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Author Topic: Remote Personal Computer  (Read 4510 times)
Augustine
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« on: March 07, 2010, 01:09:42 PM »

I've been itching to get a plug computer for a while, but couldn't justify the expense to myself.  However, I think that a good reason just popped up: I'm concerned about my privacy when using the company-supplied laptop.  Suffice to say that I don't even want to edit personal files or to check for personal emails on it anymore.

So I was thinking about setting up a plug computer and use it from anywhere, leaving just its SSH port open and using a browser on it to access personal documents and email.

I was thinking about a GuruServer Plus because of the uSD support, where I could even store larger applications and files, such as OpenOffice, if it's not too heavy for its CPU.  However, I remember having seen a PowerPC-based plug computer a few months ago that sported 1GB of RAM, hinting at support for heavier applications perhaps.

I'd appreciate your opinion about plug computers being the answer to my needs or not.

TIA
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obarthelemy
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« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2010, 04:18:08 PM »

if your company is spying on you, they probably use a keylogger too. So they'll know whatever you type on the keyboard (letters, urls...). Plus you need to check if your firewall will let your connection through. And anticipate what will happen when they realize what you're doing... a paranoid company won't like it.

I'd personally go the fully independent route, with a smartphone or tablet or netbook and a 3G contract, and go through that to log back home / do personal mails / watch porn.
« Last Edit: March 07, 2010, 04:24:32 PM by obarthelemy » Logged

MarkF
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« Reply #2 on: May 06, 2010, 05:28:44 AM »

Plug (classic and Guru) warts:
- The ARM processor in the plug has no floating point hardware so it can get overwhelmed if asked to do math intensive tasks.
- The Classic plug and non-plus GuruPlug only have USB for attaching mass storage.  I'm getting the Plus for the ESATA port.
- The non-plus GuruPlug comes without a SD slot.
- The already announced plugs will not be PowerPC-based.  They will be ARM based.

Once configured, plugs can serve files easily and well.  Configuring it as a web server might let you get to your data without worrying about the company's firewall settings.  However, you would need to routinely empty your local web cache and use encryption to protect from having your data snooped.

I agree with obarthelemy, a better solution would be to find a different way to access your data not using the company's equipment.
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Mark

nigelhealy
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« Reply #3 on: July 14, 2010, 09:43:37 AM »

So there is the "what's possible" vs "what's possible without being fired" issue.

Technically, I do what you describe now, I use SheevaPlug as a SSH server, and inside that tunnel I SOCKS proxy all my browser and email traffic, and I  use it on a computer I built myself (no keylogger). Yes, you can run a browser and full desktop on the SheevaPlug but that will place load on the Sheevaplug with the implications on heat-output of a remote plug computer, so you can have a laptop/PC on the LAN with your SheevaPlug and ssh forward from the Sheevaplug to the laptop and then get all the remote PC's functionality inside a local session. I believe then you will be using the sheevaplug more for what it is good for.

When there is a risk of a keylogger installed, a bootable USB Linux, with persistance is always something you should be carrying - allows you to turn a bricked computer (e.g. harddrive failure) into something useful, allows you to borrow a computer with leaving a footprint, etc.

Although I've not done this (yet), I think you can make your sheevaplug do a Wake-on-Lan to a PC which is in standby, you can place a PC (at home, say) on standby, get the sheevaplug to wake the PC, use the PC, and then place the PC in standby.

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guidol
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2010, 01:20:45 AM »

I was thinking about a GuruServer Plus because of the uSD support, where I could even store larger applications and files, such as OpenOffice, if it's not too heavy for its CPU. 

The SheevaPlug also has Support for SDHC-cards, so storing some data isnt a problem with a 8 oer 16GB SDHC-Card.
And the SheevaPlug hasnt the problem with the heat....only sometimes the (changeable) power-supply.

If you dont need WLAN or GBit-Ethernet you could buy a SheevaPlug or SheevaPlug with eSATA
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