Hot on HuffPost Tech:

See More Stories
Engadget for the iPhone: download the app now
AOL Tech

TonidoPlug unboxing and first look gallery: your own private cloud-in-a-plug

Before I get started, yes, I do realize that this is not Engadget. However, TonidoPlug is a bit of a different situation for us. It's an excellent example of a software product making the jump to hardware -- and doing it well.

In case you missed the earlier posts, I took a look at the Tonido beta a while back. Anyone who is leery about offering up confidential documents and media files to the Cloud Gods, Tonido is for you. If you can read and follow directions and spare some of your valuable time to configure the suite, it's a simple, secure, and effective way to rock a cloud setup without giving up control and complete privacy.

Here's a quick recap of what Tonido provides:
  • File sharing
  • Photo gallery
  • MP3 streaming with playlist support
  • Thots, a simple blogging platform
  • A collaborative workspace with calendar and task management
As for the plug itself, it utilizes Marvell's Sheevaplug base running the 1.2Ghz Foreceon processor with 512Mb of DDR2 memory and 512Mb of flash storage onboard. Ubuntu 9.04 provides the embedded software muscle and leaves plenty of room for expansion.
The internal storage has about 180Mb available for future updates and additional app installs. Now let's take a look at the TonidoPlug (and the embedded software, of course) in all its diminutive glory.

For more images from the Tonido software, head on over to the beta screenshot gallery.

When our chums over at Engadget reviewed the PogoPlug back in April they didn't like the lack of Wifi support on the device. I'm not about to make the same complaint, however. On my sharing device I want a rock-solid, wired LAN connection. My DSL router/modem and the Plug are right next to each other, so it's no big deal to string a short cable between the two.

As for the dig on a single USB port - that's not an issue for me either. About $50US can score you a device like KingWin's dual-bay drive enclosure with room for 2x2TB hard drives and that's plenty of room for me. My music collection fits nicely and I've still got gig upon gig of space that I can fill with Tonido-managed torrents.

For just shy of $100, the TonidoPlug sells itself. It's an amazing little device running awesome software which supercharges your external hard drives with a ton of networked potential.

Tags: cloud, green-computing, hardware, open-source, opensource, OSS, plug, tonido, tonidoplug