Pogoplug pretty in pink.

Discussion in 'User Reviews' started by Abarbarian, Oct 17, 2010.

  1. Abarbarian

    Abarbarian Acruncher VIP Member

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    So what is a Pogoplug I hear you ask.

    Well below you will see what it looks like. I included a music cd in the picture to give you an idea as to its real size. The packaging was very good with a black velvet shape formed insert protecting the device in transit. Small detail but at least you get the unit in one piece.

    [​IMG]

    The pretty pink Pogoplug is a small device running its own GNU/Linux operating system. Equipped with four usb slots for you to attach hdd's, card readers and wireless dongles (their own propriety one) allowing you to host your own flexible mini server. Connecting the Pogoplug to your router you can access data on the removable storage drives from the web. Also access can be made via your pc once you have installed the desktop software. Once you have loaded folders and files to your Pogoplug removable drives you can turn of your pc and with just two meagre sipping power devices switched on, a router and a Pogoplug, you can access your data from any pc in the world. As the device supports drives as big as 1TB that is a whopping 4 TB of information you can access.:eek: I believe that bigger drives work as well so the potential storage is pretty impressive.

    But how does it perform you ask.

    Well try it for yourself I have a .pdf detailing the features of the device ready for you to have a look at. You can read .pdf files on line but downloading the .pdf will be almost instantaneous so why not give it a try. Click on the link below.

    http://my.pogoplug.com/share/9WozJ7vKKEJlUNUkUpV9TA/

    Here are a few screen shots giving some idea as to what you can do with the device.

    [​IMG]

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    If you are tired of all the information. Chill out for a while and listen to one of the all time great comics.

    http://my.pogoplug.com/share/i8jqGbOsmCX4p2RoDw4GKA/

    [​IMG]


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    A few pictures for you to look at.

    http://my.pogoplug.com/share/JXRVXDOcSQVdlrlW2_t5IQ/

    Viewable on the web or why not have a go at downloading them to see how the system works, the picture quality on the web is not top notch but adequate as a taster. Let us say you were on a night out and took loads of pictures and wanted to share them with the group you were with. you could post pictures on various sites which can be a bit time consuming and fiddly and most sites have a limit and tend to resize pictures. Now with your new toy you simply download the pictures from your camera and drag and drop them into your Pogoplug folder then send out invites to the folk you want to share with. They access the link and view the pictures on line. Now everyone knows that from a collection of pictures like that there will only be one or two that are of any interest to them for inclusion in their own photo collection. The Pogoplug allows all of your chums to download only the couple of pictures they are interested in at full resolution easily and quickly.

    The grand finale folks.

    Yup it is a short movie you can view on line or download. Taste Lab is an offering from the Blender Nation project which is well worth supporting.

    http://my.pogoplug.com/share/alUZbQ67MHNRm-RjhQRBag/

    I found the Pogoplug easy peasy to set up and use along with the desktop software for windows. Getting the desktop software to run under Mandriva was a bit of a challenge. That could be because I am not a penguin guru but it is mainly down to poor or virtually non-existent documentation for installation in my distro. I do have the application running but it is a bit of a bind to run as a daily task certainly not an elegant solution. The drag and drop as per normal folder access works just fine though.The forums do give good details for setting up under Ubuntu.
    I thought the Gnu/Linux support seemed a bit poor. Sad really as the company is using open source software which cost nothing, obviously they have done some development in house which costs time and money but they could have given back to the community by giving details for software instillation on all the popular distros at very little cost to themselves. By not providing clear and easy to use desktop software for GNU/Linux distros I think that they are shooting themselves in the foot financially and morally.

    In use the system worked well with uploading/downloading via the web or pc going pretty smoothly. The web software has some peculiarities but nothing some tweaking on the part of the developers won't be able to deal with.I have had the device running for several days now and the unit is only lukewarm and seems happy in its tasks.

    One major niggle of the web software is the nonability to copy and paste the web link when you share items globally, as the url is pretty long it is a real pain to type out.If you want to copy and paste the web link you have to log out and redirect your browser to the link page and then copy and paste the address. Ok perhaps if you are only sharing one link but a proverbial pain in the **** if you are composing a review like this one.
    I made the mistake of switching of the Pogoplug at the mains . This made all the links I gave out deadends.Also when I tried to connect the Pogoplug again I kept on getting minor difficulties with loading the files. This was resolved by running the attached disk through checkdisk under Windows XP. This only took a few moments as it was a 8 GB hdd, thank goodness it was not a 1TB hdd.

    Many thanks to the testers for Project X who kindly gave their opinion of the device in use as recipient. You can read what they have to say here.Posts 20 +22.

    http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/thread-4025926.php

    A lot more folk have given feedback since the first draft of this article and I would like to say a big thanks to them as real time experience is always the test of a idea. Happily most folk had a pleasant experience and reported so.

    http://www.pcreview.co.uk/forums/thread-4027497.php

    Here is a comment from a GNU/Linux user,

    "Yes I did download the movie, just about to watch it now. I used Kget and it was exactly the same as any other internet server, no problems. Didn't notice the download speed as I started it before dinner and it was finished after dinner.
    Thanks again! [​IMG]"

    http://forums.scotsnewsletter.com/index.php?showtopic=40598&st=0&gopid=310350&#entry310350

    Finally a last look at the Pogoplug in its new home.

    [​IMG]
    I know that is an awful image [​IMG] so here is a better picture to leave you with. The Pogoplug in its new home alone in the dark.:D

    [​IMG]

    I paid £49.99 for my Pogoplug at PC World and I see they are the same price at Curry's. I did see a $49.99 offer for them in a USA advert but can not remember where. Personally I think the device is great for what it does and I will find it very useful.

    Oooooooops I nearly forgot. In this time of financial constraint and green planet saving awareness power usage information is a given in any hardware review. So I am pleased to be able to inform you that the Pogoplug with a SpeedTouch wireless router uses a miserly 13 watts per hour. The 8 GB hdd I am using draws power from the usb line so the following power figures are for my complete running system.So you can host folders and files for a mere 312 watts for a 24 hour day and 2184 watts for a full week.That equates to around £0.25 for a full weeks running over here in blghty. Of course different router/modem/hdd setups will show slightly different power usage but you have an idea of power draw from my figures.
    For the usefulness the gadget provides I think that is a very reasonable cost. Remember that you have the option to turn the device on and of as your needs dictate.

    [​IMG]

    You can modify the Pogoplug and install a Arch based mini os on it which allows you to do so much more.[​IMG]

    "The Plugbox Linux operating system boots from a USB drive. It's a natively-compiled Arch Linux-based, full Linux system. You get a new unlocked bootloader, new kernel, and a full Linux installation. However, you cannot run the my.pogoplug.com connector on Plugbox Linux due to Cloud Engines' restrictions. However, you can reboot back into Pogoplug firmware and run it just like an unmodified Pogoplug."

    http://plugapps.com/index.php5?title=PlugApps:pogoplug_Setboot

    Still unsure if you could use such a device, have a read here for some ideas.I did come across a post somewhere where a guy claimed he was hosting his own small web site from one unfortunately I can not find the link.

    http://www.pogoplugged.com/forum/thread/12616/How-do-you-use-Pogoplug-Share-your-favorite-usecases-with-us.../

    [​IMG]
     

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    Last edited: Nov 16, 2010
    Abarbarian, Oct 17, 2010
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  2. Abarbarian

    Ian Administrator

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    That looks like a handy little device if you've already got some USB drives that you want to convert to a NAS... not bad for fifty quid. I bet there will be some modding potential further down the line, as there will no doubt be some intrepid Linux user that can add some interesting functionality to the onboard OS.

    In fact, I've just done some googling and found this page which may be of use:

    http://www.plugapps.com/index.php5?title=Main_Page

    It looks like you can get bittorrent and all sorts of other apps installed on that :)
     
    Ian, Oct 17, 2010
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  3. Abarbarian

    Abarbarian Acruncher VIP Member

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    From your link.

    "All of these products use the Linux operating system, customized to serve each individual products' own needs. PlugApps.com is a site dedicated to extending the use of these plug computers where possible by replacing the Linux operating system. This is accomplished via Plugbox Linux, a variant of the Arch Linux distribution that is compiled to run natively on the processor within the Plugs, while still retaining the original product's functionality."

    I gave the link to the Arch modification at the end of the review. There are other types of plug available and I noticed that the new Pogoplug is now available in black and has on board wifi which makes it even more appealing as it can be sited somewhere out of the way.
    I have been taking pictures and videos of a Summer Festival the Estonians hold every year for a few years now and am now able to host and offer these to folk who attended the festivals at very little cost to myself and with very little effort.
    If I get time I will include a power usage detail so that you can all see just how much it costs to run the device 24/7.

    The usb device I have plugged in at the moment is a 8 GB mini hard drive that I had lying around. If you had a card reader plugged in you could slot in your cameras card after a days shooting and instantly you could share your pictures without even having to do anything apart from a refresh of devices on the web page. Click click job done. :D
     
    Abarbarian, Oct 17, 2010
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  4. Abarbarian

    Ian Administrator

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    Ah sorry Abarb, I didn't see that it was the same site :blush:.

    It's pretty nifty being able to share stuff that quickly - a bit like having your own host :). When you mentioned uploading from the web, does that mean it would be possible to send you any size file by someone uploading after a secure login - or is it restriced to galleries?
     
    Ian, Oct 17, 2010
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  5. Abarbarian

    Abarbarian Acruncher VIP Member

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    You can host any file size.

    I have the PP and plug in a usb drive, load up some files or folders to it, send you a link so you can access the files and folders. The link can be view and download only. Or I could give you full access so you could read/write/download.

    See this link they explain better than me.

    http://pogoplug.com/home-en-support...-content-via-the-web-application-sharing.html

    [​IMG]
     
    Abarbarian, Oct 17, 2010
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  6. Abarbarian

    Abarbarian Acruncher VIP Member

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    Apologies to anyone wasting time looking at dead links when I first posted this review. All are now fixed and I hope this review was of interest to some folk.

    [​IMG]
     
    Abarbarian, Nov 16, 2010
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  7. Abarbarian

    Abarbarian Acruncher VIP Member

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    [​IMG]

    For some reason this picture is not showing up in the review. I have tried several times to resubmit it but it will not work. Could someone fix it please. Thanks.:D Just in case anyone ever wants to read the review [​IMG]
     

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    Abarbarian, Nov 18, 2010
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  8. Abarbarian

    Ian Administrator

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    Will fix it now Abarbarian :D

    It looks like there have been 204 reads already :)
     
    Ian, Nov 18, 2010
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  9. Abarbarian

    Abarbarian Acruncher VIP Member

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    Ta Ian.

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    Abarbarian, Nov 18, 2010
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