To have a local content/captive portal server that fits in a space as small as a jacket pocket. It has battery, charge circuit and WiFi included. Currently using Anyfesto, a variant of Library/PirateBox, to serve up ebooks and files via a web interface plus audio streaming via VLC. Secure VOIP service via Mumble, IRC, local Wikimedia content using Kiwix and shell services.
Why? For when connectivity to the Internet is not available or is unwise to use. Also for sharing resources to those in your local area.
Where? From your person to the range of WiFi. Can be augmented by having WiFi repeaters in range.
Why VLC? For me VLC has become my go to audio/video weapon of choice both for client and server needs. As a viewer/listener it is rock solid, cross platform and cli friendly.
As a server it is rock solid, cross platform and cli friendly. See what happened there? One tool, many tasks. Alton Brown would approve. I have set VLC up in this project to start on boot, stream a default file or playlist and listen on a specified port for further commands. You can use any one of a plethora of VLC control apps on the device of your choice or even use a web browser for the task.
As VLC requires to be run as a user I have set up a user named VLC that has read rights to the local content directories and is part of the media group. You can see how this is set out in the steps listed in the Instructions section of this page.
Standing on the Shoulders