I can understand hacking the I-Opener because of the form factor and all. However, is it really worth hacking this thing? Sure, it has a wireless keyboard and hooks up to your TV, but have any of you really considered the specs of this thing before diving in?
Let's consider, for the sake of comparison, that we have to buy all the necessary parts to make this a computer. The unit itself is ~$54.00 with tax if you are lucky enough to escape the posted TOS. On top of that, you need to buy an ISA IDE controller, ~$22 with tax. You also need a hard drive, ~$75 for a 6Gb. Plus if you want to run it at any respectable speed, you have to up the memory to at least 64Mb, ~$55. If you add that up, all of a sudden that $49 machine that you bought now costs you a little over $200.
Also, looking at the specs of this machine out-of-the-box, it only has 1Mb video RAM, 16Mb RAM, Cyrix 180Mhz CPU (probably equivelant to P133 performance-wise), ISA components and limited upgradeability. This sounds like something on par with what I could find at a used computer store for around $75 all-inclusive. Sure, that used Packard Bell P.O.S. that I would get would not have the cool case that this thing does nor have the wireless keyboard, but it will have a CDROM and a floppy drive.
I'm not looking to start any flame wars, I just want to figure out the thinking behind this. If everyone is doing this just for the hack value of performing the mod, then I kind of understand the reasoning. But value-wise, this is not a very good decision. The I-Opener was great because it contained hack-value as well as true value. Even though the I-Opener is being sold at $99, it is obviously worth a hell of a lot more. I honestly don't know if this Websurfer is worth anything more than what they are selling at given the closed architecture of the system.
Please, can someone enlighten me as to why these are popular all of a sudden, or is everyone just jumping on the bandwagon so as not to feel left out?