Turning A Photo Viewer Into A Tablet for $170

Ty Dunitz September 16 Offbeat

Somewhere between DIY and iPad sits this hacked Insignia Infocast. The Infocast is a strange beast to begin with – little more than a digital frame on steroids, the thing surprisingly packs an 800MHz processor, 2 gigs of memory, a touchscreen, Wi-Fi, and two USB ports. And it’s only $170 bucks.

Really, it’s the perfect candidate for someone to hack open and mod the Chumby Linux inside.

And, of course, that’s exactly what’s been done. By tweaking the device to run a WebKit-based browser, the savvy hackers have transformed the device into not-quite-an-iPad. But for $170 bucks, I’m sure not complaining.

“While it’s marketed as a device for viewing Chumby apps and sharing photos, as far as the DIY crowd is concerned, the Infocast is a Linux machine,” says Bunnie Huang, founder of Chumby. And that’s a good call, Huang. But to be fair, as far as the DIY crowd is concerned, anything you can plug into a wall is a potential Linux machine.

If you too are in the market for a big ol’ jump onto the tablet bandwagon, have savvy hands, and aren’t interested in dropping 800 bucks, you might wanna give this hack a try.

“[This is just] scratching the surface on what you can do with the platform,” says Huang. Reportedly, Android’s next for the Infocast.
Written by Ty Dunitz

Ty is an illustrator who stays up too late, and has to wear glasses. You can follow him on Twitter if you want to (@glitchritual), but he's just gonna throw your stupid PR crap in the garbage, so don't email him.

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