Moving to a Virtualized Desktop

The mobile lifestyle is great, isn’t it? You can check movietimes from the restaurant and even snipe an eBay auction while at the dinner table.  Last year, I moved to an Android phone and still love it. Since there is an app for everything, it makes it a lot easier to be checking in on celebrity news waiting for my haircut. Even dived in with a couple Android tablets so that I wasn’t stuck with the screen size of my phone and to use for some Audrey touchpanels in the house. I am actually writing this post using the WordPress Android app using Ice Cream Sandwich’s voice dictation feature. I have fully embraced the mobile lifestyle and loving it.

With all the mobile technology, it’s almost to the point were I don’t need a full desktop any longer. But sometimes, still need the goodness of the Windows desktop for some stuff like syncing my Fitbit or downloading torrents. To fill that need, I have implemented a VDI virtualized desktop.

Back when I used a physical desktop PC, I would leave it running all the time so that I can access it remotely using Windows Remote Desktop. When I needed to, I could log into my Windows PC from my phone to do something important but of course, that forced me to run that pc all the time, never letting it go to sleep, burning juice and making noise. Since I already have virtualized the rest of my computers at the house, I took the last step by virtualizing the desktop. This means that my desktop is running all the time (virtualized), but not using any additional power or creating any more noise. And depending on my needs, I can access that desktop from anywhere when my phone or tablet just won’t do by itself.  For example:

  • Fixing a server problem from my phone while at the park.
  • Processing some GTD on my tablet out by the pool.
  • Creating some Audrey scripts using my laptop at a coffee shop.
  • Doing some full-mad-on work on a multiple display workstation.

And even though I’m using different devices, I always get the same desktop, with the same settings, exactly where I left it the last time I disconnected. And one of the parts, is it saving me about 200 watts every minute since my old desktop isn’t running.

Details for the Geeks

For the tech on how I did this, here are the ingredients:

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