Whether you built the network yourself (Chapter 24) or work in an office where somebody has done that work for you, all kinds of fun can come from having a network. You’re now ready to share all kinds of stuff among the various PCs on the network:
Files, folders, and disks. No matter what PC you’re using on the network, you can open the files and folders on any other networked PC, as long as the other PCs’ owners have made these files available for public inspection. That’s where file sharing comes in, and that’s what this chapter is all about.
The uses for file sharing are almost endless. It means you can finish writing a letter in the bedroom, even if you started it downstairs at the kitchen table—without having to carry a flash drive around. It means you can watch a slideshow drawn from photos on your spouse’s PC somewhere else in the house. It means your underlings can turn in articles for your small-company newsletter by depositing them directly into a folder on your laptop.
File sharing also lets you access your files and folders from the road, using a laptop. See Chapter 27 for more information on this road-warrior trick.
Music and video playback. Windows Media Center can stream music and videos from one PC to another one on the network—that is, play in real time across the network, without your having to copy any files. In a family situation, it’s super-convenient to have Dad’s Mondo Upstairs PC serve as the master holding tank for ...