I ordered a new Raspberry Pi equivalent as mine is old and takes forever for certain tasks.
On the topic of "dream PC setup" I am the opposite, I like portable and lightweight and not being tied to a specific physical place like with a Tower setup. The device in my hand I like it to be able to run any application from anywhere.
This is where Anker has its role with keeping me unplugged for longer.
To that end I tend to keep the data heavy and cpu heavy tasks on "servers" (the logical and physical meaning) and consume them from clients. My client devices are Android phone, Android tablet and Chromebook tablet, these last typically of the order of 6-8 hours of use which covers a typical day but to stretch that longer is where Anker comes in.
The server side Raspberry Pi stores my "state" - my files - as it is very low power and can run for longer off the UPS. It though does not have much cpu performance (but its replacement will) so I use an x86 "server" of an old laptop which is faster. Between those two servers I am able to run any application need in the hand-held device or remotely.
For remote Windows applications I do:
- (assuming I'm away from home)
- SSH using the Android "Connectbot" app to initial an encrypted connection, I connect to a dyndns IP address with my home router updating the IP as my Cable modem IP changes. The router forwards incoming SSH port to the Raspberry Pi which then forwards to the x86 server.
- Through the SSH client I use port forwarding to forward the x86 server (the old laptop) port for its RDP
- Then on the Android device use a RDP client and then I can control Windows applications from my handheld device.
- Then I have access over an encrypted connection to Windows applications
- The x86 server is running linux, Virtualbox and a Windows VM and the VM's console is what is the forwarding connects to.
The Raspberry Pi also does my media downloading, mostly BBC and writes to the 1TB harddrive connected, from that I can copy to my handheld device or stream over Wifi. I typically have 30-60GB of local media on my handheld device so when offline I have lots to watch.
The "Cloud" term is overused, what i described is sometimes called "home cloud" and is just a rename of running a server at home, the Cloud is where you use say Google Drive or MS OneDrive and cloud apps. The Chromebook is using Google's web-based browser client apps and stores data in the Google Drive so from any Chrome browser you have your common applications. MS do something similar (Office365).
SSH and Rsync are two tools which go together and I use often. Rsync sends changed files and can transport over SSH so you have file replication encrypted. The target can run its own encryption locally so you have encryption at flight and at rest.
When I travel on business I much prefer to take an Android tablet as they are physically smaller and optionally have keyboards and most apps are local native, the few which are not I can run on either of the two "servers" for the brief time required. This means I can travel with just a Powerport and a Powercore and live out of very little. The longest I have done this moving light is 2 months.
So the opposite.
In the past I also had a PC, I also hand built my PCs from parts, and yes it was cheaper. I didn't use liquid cooling but often a big heatsink with fan blowing noisily.