Beware of the Sheevaplug & Globalscale Technologies: Fried Power Supplies

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Linux | Posted on 02-06-2010-05-2008

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I’ve written a few articles about my Sheevaplug and how great I think it is. It’s a fantastic $99 ARM server. Just add a USB hard drive, and you’re good to go! However, it looks like the power supplies are almost all universally bad. Check the Plug Forums link here. More and more of these things are frying. I thought it was just a few faulty units, but one day, I could no longer SSH into my server. I opened it up, and I noticed that my power supply was fried as well. Also, Global Scale Technologies, the primary seller of the Sheevaplug, isn’t giving any RMA #s outside of a 30 day warranty. So we’re all screwed and out $100. To make matters worse, it looks like the recently shipping Guruplug is having issues as well! As much as I love this small ARM-based platform, it’s really making me consider moving to something like the Artigo A1100! Buyer beware!

Tonido: Sheevaplug Installation and First Impressions

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Linux, Technology | Posted on 27-12-2009-05-2008

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Keeping with the theme of recent Sheevaplug related articles, here’s a post about a new, interesting piece of software called Tonido. Tonido advertises itself as a “personal cloud,” allowing you to share all of your personal files to anywhere. It’s a software platform that you install on your own home server. Once you’ve installed the platform, you can run a plethora of applications, and they have an SDK, in hopes that others pick up and write their own apps for it as well. It’s cross-platform. You can install it on Linux, OS X, or Windows. Or if you want, you can even buy their own plug PC, the TonidoPlug. Read on to hear a bit about installation on my Sheevaplug and my first impressions of the software. Read the rest of this entry »

Marvell Presenting @ CES in January: 2GHZ in a Plug!

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Linux, Technology | Posted on 22-12-2009-05-2008

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Just a quick note to anyone who will be in Las Vegas for CES (wish I could be there!) in a couple weeks. There will be a Plug Computing Pavilion, likely to showcase all of the great things that people are doing with Plug PCs like the Sheevaplug, Tonidoplug, and Pogoplug. I really think that a Plug PC has the capability to take over the home server market. Two cool things that are happening…

  1. Marvell is going to be showing, in one way or another, a 2ghz plug! Right now the Sheevaplug runs at 1.2ghz. I’m fine with them leaving the RAM at 512MB, but it would be GREAT if they could bump the storage up to 1GB of internal flash.
  2. They’re running a competition right now to see who has the best idea for a killer “plug app.” I have a couple great ideas, and I’ll be sending one in!

If anyone is going to be at the Plug Computing Pavilion and would volunteer to send me pics to post, i would be MOST grateful! Leave a comment or shoot me an e-mail if you’ll be there.

Guide: Keeping Your Server’s Music in Sync with Your Main Mac/PC

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Apple, Linux, Technology | Posted on 21-12-2009-05-2008

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If you have read some of my recent posts about setting up a Thin Client or Sheevaplug to act as home server, capable of distributing music across the house with Squeezebox Server, acting as a NAS, or running cool apps like Tonido (here are my first impressions!), then perhaps you have wondered about the best way to get your personal music collection on that server. Or once it is on the server, what happens if you want to add more? How do you keep music on the server in sync with your laptop? I hope this article will give you a great solution to that answer! I’m very happy with how it has been working for me. All you need is RSYNC, SSH, and CRON! Read the rest of this entry »

Guide: Setting Up Your Sheevaplug to be the Ultimate Low Power All-Purpose Server

Posted by Kevin Hanson | Posted in Linux, Technology | Posted on 18-12-2009-05-2008

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Before I dig into the guide, it’s best to briefly explain what the Sheevaplug is. As computers have gotten faster and faster and cheaper and cheaper over the years, the focus has shifted from being “the fastest” to being “good enough.” Take a look at the Intel Atom chip. It has flooded the market, and it seems like airports are now more filled with netbooks than they are with traditional laptops. The atom is fast enough for most people, and it uses very little power, enabling the devices to be much smaller and use way less battery. This low power technology translates extremely well into the home server or electronic appliance world. More and more of the devices in our household are becoming connected, and we need low power chips to help connect that world. What if you could have a server so small that it was only slightly bigger than a traditional wall wart plug? Marvell had this idea, and they came up with the concept of Plug Computing. Plug Computing means taking a a barebones PC with a low powered Marvell ARM CPU and sticking it inside of a “plug” and then letting companies / users explore the possibilities. There have been a few pre-packaged offerings like TonidoPlug (or you can set up Tonido on your Sheevaplug!), PogoPlug, and a few others. The Sheevaplug is a development unit that people can buy, and it’s great fun to play around with! I’ve been able to turn it into a NAS, a music server, and a few other things, all at the same time! Read on to find out how to get this thing set up for the first time. Read the rest of this entry »