If you are looking to have a simple home server, or already have one, which shares your files across the network, a device you should take a look at is the SheevaPlug.
Plug it into a wall socket and bam—a fully-functional Linux server that can store digital media accessible remotely via the internet or function as a remote print or web server. Plus, it supports “multiple standard Linux 2.6 kernel distributions” and it operates on only 5-watts of power.
To me, this device is flat out awesome. Just plug in an external hard drive and you have an ultra lean, power efficient server. Compared to having to maintain a full system just to provide these simple services, the SheevaPlug is an ideal alternative for less than $100. The Wikipedia page offers numerous links to help you get started with whatever you want to do with it.
A significant factor which should not be overlooked is the power usage – or lack thereof. Considering a typical computer will easily pull 30-75 watts depending on the load (and that is being conservative), the SheevaPlug will actually pay for itself in power savings.
This is definitely on my wish list.
Does anyone already have a SheevaPlug (or another plug computer) they are using? If so, please share your experience in the comments.