Native desktop access
The advantage over Samba sharing as usually implemented is that the drives attached to the Pogoplug can be formatted for Window, Mac or Linux, and still appear as accessible shares on the desktop. The downside: there's no version of this desktop app for 64-bit Macs. Alternative access to the server is available through a web page when you log in to my.pogoplug.com, with the advantage that this works across the internet as well as locally.
The 'double-decker flying boat' design incorporates the power supply, so there's no external brick
Our February review discussed the way the Pogoplug can optionally transcode video down to a lower bandwidth suitable for remote internet connection. Also mentioned as a forthcoming attraction was the ability to stream multimedia to the XBox and the PS3. This function is now well-established, and I regularly use it to UPnP multiple music and video formats, including AVI and M4V/MP4 over the LAN to my PS3.
There's one small bug in the current implementation: you need to switch off the option to create a ten-second preview snippet of every video file, otherwise the PS3 only plays the snippet instead of the whole movie.
The open source alternative
The February review mentioned the community of hackers who've congregated around the Pogoplug, and indeed Cloud Engines pitched this at the time as part of the sell. The community is still thriving, but there's since been something of a falling out. The company insists on maintaining proprietary secrecy around the mypogoplug Cloud features, so the geeks have ditched Cloud Engine's Linux implementation and now offer their own Plugbox Linux as a complete replacement firmware. It brings new features to the party - like full SMB connectivity, for example - but precludes the Pogoplug Cloud activity.
Next page: Printing on a global scale
Send photos on Grandma's printer
I can imagine installing one of these at Grandma's house with a little photo printer. Then I can send photos of little Grandson and Granddaughter at any time. Grandma likes prints because she can show them to her buddies. The nice thing about the pogoplug is that I don't have to be a technical wizard and consultant should something go wrong. A photo site is nice, but then I have to teach G'ma about photo sites and how to navigate and how to print and....
Got one of these
It's not ready for prime time. Slow and buggy, I've hit a bug where my drives will disappear from the device every single day until it has been rebooted. I don't know what the iPhone one is like but the Android's application is useless.
"The advantage over Samba sharing as usually implemented is that the drives attached to the Pogoplug can be formatted for Window, Mac or Linux, and still appear as accessible shares on the desktop."
Are you sure ? Samba would work with and present the share regardless of how the drive is formatted. Please try harder...
If you're a proper nerd,
you'll have installed a proper *nix OS, and all the gubbins you want, (like me), and been chuffed to fsck!
What's the processor?
I have a sheevaplug which is great, but firstly it's a couple of years old now (and there are better chips available) and secondly it's on the other side of the planet.
So what are the actual specs here?
I'd love to hack debian linux on to it....