I never thought I would see the day a computer the size of an electrical outlet function like a desktop and cost only $100. The age of portable computers is here to stay with the introduction of the plug computer. Plug computers are essentially low powered devices (less that 10 watts power consumption), usually running an Operating System (OS) such as Linux or FreeBSD. Companies like Marvell Technology Group are pushing this technology as a cheap low power server, " intended to provide network-based services within the home" (http://www.plugcomputer.org/index.php/us/faq).
The beauty of this device (and why I must talk my wife into buying more for the house) is its capacity to save you money and desk space. For starters, it plugs right into the wall, hence the name, plug computer. Most plug computers come with gigabit Ethernet and USB ports for peripherals. Plug computers are not designed to run the more complex applications that desktops run, but you can farm out the small everyday task that you currently ask your desktop machine to do. Typical applications include:
- Media Server (Stream, Video, Audio, Web)
- File Server
- Spare computer for kids (web surfing, word processing, games)
- Home Automation
- FTP Server