We have a computer in our shared flat that runs headless in the background all the time. Normally we just use it to run a local minecraft server, but recently I’ve been thinking about whether it could be used to host a web-app or something like that. But what possible use is there for a web-app or page that just runs locally on a headless machine?
There’s a few issues to contend with before I start thinking about what the content of the app could be. The first one being that nobody is going to log in via ssh in order to see the app, it needs to be accessible easily at all times on a web browser, with a simple address that you can bookmark and won’t disappear.
I guess a HTML5 app is the obvious choice, and define a local URL for it so other flatmates don’t have to remember an IP address, and would be able to access it as long as they were on the WiFi.
What would the app contain?
- An interactive chore calendar
- A bill splitter
- A message board - This wouldn’t work as there are already too many easily accessible chat clients, and I don’t want to add another one. We use Whatsapp pretty effectively.
We also thought about just using it as a movie server or something like that. But again I’m not sure there is much of a use case for that, most people don’t download things now like I do, they stream them instead. So that probably wouldn’t take off.
So far I’ve been using the computer as a backup for some important files that I want to keep in cold-storage, but that isn’t very creative either.
While productivity apps seem quite boring, I think they could be useful.