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What to Do With a $99 Wall Wart Linux Server

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the best-computer-is-an-invisible-computer dept.

Hardware Hacking 346

Guanine writes in with a follow-up to our discussion a few months back on the SheevaPlug: 1.2-GHz ARM-compliant processor, 512 MB DDR2, 512 MB flash, USB 2.0, gigabit ethernet, in a package the size of a wall wart, for $99. Saul Hansell's Bits Blog in the NY Times talks about a few applications for such a device, whose price point Hansell claims will drop to $40 before too long. "The first plausible use for the plug computer is to attach one of these gizmos to a USB hard drive. Voila, you've got a network server. Cloud Engines, a startup, has in fact built a $99 plug computer called Pogoplug, that will let you share the files on your hard drive, not only in your home but also anywhere on the Internet. ... [Marvell's CEO said] 'Eventually you won't see the plug. We want this device to be in your TV, your stereo system, your DVD player.'"

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First Post (-1, Offtopic)

msi (641841) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053555)

Sorry cant help my self

Automatic FRIST POST generator? (-1, Offtopic)

Mal-2 (675116) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053569)

Imagine the electricity that could be saved using these to automatically FIRST POST to every story... we could have races with no actual humans involved! Of course they'd be off-topic but who would notice the difference.

If it makes stupid memes a little bit greener, I'm all for it.

FIRST POST! Frosty piss too.

Mal-2

Re:Automatic FRIST POST generator? (-1, Offtopic)

idontgno (624372) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053669)

FIRST POST! Frosty piss too.

Fail post!

However, we do commend you on your attempts to fight global warming with chilled urine. I bet the brave and thirsty crew of the ISS would appreciate a tall cool glass of recycled whiz [slashdot.org] . In fact, that'd be #1 on their hit parade!

Re:Automatic FRIST POST generator? (1, Troll)

dominique_cimafranca (978645) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054345)

Maybe a "FIRST POST" comment should automatically be attached to every article?

Re:Automatic FRIST POST generator? (3, Insightful)

wcb4 (75520) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054603)

then people would race for "Second post"

Am I the only one... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053575)

that thought Wal Mart was selling linux servers?

Re:Am I the only one... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053741)

no

Re:Am I the only one... (4, Insightful)

wjsteele (255130) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054157)

I would imagine that most people that saw that interprated it that way. The human brain is an amazing thing, but with the difference between M and W being so slight, it automatically jumps to conclusions based on the most common forms. There are several wyas to trip up the brain that you mihgt not even recongize. (See in line for clarifications.) Bill

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

redKrane (672370) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054587)

Funniest thing on Slashdot in a while. I'm still laughing uncontrollably, and your post is cool too.

Re:Am I the only one... (5, Funny)

Minwee (522556) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054105)

Nope. I was also very confused when I read that one server could fit into a package the size of a Wal-Mart.

Re:Am I the only one... (5, Funny)

spacefiddle (620205) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054363)

Yeah, guilty as well. Although it wouldn't be $99, it would be $96.32

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054145)

I read "Wal Mart" at first too. W and M look similar, both with the up-down pattern, and "Wal Mart" is a more common phrase than "Wall Wart" for sure.

Re:Am I the only one... (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054305)

Same here -- and for a moment I was *so* happy...

Re:Am I the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054341)

Wal Mart was selling linux servers? You are just being ridiculous!

You have to get them at Sam's Club.

Re:Am I the only one... (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054405)

Nope...I was rushing to Wall Wart to buy one until I realized there are none WallWart here were I live.

Re:Am I the only one... (2, Insightful)

troll8901 (1397145) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054505)

We had this discussion in February. mcgrew (92797) said:

I hope they sell them at Wal-mart. A Wal-mart Wall-Wart would be cool!

Imagine a beowolf cluster of OW!! OW!! STOP HITTING ME!!!

In fact, I was secretly hoping they'll recreate that particular thread here, word for word.

Re:Am I the only one... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054683)

I was thinking, I will pick one up at lunch, cool, soo disappointed.

Troll penis (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053593)

You have seen a troll penis

|====T

I've got one (4, Interesting)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053599)

I don't really see the revolution here - it's a small headless server. A bit like an NSLU2 only a lot faster. They're pretty cool.

They also seem to suffer from dodgy NAND memory, which is a shame, and booting from SDHC is not yet very well supported. That said, they come with Ubuntu server pre-installed and it was trivial to turn it into a media server.

Re:I've got one (1)

AHuxley (892839) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053867)

Like a hacked Appletv too.

Re:I've got one (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053925)

I suppose so, though the Apple TV has various video outputs, this doesn't, and (correct me if I'm wrong) probably has a much large power draw. Mine's a media server in the sense that it serves media to other machines, like the PS3 and Xbox360.

Re:I've got one (4, Informative)

Lumpy (12016) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054127)

booting from SDHC is not there yet but booting from SD is solid.

I've been using these for weeks now. also the dodgy flash can be overcome by running a full scan on it and marking the bad spots, I prefer running off SD though.

Bad Case of Wall Warts? (4, Funny)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053603)

What to Do With a $99 Wall Wart

Wall warts are usually nothing to be concerned about unless they grow or spread rapidly. Usually you can just freeze 'em off--just be sure to get all the abnormal growth cells. It's a common wall growth caused by HPV (Hewlett Packard Virus).

Linux Server

Your warts are functioning as Linux servers? You may need to see a specialist ... and until you get that checked I would refrain from any prolonged exposure to GPL software.

Count yourself lucky, it could be worse. My friend once had a case of $10,000 Server Room Herpes Microsoft Servers that kept him up all night ... not something you want on your resume.

I applaud anyone who successfully markets this product ... the name is a bit of an obstacle. "Wall Hugger" or "Plug Pal" or even "Linux Lump" might have been more prudent for coining.

Re:Bad Case of Wall Warts? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053971)

But warts on terra can takes away ur freedomz.

Re:Bad Case of Wall Warts? (4, Funny)

Arthur Grumbine (1086397) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054255)

...even "Linux Lump" might have been more prudent for coining.

Yeah... then when you create your Beowulf cluster of these you can sing all about your lumps, your "lovely linux lumps".

Wall wart, not WalMart (2, Insightful)

mbone (558574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053607)

I had to read this several times to realize that the OP wasn't talking about something being sold at WalMart. Maybe Michael Robertson should add this to the Linspire line.

Re:Wall wart, not WalMart (5, Insightful)

King_TJ (85913) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053917)

You're not the only one. Scary, isn't it, how a corporation's name can get that ingrained in one's head that anything similar immediately looks like it?

I was thinking, "Well, that'll be kind of cool, if I can grab a $99 server computer at Wal-Mart."

Re:Wall wart, not WalMart (4, Funny)

mangu (126918) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054107)

Scary, isn't it, how a corporation's name can get that ingrained in one's head that anything similar immediately looks like it?

That's what I think every time I see a mention to GM food [wikipedia.org]

Re:Wall wart, not WalMart (1)

geekoid (135745) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054417)

It's just brain pattern matching, it's not 'in grained' do to some corporate plan.

And yes, I thought the exact same thing.

Hackable devices everywhere (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053611)

We want this device to be in your TV, your stereo system, your DVD player.

Why? Do you want to hack my TV, my stereo system and my DVD player?

Putting complex computer devices into network enabled appliances is irresponsible. The makers of such time bombs should bear the full responsibility of intrusions through vulnerabilities found in their products.

Re:Hackable devices everywhere (2, Insightful)

BobMcD (601576) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054163)

Do you want to hack my TV, my stereo system and my DVD player?

You're close. "They" want to preinstall spyware and otherwise bend the product to their own purposes.

The smarter these devices get, the easier they can be used to subvert the interests of the consumer. And for some reason, we usually put up with it...

The makers of such time bombs should bear the full responsibility of intrusions through vulnerabilities found in their products.

They are counting on that. They know you'll just buy another one when your TV mysteriously slows down. You did with your computer, and those companies made a KILLING off of you. Why not the TV companies, too?

One application I would go for (5, Interesting)

damn_registrars (1103043) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053653)

Have it run either skype or magicjack. I have heard that the second is planning to support Linux "soon". I would definitely be more interested in cheap phone service at home if it didn't require me to have a desktop computer on whenever I wanted to make a call.

Re:One application I would go for (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053725)

Or asterisk (www.asterisk.org) for a full PBX at home

Re:One application I would go for (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054123)

Is that powerful enough for Asterisk? The O'Reilly "The future of telephony" says "Hobby system - No more than 5 channels - 400 MHz x86, 256 MB RAM". Ah, yes, indeed it is powerful enough. That said, how do you connect your phoneline to it? You do have to call in somewhere.

Re:One application I would go for (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053765)

Ideal for Asterisk PBX. No question I'll test drive my ARM port of Asterisk on this thing.

Re:One application I would go for (2, Insightful)

clarkn0va (807617) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053789)

Or freeswitch. [freeswitch.org] Show me a dual-port version of said wart and I'll make it into a router.

Re:One application I would go for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053797)

Get a Fritz!box 7050. That is a router, WLAN access point, DSL-modem and Voip/ISDN/POTS-PBX in one device for less than $100. (It's been superseded by versions with integrated USB host port, but those are more than $100.)

Re:One application I would go for (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053843)

use pjsip and a standard voip provider.

First Easy-to-Use Dev Kit (5, Insightful)

digsbo (1292334) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053665)

The difference with this thing is that it's got an easy to use dev kit based on a popular Linux distro, not some goofy one-off that doesn't have the packages you want (i.e. LAMP, media server, SAMBA, CUPS, etc.).

Hack in some DisplayLink support (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053671)

And you have yourself a nice little terminal.

Wireless Version (2, Interesting)

notarockstar1979 (1521239) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053683)

Can they do a wireless version though? I have relatively few cables in my house and I'd like it to stay that way. I assume there are more people like me in the world considering how many WAPs there are in my area. It's a fantastic idea and I'm sure it's a fantastic device. I just wouldn't have one without wireless access.

Re:Wireless Version (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053743)

It's got USB and an SD slot. You can get wireless devices that fit in either, so I should think it'll be ok.

Re:Wireless Version (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053887)

How about the plug next to the plug the router is plugged into and stay wired? You already have one wire going from the wall socket to the router, one more will not kill you(1).

1) I'm sure you could arrange some scenarios were it would.

Re:Wireless Version (2, Informative)

Daravon (848487) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054047)

It could easily kill you if you start chaining power strips together trying to set up a beowolf cluster of these. Chained power strips is a fire hazard.

Sensors & Home Automation (5, Interesting)

Vytalon (825024) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053791)

I was thinking of using it for monitoring and control in a smart house type environment. I there are several company making USB sensor packages and relay controls. I found some with Linux support at phidgets.com. You could have a full set of sensor in key room and relays to control lighting or fans.

More RAM (3, Insightful)

spikedvodka (188722) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053793)

If it had more RAM it'd make a great web-development server. With only 512MB Ram, I think some SQL databases might be a bit much.

I'm thinking throw a USB external HDD, or maybe just a 8GB Flash-drive on it, and "let'er-Rip"

maybe also add a second USB port, so you can add a USB WIFI adaptor, though the GigaBit ethernet sounds nice.

I can also see using one as a low-end monitoring server (Nagios), or network print server.

Re:More RAM (1)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053953)

Nowadays, I suppose you'd want a SAN and a beefy server to put your DB on, then you can add an 8-way powerstrip of these things as nicely load-balanced web frontends, all connected over iSCSI to the SAN too!

That's if you need the kind of power that a 512Mb device can't handle for you - remember that a lot of web servers fitted with 512MB were considered midrange not that long ago (and it is considerably more than most people get with their VPSs)

Re:More RAM (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054055)

Eh, it could do a smaller site fairly well.
It really depends on the site i guess.

Or as you suggested (i think), small file-server.
You could tape a little flash drive (or even use the SD slot for that, more costly though)
Happy times, portable file server.
Could even create a web interface to the files as well so your wi-fi enabled Whatever can access it if it can't any other ways.

Re:More RAM (1)

Corporate Troll (537873) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054393)

You routinely use databases that large during development for your web-projects? Phew... That's some heavy development stuff you do....

I run a postrgesql server + apache + SQLLedger on a Duron 800MHz with 512Meg RAM. Works just fine. Sure the database isn't huge, but it's not a problem for what it does.

The price is right, but... (1)

Smidgin (912451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053873)

When it hits that $40 pricetag, I can see it being worthwhile for a number of devices - with all the dongles around, the usb port certainly allows for that. But for the device to be truly versatile, they need more variations on the hardware. At 1 usb port, and 1 ethernet port, you're pretty limited with what you can do. Perhaps that's partly intention - you might buy more than one of them since you don't have enough usb ports to do all you'd like to do with it. Still, it would be so much more appealing if there were variations - throw in an esata port (assuming USB would be the bottleneck for NAS), or an extra ethernet port (router), or more USB ports, or built in wireless.

When the price is that low, I think people would be willing to pay a little more to make it more customizable and get some more utility out of it.

they do make USB Hubs (2, Funny)

kneemoe (1042818) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054017)

are you serious? you're going to complain about the fact that its only got 1 USB port? Is this 1996 and we're still learning how USB works?

Re:they do make USB Hubs (1)

FishWithAHammer (957772) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054483)

Yeah, but at that point you're starting to break out of the form factor.

Re:The price is right, but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054045)

With a 10$ USB hub you can add several extensions easily.
It's just that VGA or sound could have been small and cheap and create more ways to use it (e.g. plug it into the TV. Or HIFI=> web radio or ambiance music over the network etc.).
Of course Google tells me I can get sound output for 10$
VGA is more like 50$. That makes it more expensive that an Intel Atom motherboard+mini ITX.

Re:The price is right, but... (2, Interesting)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054615)

I agree that this device, at present, is a trifle too limited. USB expansion works; but it gets rather clunky if you want more than a few devices. On the plus side, the platform on which it is based [marvell.com] offers a variety of more serious expansion options(2x SATA, 2xGbE, 1xUSB, 1xPCIe, and a bunch of serial and similar). It would be quite easy and, I suspect, quite likely for either Marvell or third parties to build slightly more expensive and substantially more functional versions of the device.

Looks like pogoplug... (3, Funny)

chrisbtoo (41029) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053881)

... are using one to host their website.

These things are largely useless (4, Informative)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053889)

"The first plausible use" for the thing is better served by a OpenWRT/dd-wrt router. As a web server, you might as well be using the computer you're on, or, if you're servering outsite your LAN, you should pay for real webhosting. I DO think it might be a good starting point for my networked home thermostat or even a full home automation system. But it's probably overkill.

Re:These things are largely useless (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054041)

The computer I'm on is not on all day and night. The plug will be.

Re:These things are largely useless (1)

qoncept (599709) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054093)

I bet your router will be too. And if it doesn't support OpenWRT, you can get one that does for a whole lot cheaper than this thing.

Re:These things are largely useless (3, Insightful)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054203)

Sorry, you can get a router with half a gig of internal storage, half a gig of RAM, a 1.2GHz chip and a USB port for less than 99 bucks?

I call bullshit.

Combine with other technology and enjoy (5, Interesting)

meist3r (1061628) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053893)

Hook up an external hard-drive or NAS and one of those USB displays http://www.linuxdevices.com/news/NS9676037801.html [linuxdevices.com] to create something like this: http://technewsline.net/displaylink-for-linux-turns-a-humble-wireless-router-into-a-beautiful-pc/ [technewsline.net] . I'd build myself a nice BitTorrent client for which I don't have to leave my computer on all the time. Other than that I'd use those as fileservers and for routing/processing duties. Any bets on when the first Beowulf wall cluster will emerge?

Re:Combine with other technology and enjoy (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053963)

Torrentflux-b4rt (with transmission underneath) runs adequately on an NSLU2. On the Sheevaplug it runs very nicely indeed, with plenty of resources left over for mediatomb and a whole load of other stuff. And all for a few watts.

HomePlug? (1)

Kryis (947024) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053895)

Can't they add HomePlug (ethernet over electrical wiring) functionality to it as well? It may not be as fast as gigabit ethernet, but it would mean that you don't have to have Cat5 run to it, or have it sitting directly next to a router / wifi access point.

Re:HomePlug? (1)

whyloginwhysubscribe (993688) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054453)

I like the idea, but guess it would slightly miss the point - although you would be adding a new set of niche users, you would be charging more for a feature that most of us would not use...

Maybe they could completely miss the point, and add power over ethernet!

FServe. Yep. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28053897)

I could buy a couple of these and use 'em as FServe's for some of my... data.

Could this save power? (4, Interesting)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053941)

Our current home network setup has my wife and I primarily using laptops. Our printer, however, is shared out by a desktop computer upstairs. The desktop computer also acts as a file server. (For example, keeping years' worth of photos that we wouldn't keep on the individual laptops.) While the monitor is shut off unless the desktop computer is actively being used (rarely), we would definitely save power by turning the desktop computer off. This would mean, however, that we would need to go upstairs and turn it on whenever we wanted to print or retrieve a file.

I wonder how much energy these wall wart servers draw. If it's less than a standard desktop PC (which I build back in 2002), then it might be worth it to buy one, hook up a large USB HDD and the printer and share those out. Anyone know if this is possible (laptop & desktop computers currently run Windows XP)? If it is possible, any ideas how much power (if any) I would save?

Re:Could this save power? (4, Informative)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054065)

Take a look at this page. [cyrius.com]

Martin Michlmayr is a debian contributor/porter/activist/whatever with a keen interest in these sorts of devices, he published some early power use figures.

But in short, yes, I think you'd save a lot of power. Though you'd have to buy an HDD caddy and take the power consumption of that into account. We're still likely talking about a lot less than a full PC.

As for it being possible - Using samba, a linux box can appear to windows machines in much the same way a windows machine does - with exposed shared directories and shared printers. It's fairly simple, though I've not done the printer bit for some time.

Re:Could this save power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054219)

It draws 19W --- http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/t-sheevaplugdetails.aspx#component

You may prefer the Fit PC 2 --- http://www.fit-pc2.com/ --- which draws 10W and has more computational power (but doesn't have the form factor and is more expensive).

Re:Could this save power? (1)

jtev (133871) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054245)

I'd give you a very strong probably on that. You'd still need to have a USB Hub to attach more than one device to this particular plug computer. But with Samba and CUPS you could set it up to share files and printing to the windows machines. Then attach a hard drive and the printer, and all will be good.

Re:Could this save power? (1)

tweak13 (1171627) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054449)

Unless you focused on buying power saving components or a particularly efficient power supply, it wouldn't be totally unreasonable to assume about 100W for a desktop PC at idle. This wall wart computer probably pulls down about 5W when idle. The specifications page for the product lists 19W as the capacity of the power supply and I'm sure it's rated for more than it will ever need. An external USB drive with a script that powers it down after it isn't used for a period of time probably isn't going to add much more, figure 10W for the wall wart server and drive just as a nice round number.

Keeping them both on 24/7, the desktop will suck down 72 kWh per month, and the wall wart 7.2 kWh. Depending on your electric rates, that could be the difference between $100/yr for the desktop and $10/yr for the wall wart.

Re:Could this save power? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054475)

I guess it uses around 5-10W (Much bellow any desktop cumputer).
Not counting your printer/HD, of course.

I wonder if USB monitors work with it (4, Interesting)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053961)

you can get USB touch screens [gadgetadvisor.com] for (not cheap), but If you could tie a 7" USB touch screen to this device, you'd be able to create something that you can plug into almost any room and use for browsing, chat (rudimentary due to touch screen), and other very basic tasks.

Re:I wonder if USB monitors work with it (1)

Compholio (770966) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054357)

you can get USB touch screens ...

Is the video done over USB or just the touch capability?

Re:I wonder if USB monitors work with it (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054597)

I believe there is an integrated USB video card in the monitor, so everything over one USB cable. Depending on the model you get, video, web cam, touch.

use it to serve porn (0, Troll)

mizzouxc (985151) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053983)

And lots of it from random locations. That and spam people... I know the Chinese and Africans will use it for this.

free food (5, Funny)

thegreatemu (1457577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28053991)

I've been trying to come up with a way to install a webcam somewhere in the department lounge so I can be the first to know when free food shows up...

Re:free food (1)

TinBromide (921574) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054089)

Granted d'link has had a solution waiting for you for the past few years with its wireless security camera line [dlink.com] , using this would be cheaper by half (100+$20 webcam vs $350).

Re:free food (1)

thegreatemu (1457577) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054225)

using this would be cheaper by half.

not to mention the extra geek cred that this solution gets you.

Bla bla bla ... WHERE IS IT? (1, Redundant)

itsme1234 (199680) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054007)

Frankly I think there is some demand for such a thing; heck Amazon still sells the NSLU2 for close to $100 (and even more on some European local sites). However at this point this new gizmo is close to vaporware to me. Let's say I'm sold, where do I get it? The site referenced in the article is really not that helpful:

- doesn't look like somebody I want to do business with (sorry)
- Availability: Ships in 1 to 2 weeks
- read the specs (WTF?):
        * Dimensions (L x W x D): 4" x 2.5" x 2"
        * Power requirements: 110V/220V
        * Drive connection: USB 2.0
        * Network connection: Gigabit Ethernet
        * Web browsers: Safari, FireFox, IE (v. 7 and above), Chrome, Opera
        * File access: Windows Explorer, Mac Finder
- ships only to American Samoa, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, United States, US Virgin Islands

Re:Bla bla bla ... WHERE IS IT? (1)

Nursie (632944) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054125)

As mentioned further up http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/p-22-sheevaplug-dev-kit.aspx [globalscal...logies.com]

I got mine from them, I'm in the UK.

Though that's the original SheevaPlug dev kit, not the PogoPlug that TFA talks about. Same hardware, different software.

Re:Bla bla bla ... WHERE IS IT? (1)

crow (16139) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054557)

ships only to American Samoa, Canada, Guam, Puerto Rico, United States, US Virgin Islands

So it ships only to United States, Canada, United States, United States, United States, United States.

Scanner server (4, Interesting)

Doug Neal (195160) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054059)

I'm planning to try making one of these into a scanner server. It could potentially turn any plain old USB scanner into a network-attached scanner, using the vast array of SANE [sane-project.org] drivers available.

Initially it should be very easy just to run an instance of saned, which lets SANE frontends talk to the backend over a TCP socket. A more ambitious project would be to combine the SheevaPlug with a web-based SANE frontend... the only one I could find was phpSANE but it seems to be a dead project...

Re:Scanner server (2, Interesting)

Hadlock (143607) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054561)

That would be great. The cost on double sided, "output to pdf" scanners is comming down and I'd love to not have a "fat" computer attached to one just so I can scan my mail. Scanner + wall wart server on the entryway table, with a trash can right below it. Scan and trash. W00t.

FLOPS? Distrbiuted computing application? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054081)

I wonder, would it be able to run Folding@Home/Seti@Home/BOINC or do anything productive in its spare cycles?

Logitech Duet (5, Interesting)

jackflap (715225) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054167)

Install NFS/Samba or whatever, mount a network drive from a NAS to it and then install Logitech's SqueezeCentre software so that the Logitech Duet can play tracks from your NAS rather than a PC.

Hide it in the wall..... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054205)

Put a solid-state flash drive on it, and wire it direct into the house wiring, and build it into a cavity in the wall. Store all your really secret stuff on it. Cops come calling and will never find it. If it dies, or after the cops are gone, a razor knife, cut through the sheetrock, and replace/destroy it. And for good measure, build it into the wall behind the fridge or other big appliance.

So, the idea is... (1)

rickb928 (945187) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054275)

"We want this device to be in your TV, your stereo system, your DVD player.'"

Kinda like this [sigmadesigns.com] ?

It's not necessarily bad to be second. First-place sometimes gets the arrow in the chest. And you duck the incoming. But media server? In my DVD player? Well, maybe right after you make a remote that works, and we find a way past the CableCard fiasco. Until then, I welcome our alien Hulu-spewing overlords. That has promise.

ps - Sorry for the PDF. I'm feeling retro this weekend.

How about not buy it? (-1, Offtopic)

scorp1us (235526) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054285)

There is plenty of 2nd hand equipment on ebay that has similar or better performance for same or less cost.

Any time you pay to have something manufactured (a Pruis?), you increase you carbon footprint. Studies have conclusively shown that repurposing used hardware you save CO2, energy, etc.

It is novel size though, but space is not at a premium. There is always room under the desk or bed, basement or closet where you can stash a larger-form factor computer.

New? (1)

Chelloveck (14643) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054333)

We want this device to be in your TV, your stereo system, your DVD player.

im in ur stereo, sharing ur tun3z!

Seriously, what's the novelty here? This sort of thing [wikipedia.org] has been available for a long time. Maybe not pre-packaged into a wall plug, but certainly small enough that they could have been. Is it just that this one is pre-made and relatively cheap?

downloads + vpn (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#28054343)

I've wanted an ultra-low power solution for these two reasons (but mostly the first):

1. Overnight downloads ( usually bittorrent ). There's no reason to leave my entire PC turned on, when all I really need is an internet connection and storage. Combine this with a high capacity SD card and power savings should be huge.

2. VPN / remote desktop. While at work, I often find it useful to connect to my home machine for various reasons. It could be for a secure IM connection, or it could be just to have access to a different IP address for testing.

P2P (1)

derGoldstein (1494129) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054511)

Nobody saw this and think "external HD + bittorrent"? Just leave it on for as long as you like. I'm always looking for ways to offload background tasks to lower-power devices, and the best I can do for P2P right now is a laptop with a USB HD. It's low power, but if I didn't have a spare old laptop then the next-cheapest thing would be a netbook, which I'd probably want to use as, well, a netbook...

Anyone else think low cost cluster? (1)

Ouchie (1386333) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054563)

With the price eventually heading down to around $60 you could build a nice beowulf cluster with a few switches and 100 wall warts. I am sure if you went direct to the manufacturer and orderd several hundred you could get the price down lower.

Obligatory (1)

SpacePunk (17960) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054569)

I can't wait till someone installs Linux on it, and creats a beowulf cluster!

A secure personal network (4, Interesting)

Colin Smith (2679) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054575)

VPN'd to all your friends and family.

Cruciall feature being trivial vpn config support.

 

Memcache (1)

Stile 65 (722451) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054601)

This could be a space- and capital-efficient way to have many memcache servers. That was my first thought when I saw this.

Home Automation (1)

finity (535067) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054619)

This is great! I'm building some home automation hardware and wanted something to serve up control software webpages. For a little over a year I've been putting all my computers into sleep when I leave to conserve power and I was dreading going back to the old mode of operation. I considered modding my WRT54G to have a USB port-serial port, then adding a webserver, but this seems like the perfect solution.

Good timing!

X-10 gone wild (4, Interesting)

JoeMerchant (803320) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054625)

First accessory I'd want for a smart wall-wart would be powerline networking (that works, unlike X-10 that seems to be about 99% reliable, which is crap when it's open loop.) The next most obvious accessories include things like:
  • relay switching / dimming of the power line for lamp control, simple appliance control
  • An LED "night light" that could also convey information
  • A motion sensor
  • Microphone / speaker for intercom / VOIP functions
  • Temp sensors for room by room environmental data (and subsequent control of HVAC diverters / thermostat)
  • Battery power backup

Problem is that most of these functions would be happy without their own local CPU, but if the CPUs do drop below the $50 price point, it could be feasible to just have local CPUs anyway for data integrity, local signal processing, autonomous operation in the event of network failure, etc.

Did it strike anyone else as lame that the MIT dude said he'd have it run a spam filter?

Europe (2)

Bert64 (520050) | more than 5 years ago | (#28054693)

When will these devices become available in Europe?
So far, i've only seen units designed for use in the US, which means they have a physically incompatible plug (and thus require a bulky adapter) and require 110V whereas european sockets provide 240V...

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