Home network

My tech knowledge is very limited compared to MiG’s, VMS, Herbie, Orangetang, Jleaman and many others that start tech thread.  Nevertheless, I thought I would start a discussion about home networking and what we may see in the future ( or what is around now but I missed because of my lack of tech knowledge.) 

I have a small wireless network with four computers and a laser printer on it.  It was fairly easy to set up.  My desktop computer is not wireless but it’s where the wireless router starts from.  The other three comps are wireless laptops.  Now each of these computers has it’s own hard drive.  I could probably buy a dedicated server and link all of them to a server.  But that means, I think , quite a bit more knowledge. 
I am wondering if, in the future, we will see computer companies moving towards the following scenario for homeowners:
A person could buy a massive hard drive and use it as a server.  Then, with wireless capability, one could buy terminals with enough ram to work well but almost devoid of hard drive space, to put anywhere in the house.  Information would be all stored on the server (similar than what’s in schools or businesses).  To this hard drive, other items could be connected so data could be retrieved by them.  For example, a stereo could pick up the playlist stored on the server or a TV could play the latest downloads from an online video store. 
Now I know these things are already around.  I am just wondering if they will become the regular stuff around the house that people like me could easily use and set up without paying the price of becoming a network specialist.

Your thoughts…

This pretty much exists now.

Get a big “central” computer (a recent iMac will do).  Turn on file sharing (both your Windows and Macs will be able to share files on it).  Then you’ll have a “central server”.

Run iTunes on the “central” computer and you’ll be able to listen to the music on the rest of your computers, or on a stereo. 

Some people use dedicated computers as servers, others just use the most powerful computer in the house.

Home networks rock! makes me wonder what i did before I had one. Old PC’s can be reused as file servers Just add external usb drived for room or old hd’s for some small amount of space. Run cat5e vs wireless if you can.(cheaper and more reliable)