I wrote before about how I needed to have my weather station constantly attached to a running computer in order to have the collected weather data instantly uploaded to my personal weather site on the internet. Since I don't want to waste power by leaving my desktop PC plugged on all the time, I needed to look for alternative options.
I looked at a few options on the Internet, before finally settling upon a TonidoPlug, which is an Ubuntu 9.04 based PC which comes complete with a specialised home server package installed upon it (which is optimised for sharing files and other things that you might want to do).
The device was trivially easy to set up. I had my home server up and running in about 5 minutes after opening the package. It took me a little longer to get the weather station installed and configured, but there were no major problems since I am already fairly familiar with Ubuntu, and now my personal weather station is being kept constantly up to date instead of having to depend upon me remembering to manually upload data.
The device was not completely perfect. I had assumed that it would come with WiFi support but it didn't so I am going to have to leave it close to a network port until I get around to buying a new WiFi card for it. In addition I was hoping that I would be able to attach my 1 TByte USB drive to the Tonidoplug, but it seems that the USB ports don't provide enough power so I am going to have to make do with a 8 GByte USB card for now.