Nabaztag or chumby ?

A couple of days ago, I made an order through Amazon which included a nabaztag. Despite what I still view as a design flaw, it’s still a cute, versatile toy and I figured I could find a nice use for it. Then, thinking more about it, I changed my mind and cancelled the order. The only real use I could find for it was to have it report some events like new mail or someone trying to reach me through IM, allowing me to still know about these events even when I’m not in front of my machine and the screen saver is on. But two things stopped me. First, the nabaztag itself not having a screen, displaying any kind of info means using some kind of colored light / ear positioning combination. It can actually be practical (red nose light => you’ve got mail), but doesn’t scale very well with the number of informations to report (“er, what was the two blue, one orange, left ear up sequence for already ?”). Second, well, do I really need all this info ? I think I already compulsively check my email enough as it is :-).

Let’s still indulge the fact that an external display unit would save me some time, knowing immediately if it’s worth checking for mail/news/IM contacts. Searching for an external LCD screen, the only one I could came up with was this one. Nice, but USB only, and not very legible from a distance.

Then, chatting about this with other geek friends, one mentionned the chumby. Ah, now this one really seems to fit my needs perfectly, except it’s not available yet. The widgets are actually written in Flash Lite, which should be good enough, so I think I’ll keep an eye on this one.

Finally, yet another option is… the iphone of course :-). Wifi, really mobile (as in “no damn power cord”), it’s actually probably the best option, even though it will probably require a bit more tinkering to make it do what I want due to its lack of openness.

In any case, I guess I have to wait :-).

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