network 2 pc's, 1 laptop, plus a media centre

  mistac 19:25 03 Dec 05

Hello all

I run a home based business and need to create a network to incorporate 2 pc's (one primary, one secondary), a laptop and a printer. On top of this I want to be able to watch movies, listen to music, maybe even browse the net and access other files that are stored on the main pc through the lcd tv in the lounge.

Now for a bit more detail. The pc's will be running the general microsoft programs (outlook, word and excel), some music production and conversion software, macromedia programs like fireworks and dreamweaver/homesite. I'm guessing that i'll have to install all of the programs on all of the computers rather than share them off one pc. However, all of the files that these two computers will be working on (audio files, web site pages, documents, spreadsheets etc) will be stored on the main pc and the secondary pc will be pulling them from it. The problem is that the main pc will be used heavily and multi-tasking everyday as will the secondary pc, so i'm worried up the speed at which the files can be accessed by the secondary pc if the main pc is being used. Could I get around this by installing two hard drives on the main pc, one for storing files and the other for the programs, or could i have even more hard drives to store different types of files so that if one pc is working on website while another is using the audio files then the hard drives won't be working as hard as if the files were all stored on one hard drive. Also, these files are quite big, especially the audio files which can be up to 20mb, plus we might have video files soon too which are even bigger. So would a wireless network really be a good idea if the secondary pc is using the files directly off the primary pc? These two pc's are both in the same room so maybe a hardline connection between the two would be a a better idea? If this was the case then i could still have a wireless router and wireless network cards on the pc's and laptops for the internet connection, and the laptop could still access the files on the main computer through the wireless connection if needed (laptop is mainly for general/basic usage out of the office and around the house). Somebody suggested I get a server, but this would be a lot more expensive (hardware and software!) and again i'd have the problem of using these large files over a wireless network unless i used a hard connection again, but if this speeds everything up then maybe, but I don’t know a thing about servers and how to run one.

OK, now for part two, i'd love to be able to control the main pc from my lcd tv downstairs in the lounge. This would preferably be wireless, and I guess I could use a Bluetooth keyboard and mouse. I’d like to avoid buying a media centre pc as I don’t need the storage, all files will be on the main pc. Is there anything on the market which at the very least would allow me to stream and control movies, pics and audio via the lcd tv if I can’t control the whole pc?

Thanks for all help and suggestions.

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