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MakeFan: wrote in to remind us that those cute little Chumby devices are for sale now. The best thing about the little wireless touchscreen appliance is that they were designed to be open and hackable. The underlying operating system is Linux, and there are a number of lower level OS hacks, but you can also pretty easily whip up slick “widget” applications as well, since the Chumby’s normal mode of operation is to play Flash Lite 3 applications.

The Chumby developer wiki has source for a number of sample widget applications that will help you get started if you’re new to Flash. If you’re a seasoned pro, Flash Lite 3 isn’t all that different from developing in standard Flash / AS2. You just need to avoid a few features like bitmap caching, and lay off CPU and graphics intensive code.

If you’re interested in developing for the Chumby community, but don’t have a device, you can make an account on the chumby.com site. After logging in, you can upload your widgets to a “Virtual Chumby” and see how they would run on the device.

Resources:
Chumby Flash development overview – Link
Chumby Flash development forum – Link
Widget development Wiki – Link