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Chumby, an open hardware flash player

Lots of discussion on Chumby has been happening ( here, here, here and here).

A couple of points on Chumby are:

  1. An open source hardware flash player
  2. Schematics completely open
  3. Runs Linux
  4. The hacker that wrote Hacking the Xbox is one of the leads behind this
  5. Lots of O’Reilly alpha geeks seem utterly into this
  6. Price point at around US$150

Here’s my analysis of those points. A $150 price point isn’t bad however as a thrifty geek who has bought more than enough gizmos that run linux I’m skeptical this will really rock my world. Although I really am for companies that support open hardware designs. However, if the price can eventually be brought down to $100 I’d definitely be interested in picking one up to play with. In regards to Flash. Why a closed, proprietary format? While I understand the ubiquity of flash, without either:

  1. A reverse-engineered open set of creative tools
  2. A more open specification than the one that is available
  3. Adobe opening up their toolsets

Flash remains one of those formats I tolerate but do not encourage its proliferation. Chumby only seems to be aggravating the situation when I look at it. But, nonetheless it’s still a cool gadget but I’ll take a wait and see approach. Right now I’m looking at something that fits my current needs more.

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