying now. it’s also very easy to learn, and very low maintenance, since it can just go and entertain itself all day
so that’s my review on the chumby. thanks to the chumby people for creating a great product, i’m happy with my chumby, who’s name is “chumby wumpus”, btw. (you know.. like that old game hunt the wumpus, that i used to play on my old texas instrument gaming system… maaan that game scared me. but i digress)
ps. if you want me to send you a card (i’ll be sending them mid january, for various reasons) go over here and send me your snail mail address.
pps. if you remember last year i sent out a “mix cd of the year”… i will be doing that again this year. as an added bonus i’ll be sending them along with these cards. so if you want a cd, go over here and send me your snail mail address.
heh. no i’m not going into rehab. i’m referring to the song “rehab” by amy winehouse. i love the song… and i love amy winehouse’s music. but it seems to have been my theme today. it was the last song i heard on my car radio before i got to work… and the first song i hear as i turn on my car to leave work. funny eh?
sorry i haven’t been posting much.. i’ve just been so overwhelmed with stuff… it’s not a bad thing.. it’s just that i need to focus more of my energy on the “stuff” i have to do. it will slow down soon enough. but for now… entertain yourself by visiting nikkiana’s new message boards: the chatty cafe.
that’s all for now. happy wednesday.
first i’ll start out with the broken phone. it’s not really *completely* broken.. only broken to the point of being annoying. the little plug on the bottom of my phone, where i plug it in to charge it… is… well.. picky. i have to position the cord a certain way (usually it takes a good couple minutes to play around with it to make the connectors… well.. connect…. so that it will charge) and then TAPE the cord that way. annoying? yes.
but today i got to work and i had a package at my desk! i wasn’t expecting this package so early, so it was a nice surprise. but i ordered a new messenger bag/laptop case. why did i order a new bag you ask? well let me show you….
and here’s my new bag:
sorry those pictures are so bad. i only have my camera phone (yes.. the half broken phone i mentioned earlier) so here’s a better picture (from the tumi website) of my new bag…
now hopefully this bag will last longer than my old one.. since i got that old bag around a year ago. this new bag was a little more expensive… but it has a lifetime warranty, so that might help things.
yay for new stuff. but now my lunch break is over. *waves*
in my cubicle!
these were delivered to me at work today:
(yes.. the remote hovers in the air like that. cool eh? )
so now i don’t have to wear headphones while i listen to my ipod at work. and when i was wearing my headphones i couldn’t hear my phone.. or would be surprised by co-workers who came to tell me something/ask a question… so i would have to listen to only one headphone.. and it was a little uncomfortable to do that. and i found these little speakers at overstock.com for pretty cheap. and they go nice and quiet.. so it’s perfect for my little desk area!
tracy = happy.
ps. happy friday the 13th
i’m happy. i’m content. if i were a cat.. i’d purr. but that’s beside the point. today was a nice day weather wise.. and pretty full, event wise.
first off… last night some friends and i went out to mona’s… and while the ‘plan’ was to not stay too late.. since i had to take michele to the airport at 4:20am… and we did lose an hour due to saving daylight time so that was fun to get up an hour and a half after lying down.
but anyways.. i realize that 4:30am is when all the people who can’t drive must “practice”…. on the freeway.. going 80 miles an hour.
but i digress.
after catching another couple hours of sleep, the alarm went off again.. time for church this time. and that was fun. i’m excited to be joining that church. i think i have a date set for officially joining too.. so that’s exciting. but after church… i ended up having like 398,287 meetings at the same time. it really was crazy.. several conversations /meetings going on between several people all around a big table… it was like “shiny thing” central… but we got some dates worked out for special music (aka: drums) at church.. and even got a rehearsal set up in there somewhere i also may be designing another website… we’ll see
so after this “meeting”.. which lasted a good two hours or so… i had another meeting… but this time to deal with nerdy-type things like… my webpage. basically i moved my webpage, thisroad.org to a new host. and i’m excited.. i’m going to start “new” on that website… later. right now i just wanted a reliable host for my main email address. i’m excited to be working with byteharmony… and if you are looking for a new host/web service provider… let me know.. i can hook you up with a sweet deal
then after talking all nerdy… i suddenly lost steam… and had to take a nap. it’s funny.. i haven’t taken naps in a while.. now it seems as if they are a necessary part of my day. i actually was going to try to make it to a benefit/coffee house concert tonight.. but i ended up crashing for a killer nap on my couch and not waking up in time. but i did get up and go grocery shopping. but i was still in one of those groggy “i still haven’t woken up” states… so i’m sure i was pretty funny looking wandering through pick ‘n save.
hey.. remember my post about buying that drum set? and i said i would write more later? well.. i guess now is later. i’m so excited about this drum kit.. it all fits into .. two bags! and i got a SUPER good deal on the set from interstate music… (and i mean AWESOME deal.. i looked online and couldn’t find it for even CLOSE to the price i payed. like as in… at least $300 more… at those online “deal finder” sites… crazy!) so since i got such a great deal.. i also ended up buying brand new cymbals! some people know how i’ve always been a fan of zildjian cymbals… but i’ve never had enough money to actually OWN them. well.. i got a good deal on those as well! (warming… nerdy drummer talk coming up) i got a 14″ light hihat, 16″ custom fast crash, and probably the best sounding ride cymbal i’ve heard in a LONG time… a 22″ dark ride medium. all from the K zildjian series. (end nerdy drummer talk)
so can you tell how excited i am about the drum set? i basically now will have a professional level drum setup… which is a gianormous step from the entry-level setup i had before. now i’m more excited to play and practice.
alright. i’m gonna go to bed.. even though i just woke up like.. two hours ago. my arms hurt from kickboxing… washing my hair will be difficult in the morning.
in celebration for surviving the “doing my taxes” experience i had for several hours yesterday… i got a new toy…
(that would be a samsung 800W, 5 disk DVD player/surround sound theatre system)
and there’s a funny story about this new toy. at around noon-thirty, i decided it would be a good time to start my day… showered… and headed out to best buy around 2ish to take a look at some dvd/home theater systems.. since mine has been on it’s way out for the past couple years… and lately has gotten exponentially more annoying with all it’s “problems.” i ended up buying an open box version of the above model. i get it home… take it out of the box.. there’s no speaker cables… no antenna… and i need AAA batteries. *sigh* ok. trip to radio shack down the street. i spend a good chunk of time cutting wires, striping the ends, and taping them to the walls/floors so people don’t trip on them. plug in the system and play some stuff from my computer. it sounds pretty darn nice.
so now it’s sometime around 6pm.. and i decide… “hey.. lets just try a cd on this thing to see how much better that sounds”
disk error: no disk
.. uhh.. yes there is. *tries another cd*
ARRRGG! *tries a dvd*
YES THERE IS! actually there’s THREE disks you dumb inanimate object!
“what’s the problem”
(i explain the problem and detailed steps in which i took to come to my conclusion of “it’s broken”)
“hmm. that’s weird. when did you get it?”
“about three hours ago”
“yea.. i’d take it back”
“oh. btw. are these supposed to come with speaker cables?”
it’s now around 6:38pm. best buy is open until 7pm on sundays. i work full time, and wouldn’t be able to take it back to best buy till wednesday. that’s just not going to fly with me.
*tears down surround sound system in record time, puts everything in the box, RUNS to put the system in her car.. and white knuckles it to fox point*
*arrives at best buy at 6:58pm*
at this point i’m pretty much RUNNING with this 30-some-odd pound box… never mind the fact that it’s freezing rain and i’m the biggest clutz in the world.. i’m on a mission!
so basically i get a brand new one of the above model… and this time i can use this coupon that i had gotten in the mail.. so i get around $35 credit back to my credit card. w00t.
now i’m just sitting on my couch relaxing from setting up this surround sound system TWICE… but at least i have a working dvd player now. and that makes me happy.
that’s all. i’m gonna go use my new toy now.