2012-05-26

In mid-February, I purchased a $25 pink PogoPlug Pro on Amazon that I wanted to use for a Status.net micro-blogging server that I could run from my house. This would allow me to maintain control of my data, while still letting me connect and be social with buddies on the interwebs. While I was happy that the device was working as I wanted it to, my status server setup was little more than and exposed hard-drive plugged into the PogoPlug. A case for the machine was long overdue.

The Box

Aside from clocks, there are plenty of jewelry boxes at the thrift store that will make a great case for a server.

When I was at the store looking for a new case, the decision was between this $6 jewelry box or an $8 clock. The dark wood of this box matches my Clock Server and Wall Bone Phone quite well.

Cleaning The Slate

There is always stuff that needs to be removed from the inside of a new computer case. This is fun destruction.

Always remember, when tearing things apart it is necessary to use "controlled destruction" so that useful stuff doesn't get destroyed.

After this picture was taken, I spray painted the inside of the box black.

Put Some Holes In It

This is the back of the box showing multiple small venting holes at the top, and one large cable access hole in the bottom.

Being to lazy to line everything up properly for external access, I will end up putting the network and power cable through the large access hole and connect them on the inside.

Hooks From Above

Taking things a step further in "stupid design" land, I decided it would be a good idea to hang the hard-drive and motherboard from the top of the case using some bent baling wire.

These are the hooks for the hard-drive which will hang in front of part of the motherboard.

Hang'em High

All put together.

The power converter on the bottom is hotglued to some wooden standoffs that are hotglued to the box. This was necessary due to the lack of mounting holes in the power converter board.

Power for the hard-drive comes from the USB adapter that is far too long for this project.

Closed Up

Done and Done!

Let's talk about LEDs. I love those blinky little bastards, and they make see through cases awesome at night. On the motherboard there is one green and 1 blue LED, that are "on" when the machine is powered up. The Ethernet port has 2 yellow LEDs that light up when there is network traffic. The USB adapter has 1 red LED which lights up when the drive is accessed.

The Hardware

My PogoPlug is the "pro" version: Model number POGO-P01 - Pro

700Mhz Dual core ARMv6 Processor
128MB RAM
4 USB ports
1 SATA port

The machine is currently running Arch Linux which I installed by following the instructions at http://archlinuxarm.org/platforms/armv6/pogoplug-provideov3. Lighttpd is used to serve webpages and MySQL handles the database needs.

The biggest problem I encountered while putting this baby together was figuring out how to mount the power converter. Fortunately, the new Series 4 PogoPlugs have an external power adapter, a similarly sized motherboard, and 2 user controllable LEDs! Oh be still my blinking heart. Unfortunately, they also have the same paltry amount of RAM.

One day, I will find the perfect machine for a freedom box..... one day.

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