Printing on a global scale
The earlier review didn't mention - because it wasn't then on the cards - a new function that's currently in (very usable) beta on both the Pogoplug and the Pogoplug Pro. It's now possible to plug a USB printer into the Pogoplug to turn it into a universal internet printer. 'Universal', because it can be used to print anything from any hardware running any operating system anywhere in the world, as long as the client device is capable of sending an email attachment. Currently, because of the need for special drivers on the Pogoplug, the compatibility list for this function is confined to HP and Epson printers marketed in the last five years.
Your Epson or HP printer can be accessed from anywhere on the Internet by sending it an email
It works like this: an Excel spreadsheet on my phone, for example, only needs to be emailed to
firstname.lastname@example.org as a regular attachment. A central server run by Cloud Engine reads the sender's address and so knows to divert the attachment to - in this case - the Epson BX305 plugged into my Pogoplug Pro. You can also open up the universal print facility to other email addresses by adding them to the share list associated with the printer, which means you can invite friends and clients.
The Pogoplug Pro provides a web-based media player that can access content on your USB drives over the LAN or anywhere in the world
The printer doesn't have to be network enabled to do this, and the USB connection will effectively turn it into a network printer. The printer I used for the test, said BX305, is already network enabled, and with printers like this you can dispense with the USB cable, because the Pogoplug searches for them across the LAN and adds them automatically to its asset list. A similar arrangement, using
email@example.com, can be used to transfer data from a remote device to the Pogoplug's USB drives.
Does what it claims to do elegantly and efficiently. You get a lot of functionality for less than 5W and just under £100. And the subscription-free Cloud service, which now includes the ability to print from anywhere in the world from your laptop, netbook, tablet or phone, means there are no hidden after-costs. ®
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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....