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'[EE] Plug style computers?'
2011\03\06@120945 by Harold Hallikainen

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Does anyone have any experience and comments on the various plug style
computers out there? We're currently looking at the Dream Plug
(http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/t-dreamplugdetails.aspx ) and
would be interested in comments on this and other systems from piclist
users.

Thanks!

Harold



-- FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available

2011\03\07@080406 by Neil Cherry

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On 03/06/2011 12:09 PM, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
> Does anyone have any experience and comments on the various plug style
> computers out there? We're currently looking at the Dream Plug
> (http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/t-dreamplugdetails.aspx ) and
> would be interested in comments on this and other systems from piclist
> users.

I have 4, one that I've been using for about a year and 3 more that
I'm working with. I have 3 Sheeva plugs and one Guru. I've heard that
they may have power supply problems but I've not run into that yet.
I've also not stressed it terribly with lots of IO (I use a powered
USB hub). The Sheeva plug computer are quiet, the Guru has a fan
and it can be heard. I may hack the Guru to cool it better as I
understand that it may have cooling issues (hence the fan).

The unit I've been running for more than a year runs Ubuntu 9.04
and my Misterhouse software (HA). The whole things seems to be holding
up well so far.

-- Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       spam_OUTncherryTakeThisOuTspamlinuxha.com
http://www.linuxha.com/                         Main site
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog
Author of:            Linux Smart Homes For Dummie

2011\03\08@152526 by Harold Hallikainen

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> On 03/06/2011 12:09 PM, Harold Hallikainen wrote:
>> Does anyone have any experience and comments on the various plug style
>> computers out there? We're currently looking at the Dream Plug
>> (http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/t-dreamplugdetails.aspx ) and
>> would be interested in comments on this and other systems from piclist
>> users.
>
> I have 4, one that I've been using for about a year and 3 more that
> I'm working with. I have 3 Sheeva plugs and one Guru. I've heard that
> they may have power supply problems but I've not run into that yet.
> I've also not stressed it terribly with lots of IO (I use a powered
> USB hub). The Sheeva plug computer are quiet, the Guru has a fan
> and it can be heard. I may hack the Guru to cool it better as I
> understand that it may have cooling issues (hence the fan).
>
> The unit I've been running for more than a year runs Ubuntu 9.04
> and my Misterhouse software (HA). The whole things seems to be holding
> up well so far.
>

Thanks for the info! It's not my project, but I'd been asked to look into
what's available. One of the units apparently has temperature problems,
and the warranty, I hear, has been reduced to 30 days. Our customers want
stuff to go 10 years...

Harold

-- FCC Rules Updated Daily at http://www.hallikainen.com - Advertising
opportunities available

2011\03\08@160559 by YES NOPE9

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{Quote hidden}

I added a fan to one of mine......it really helps.
I like them a lot.
picasaweb.google.com/agscal/SheevaplugFan#
gus in denver  99gu

2011\03\09@101816 by Martin McCormick

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       What is a plug style computer? Is it another home
automation system similar to X10?

Thanks.

Martin McCormic

2011\03\09@103640 by Michael Watterson

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On 09/03/2011 15:18, Martin McCormick wrote:
>        What is a plug style computer? Is it another home
> automation system similar to X10?
>
> Thanks.
>
> Martin McCormick

An entire little computer, usually running Linux, often with Ethernet and USB, in a "Wall Wart" (USA, UK = Plug Top) type package with SMPSU built in. Some have WiFi.

Similar Processing and RAM capability to a Router, often with ARM or MIPS SoC as used in Routers. Some may be Geode or Atom x86 based.

Not really anything to do with X11, unless you want it

2011\03\09@111332 by Neil Cherry

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On 03/09/2011 10:36 AM, Michael Watterson wrote:
> On 09/03/2011 15:18, Martin McCormick wrote:
>>        What is a plug style computer? Is it another home
>> automation system similar to X10?

No, the plug has nothing to do with Home Automation, though I can see why
you came to that conclusion, sorry about that. Misterhouse is the application
that I have running on the plug computer and it can interface to X10, Insteon,
Z-Wave, UPB and some of my IP devices I have. I'm hoping to start seeing ZigBee
soon to. Misterhouse can control a lot more but this thread is about the Plug.

>> Martin McCormick
>
> An entire little computer, usually running Linux, often with Ethernet
> and USB, in a "Wall Wart" (USA, UK = Plug Top) type package with SMPSU
> built in. Some have WiFi.
>
> Similar Processing and RAM capability to a Router, often with ARM or
> MIPS SoC as used in Routers. Some may be Geode or Atom x86 based.

Plug computers tend towards the ARM chip, have more RAM and Flash
that the consumer grade routers. The Plug has no math coprocessor
(so far), is low wattage (4W without a hard drive, 8W with) but
decent CPU power (800 - 1,2 GHz), is quiet, small (the size of a
large wall wart) and surprisingly useful for things such as Home
Automation where you should be able to set it and forget it. It can
also handle DHCP, printing services, Samba, NFS ... Stuff I have
running on larger desktop/server computers in my home.

As far as X11, I tend to use some X11 Apps which display on a remote
display server. Of course telnet/ssh and screen work just as well
but without the X11 overheard.

I also have a 500MHz Geode (x86) board and it works well too. It
has the math coprocessor built in and is good for handling streaming
media that needs to be transcoded. It's not as low power but it's
not off the mark. The thing with the x96 is that it is more a SBC
than the smaller plug computer (hmm, picking nits there).

I like the plug computers, it's not a fix-all for the world's ills
but another tool for the tool box.

-- Linux Home Automation         Neil Cherry       .....ncherryKILLspamspam@spam@linuxha.com
http://www.linuxha.com/                         Main site
http://linuxha.blogspot.com/                    My HA Blog
Author of:            Linux Smart Homes For Dummie

2011\03\09@124935 by Martin McCormick

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Neil Cherry writes:
> No, the plug has nothing to do with Home Automation, though I can see why
> you came to that conclusion, sorry about that. Misterhouse is the
> application

No problem at all. I need to keep those in mind as they might
come in handy some time.

       My home automation is fairly crude in that it is a
couple of X10 controllers I have had for 15 years that talk via
RS-232. I wrote a program in GCC that talks to the controllers
and then a cron job generates the control commands at the
appropriate times

2011\03\10@011410 by Bob Blick

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On Sun, 06 Mar 2011 09:09 -0800, "Harold Hallikainen"  wrote:
> Does anyone have any experience and comments on the various plug style
> computers out there? We're currently looking at the Dream Plug
> (http://www.globalscaletechnologies.com/t-dreamplugdetails.aspx ) and
> would be interested in comments on this and other systems from piclist
> users.

Hi Harold,

Probably not exactly what you are looking for, but woot.com has Chumbys
for $49.99 for the next 24 hours or until they sell out. They are
normally $129 which probably means a new model is about to come out.

Linux on ARM, 64 MB ram, 3.5 LCD touchscreen, ethernet, wifi.

Cheerful regards,

Bob

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