After many months of hard work, chumbys are finally rolling off the line from China in volume. I just got back from an operations review of the factories in China. You can see the final assembly process for the chumby in the movie below!
You can (finally) buy a chumby now simply by visiting the Chumby on-line store (no more waiting for invitations), so you too can have a chumby Christmas (while supplies last). The firmware is currently at the “Insider’s” revision, which basically means that you can expect an over the air (OTA) update via WiFi to the full launch version, for free of course, once the launch version of the firmware is available. The key difference between the Insider’s version and the launch version is that you can get the Insider’s version today, and the launch version will have new software features, such as more Internet music sources, that have been popular requests by many of chumby’s early adopters. The neat thing is that once the OTA update issues simultaneously with the product launch, Insider’s versions will be upgraded to be feature-identical to the launch versions. In general, one of the strengths of being open with customers is that chumby gets rapid, helpful feedback that allows them to target efforts to continuously improve the software on the device via the automatic update feature.
This is me at the logistics depot in front of a couple of pallets of chumby devices bound for customers…
Since the chumby hardware is sold at near cost, we decided it didn’t make sense to offer a “guts only” hacker developer kit, at least not yet, because it’d sell for only a little bit less than a normal chumby. However, I’m working on getting an offering available for a plastic parts only kit for the people who want to case mod their chumbys.