Thursday, 20 May 2010

Getting a Joggler, the how and the why?

Buying a Joggler is pretty simple, you can just go to the O2 shop and get one for one hundred of our UK pounds, or fifty if it's on sale.  The reason for putting "the how" in this isn't to teach you how to buy stuff on the net.  No no, more to say you can get it for less than fifty quid if you're careful!  Those of us who work for IBM have been buying them through a money saving web site we have access to as IBMers such that you buy the Joggler and a PAYG Mobile Internet USB dongle (which you're not obliged to use) for a total of £60 and get £25 cashback for doing so.  That's £35 for a Joggler and mobile Internet, bargain!  I would think this sort of offer must be out there in the wider world too if you look carefully enough.

So why do I, or you for that matter, want one?  There's lots of different uses for it.  Even if you look at it as a dumb wireless digital photo frame then it's far cheaper than other wifi frames out there.  The neat thing about it is it runs a version of Linux internally, has a USB port and is also capable of booting from USB.  This means you can run pretty much anything you like on there instead of the default O2 interface.  So, it's the ideal hacking toy and can become a fully fledged computer system disguised as a photo frame if you choose to do so.  The sky is the limit.

For me, I use it as a low power home server running:
  • remote login to home (ssh)
  • music streaming (squeezebox server)
  • internet connected photo frame (gphotoframe)
  • trivial internet browsing (chrome + touchscreen addon)
  • file server (nfs, http, ftp, smb, etc as required)
  • backup server (rsync) 

I've also found it very useful to have a computer connected to my printer for wifi print serving from my laptop in the past.  Currently the Joggler isn't located next to my printer so I'm not doing this but it's definitely an option for the future.  Similarly I may eventually reconnect my current cost meter for home power monitoring, sending daily electricity bill via email, graphing and storing stats.  Another use I could put it to is as a WOL client so wake up other machines in the house remotely so I don't leave them powered on all day (not that I do this anyway), but I haven't configured WOL yet.

Not investigated yet but it seems to me it should be possible to run the OpenPeak apps on Linux too.  These are just flash applications so I should be able to run them on the Linux desktop without any issues which would provide me with the same functionality I would get from the original O2 interface under my own Linux.

You can find a lot more of my information about the Joggler at my Joggler Index post. I also have a list of Joggler Bookmarks.

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