I recently became reinterested in pogoplug devices when they seemed to have come down to a fairly reliable ten to twenty dollars for the latest models, the kind with an SD slot. They're nice little ARM-based machines with a lovely case and pads for a 3.3 volt serial port. Now I wanted to add a little basic functionality to them when running Debian.
Debian is a distribution of Linux dedicated to the Open Source Initiative. It is the basis of many of the most popular Linux distributions including Knoppix and Ubuntu.
Once I bought a dockstar, and was mightily annoyed by it. Eventually new Pogoplugs came out, and I invested a whopping nine bucks in a used pogoplug mobile. After having it deregistered by support, I tried installing ArchLinuxARM on it. This produced a brick with a flashing green light, so do not try to install Arch for ARM on this device. It's probably possible to make it work, but the default install instructions don't work. Further, the revert process didn't work either! Seems like their u-boot is broken for this device.
The dockstar doesn't have an RTC to keep costs down. If you're running Debian Squeeze (and you probably should be) then you can make the following tweak to /etc/init.d/ntp to use ntpdate (which you should also install) to set the time before running ntp.
For some time now I have been using ps3mediaserver to stream video to my Xbox 360. Since solutions for playing various video streams on various devices have become more convenient of late I've become less picky about what I transcode to, except that I like to achieve fairly high quality. ogmrip has become less useful of late, failing on most source video on which I try to use it, so I've gone back to Handbrake, the most competent and arrogant of DVD transcoders.
Via VT6656 USB WiFi has been out-of-tree because of non-GPLness. The new driver is a candidate for inclusion supposedly but for now you need to build your own driver in most cases. I want it for Debian 5 on my DT360.
A long-awaited project (awaited by me, that is) has finally come to pass with my successful installation of debian woody on my WebDT 360 (Geode LX800 model.) This machine has a low-power 500MHz x86 processor with a tightly integrated architecture, a penmount resistive touch panel, and mediocre I/O. Luckily it does have USB2 and good bluetooth, but the WiFi is in most cases a VIA vt6656 which until recently did not have a GPL-safe driver, meaning you have to build your own.
We have often heard from a broad variety of pundits about how Linux is not a mature, enterprise-class Unix. All discussion over how "Linux is a kernel" aside, today I have encountered the first piece of evidence that suggests to me that this is true. It seems that no Linux distribution has a simple "repair permissions" tool. This was a standard feature of package managers of UNIX systems before Linux was even dreamt of, for example in Solaris.
Debian-based Linux distributions, which use the .deb package format and the apt package management system, are relatively free from dependency hell and thus are generally a joy to use and maintain. However, in order to properly manage a local archive of packages you need to build a repository in which to keep them. This is the simplest recipe I know for putting together a HTTP repository.
Ubuntu is a high-quality Linux distribution based on Debian Linux. It provides various distributions customized to various purposes; Ubuntu, the "default" system, is based on GNOME. There are also Kubuntu (KDE), Xubuntu (XFCE), Edubuntu (educational, and provides LTSP) and possibly other official distributions; depending on whether this page is outdated, a DFSG1-style distribution in which all source media must be Open-licensed, as in GPL, BSD, Creative Commons, and/or Public Domain only. In addition, Ubuntu provides absolutely the highest level of driver support (at the expense of Free Software "purity") including nVidia, ATI, Intel, and other manufacturer's binary drivers.