Making a Dropbox with a Chumby and Bittorrent

chumby

Since the Chumby servers went offline earlier this year, [Huan] found himself with a few of these tiny, extremely hackable internet devices lying around. He’s also getting tired of his NAS and wanted a way to sync folders between all his computers. Combine the two desires, and you can make a personal cloud with a Chumby, thanks to some help from the people at BitTorrent Labs.

[Huan] is using BitTorrent Sync for his Dropbox-like server. After creating a webkit interface for BitTorrent Sync, [Huan] loaded up his Chumby with new firmware, set up a few folders to be synced, and let the Chumby do all the work.

It’s not exactly fast, given the Chumby’s wireless connection and USB 1.1 for an external disk drive, but it’s more than enough to keep your personal project folders synced across multiple computers. As a bonus, it’s also very, very secure, getting around most of the security problems cloud solutions entail.

Comments

  1. notdave says:

    He’s also getting tired of his NAS and wanted a way to sync folders between all his computers.

    someone help me make a sliver of sense out of this statement.

  2. Haku says:

    They turned off the Chumby servers?

    Oh well, looks like my one is going to keep on gathering its dust for all eternity.

    So much for devices that rely on cloud based services…

    • Yes, I hate it as well

    • Nova says:

      “So much for devices that rely on obscure cloud based services…” ftfy

      If your going to join the cloud pick one that isn’t going to dissipate once interest has moved on. DropBox and Google Drive are two good examples so far.

    • fartface says:

      Yup. this is why I refused to buy them. Any device that relies on an external server is a utter FAIL in it’s design.

      • I prefer devices that have software not relying on the “cloud,” however I don’t see the problem with the device relying on the cloud *given* the software itself is open source and replaceable. If the cloud fails (which it does), I can always flash a version that doesn’t rely on the cloud onto the device.

        Of course, that is given I have the choice of me having two versions. Life is not always fair — there isn’t one that does what the Chumby did and is cheap as the Chumby was (I picked up several for like $25 a pop) :-)

  3. This is awesome! I havent heard about the Chumby in a long time

  4. khertan says:

    Secure ? BitTorrent sync is closed sources … i ll not trust it

  5. bob says:

    Sorry, but calling a young, closed source application “very very” secure is a bit of a strech..

    • You’re absolutely right — If you read the link, I didn’t claim that. I call it “supposedly” secure, because that’s what they claimed, and I opposed the idea of an closed source program, however, at this time this is the one that works and works well.

      Now there are reasons to believe they do what they said they do — the protocol has been partly reverse-engineered (https://github.com/picosync/workingDraft/wiki).

      This has two implications:
      1, If the protocol is all they transfer, then there is not much reason to believe that they aren’t secure (now I know a little about security so I won’t try to go very far on this :-).
      2, An open source clone could be rewritten and be audited by more knowledgeable people.

  6. limpkin says:

    I feel quite stupid there… I’ve had a chumby for at least 3 years, and still haven’t noticed that the service stopped.
    Guess I wasn’t using anything else than the time screen :/

    • I’m with you, I have one I use mostly for it being a great alarm clock – does this mean when the power goes and it has to reboot and reload, it won’t correctly now?

      • limpkin says:

        yes it will, apparently:
        ” it was decided to create a “stub” service that would keep enough going to allow the devices to start up, authenticate with the service, and allow the use of alarms and music, and the playback of a single, fixed, widget – a clock.”
        and maybe:
        “The database of user accounts, device registrations, widgets, channels, etc. has been completely backed up for the purpose of restoring the full service at some future date, once the economics have been set up to make the service sustainable. In other words, our strong hope is that the limited service you’re looking at today is temporary.”

  7. kabukicho2001 said, says:

    so a cheap chinese tablet can do the chumby’s chore 900MHz processor 1 ghz mb flash memory and 4gb storage.

    • Except for the Chinese tablet doesn’t have a USB host port at the same time as charging (which is a pain in the butt), and the Chumby came out years ago while the tablets are of recent advances. :-)

      Plus, hacks are hacks, it does not always have to be the most elegant or painless way… to me :)

  8. Pmichaelh says:

    There’s still the Sony version of the Chumby (called a Dash) running and their server is up and running. The “hero” would be the guy that hacks the Chumby firmware to make it look like a Dash device, then all the Chumbys would have new life…

  9. Chris says:

    Doesn’t the 8 inch chumby have usb 2.0? and two ports. Plus you could open it up and replace the internal usb wifi with an ethernet.

  10. Xobs says:

    The device pictured looks like an Infocast 3.5, which was based on the Falconwing core. That has an i.MX233 SoC, which does USB 2.0. The original, squishy Ironforges had USB 1.1.

  11. Chris says:

    Your are right. the Chumby One has 2 usb ports (both are USB 2.0) if you include the internal one for the wifi. so does the Insignia Infocast 3.5″ which is pretty much the same thing.

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