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What Time Is It?

What Time Is It?
by Gary Woods

Clock radios have been around seemingly forever. You set your wakeup time, tune the radio to your favorite channel and awake to whatever gets you into the day. Then along came radios that would play audio cassettes (you remember them), CD and now your iPod. But really all of that is pretty tame stuff compared to the new kid on the block called Chumby (www.chumby).

The wrinkle with Chumby is that it has an always-on Internet connection using W-Fi combined with a digital picture frame and that means that you can display and play pretty much any information that's available on the internet.

The latest incarnation of the device called the Chumby One includes an FM tuner, 2 GB of internal storage, a faster processor and an optional lithium-ion battery to keep Chumby going when the power goes out.

With all of these options Chumby could make a great desktop clock that could also display your Google Calendar or you could keep it in the kitchen to stream internet music or on your coffee table flipping through your photos or sitting on an end table displaying what's on Facebook, Twitter or Craigslist.

The company also has an extensive library of free widgets that you can download to Chumby including Communication Apps, Finance, News, Travel and Social Networks. There are two versions of the device, Classic Chumby ($149.95) the original beanbag with a touch screen and speaker and the Chumby One ($119.95) with the faster CPU, FM Tuner and 2 GB of storage.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. And he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc