I tested the Torrent download functionality with the Ubuntu 7.04 release, and it hurtled down. The status page updates in real time too, so there's no need to keep hitting the refresh button.
The little box has a few more tricks up its tiny, metal-clad sleeve. It can act as an email server, for example, and would be especially handy for backing up your Gmail account, or similar server-based email setup, for anyone who's cautious enough to want to back up all their Gmail/email data. Another of its features took me by surprise: Bubba had been obediently (and quietly, did I mention it's quiet?) doing its thing on my network for a day or so, when I opened iTunes to add a couple of CDs to my library. Automatically (which means "without doing anything", just so I'm totally clear) iTunes picked up the Firefly shared library on Bubba. Curious, I dragged a few MP3s across to Bubba's automatically (there's that word again) created Music share, and as if by magic (you could say, automatically) they appeared in iTunes, all ready for playback. Slick.
Bubba's manual is astonishingly detailed. It covers pretty much every angle (including multiple operating systems), and offers both simplistic and advanced takes on many subjects. There's even a section on "hacking Bubba". For the curious, hacking Bubba involves connecting to it with a command line session and having your wicked way with it. You see, Bubba runs an embedded flavour of Linux, and as a result its potential is limited only by your imagination. Well, more accurately: its potential is limited by your imagination, your Linux hacking skills (again, for the curious: Debian Sarge), and how much the embedded ARM CPU can cope with.
During my time with Bubba, I didn't take advantage of any of the flexibility of running on the Linux platform, but the potential is there. Excito's web forums are populated by an enthusiastic audience, and their own helpful developers. It's a real joy to read through some of the discussions; you get the impression that if there was something you wanted the box to do, someone would have the answer. I submitted one or two feature requests while I had the device, and although I didn't get a response, Bubba is actively supported by its creators. A new firmware update was released in mid-April, which enables a number of media sharing options (including support for Nokia's Internet tablets, using Mediatomb), and fixes a number of bugs. Not that I ever noticed any.