Why I chose a headless PC as my next workhorse.

I’ve been an unabashed Apple fanboy since 1987, when I met my first Macintosh SE. Black and white, with a tiny 9 inch screen, I knew the world was about to change. Until then, I’d used Commodore and Apple II computers… but the Mac? The Mac was something entirely different.

Thirty years later, computing has moved from a silo on a desktop to a globally disbursed, always connected network. Sure we still have machines in front of us, but they’re used largely to do things with the internet.

Consumers have never had more choice in platforms – all most people need is a way to access the things they’ve stored somewhere in “the cloud.” More and more, the consumer desktop/laptop is being cast aside in favor of smaller and lighter devices, like tablets and large screen smart phones.

It’s with this realization decided that I’ve decided to transcend the idea of an operating system, and move even further toward platform independence. Over the next several years, computing will go through another massive change, moving away from LCD displays placed 16 – 24 inches from your nose to displays resting quite literally on it.

As importantly, the resulting ecosystem will be, by necessity, platform independent. To use the social VR spaces and to participate in the future of work, you’ll need a machine capable of rendering the environment and a headset. There is no place for vendor lock-in in this space.

Great work is being done for the next generation of human computer interaction. Oculus, Vive, Samsung, Pimax, and many others are working on their best versions of VR displays. Room-scale VR is more than a sci-fi feature, it’s available today. The VR market is heating up, with competition in every space – input devices, displays, head and motion tracking, and even in world building. Apple is also on board, and that in itself should serve as notice to the market that a major shift is coming.

But VR is the future, right? Kind of.

On Wednesday of this week, I’ll be assembling my first Windows powered desktop PC in dangerously close to 10 years. It’s a workhorse, with plenty of power for the future. Today it’ll allow me to edit 360° video with ease, and of course edit traditional video as well – all in the name of Epic Mini Life.

It’ll also allow me to use any VR software title on the market with no frame skipping or delays what so ever. I won’t have a “monitor” attached to it, it’ll be “headless.” I’ll be using Virtual Desktop and Leap Motion VR instead of a mouse/trackpad.

It’s going to be an interesting experiment, and it may not work out exactly as I expect, but doing anything worth a damn is filled with the unexpected isn’t it? This is my sweet spot… doing things that have never been done, working on technologies that aren’t yet mainstream, and creating things that most don’t even know they need. Yet.

In case you’re wondering, I’ll be using the 4k Pimax headset instead of Oculus or Vive solutions. I’ll lay out more of that decision as the experiment begins.

You read it here… I’m building a PC, powered by Windows 10. I’ll keep my iPad Pro for portability, and I’ll hand my 2012 MacBook Pro down to my daughter, keeping it in the family.

Here’s to the future. 🙂

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michael

Husband, father, epic adventurer, perpetually curious, rule breaker, startup guy, innovator, maker.

2 opinions on “Why I chose a headless PC as my next workhorse.”

  1. I’m completely fascinated by the direction you’re moving.

    I’m hardware independent because 99% of what I do is on the cloud and all my files are backed up instantly. That said I did get sucked into the Google ecosystem mostly because of gdrive and gdocs, which is something I don’t like.

    I’d love to check out your system when you’re ready for show and tell!

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