Linux is everywhere, sometimes even at places you might not even expect to find it. One device worthy of attention is the SheevaPlug - one of the so-called "Plug Computers". Why the name? Well it is quite obvious if you refer to the image below.
This unique little device does not consume more electricity than the average night light, nevertheless, it is a versatile little computer able to meet the expectations one would usually have from a formidably larger PC. The main difference is that you get only arounf 5 watts of power consumption, compared to the 25-100W you will get from a regular home server.
It comes packed with Ubuntu (ARM build). The Plug Computer is based on the high-end 88F6281 version of the Kirkwood, with a Sheeva CPU core clocked to 1.2GHz. It also has a 512MB DRAM built in, along with another 512MB of non-volatile memory. When it comes to connectivity, you can easily link it to your local network via a gigabit Ethernet port. Further expansion is possible thanks to the USB 2.0 ports on it.
Its high end CPU lets you even use it as a regular desktop PC. There are various videos on youtube which can give you a better idea of how the SheevaPlug looks like and, more interestingly, how people use it. It is really a great little gadget with great potential and numerous ways to use it and integrate in your home or office.
We are yet to see how many new ideas will pop up to people willing to take this platform and create their own little gadget. A curious use of the concept for a tiny server, even in this case with a dedicated function is the Pogoplug. Its purpose is far more simple - take any external hard drive and link it to you network, becoming a fully functional network drive.