If you missed the Chumby, we’re sorry. They were relatively inexpensive Linux appliances that acted as a clock, Internet radio, and feed reader. The company went belly up, although there was some functionality remaining thanks to one of the founders and now, for a subscription fee, you can still keep your Chumby operating. However, [Doug Brown] bought one with the goal of using it for his own applications. But the 2.6.28 kernel is showing its age. So he decided to push a new kernel on the device.
If you are a Chumby enthusiast, don’t get too excited. The goal isn’t to provide the existing Chumby apps with a new kernel, [Doug] says that’s probably impossible. Instead, he wants a modern booting infrastructure and kernel on the device for his own software.
The post is only part one, but it covers how he got U-Boot to load from an SD card. Given the success of that, we don’t think it will be long before the new kernel is running, too.
Understanding the boot process is a bit of arcane knowledge and [Doug] found back in 2013 that he didn’t quite understand it well enough to get the 3.13 kernel on the box, but now he’s ready to take the challenge and based on his work so far, we agree.
We were sad when Chumby stopped selling hardware. Chumby had white labeled the device to other companies, too, and we saw at least one of those driving a robot.