Just recently bought a HP MediaSmart server. I needed a central location to store all of our pictures, movies, home videos, and music so that everything in the house can access it a view it. For the past couple of months, I was just sharing everything off a hard drive on my desktop. The only problem is that the information was not backed up. So if anything happened to the computer, I could lose everything. So after looking around for a couple of months, I finally decided on getting the HP MediaSmart Server EX485. It comes with a 750GB hard drive, Intel processor and 2GB of memory. I wanted the cheaper one because I wanted to put 1 terrabyte hard drives in it. I already had one in my desktop, and newegg was having a sale where they where selling the exact same 1 TB hard drive for $99. So I bought both the server and the hard drive. That way I would have 2.75 TB of storage with an extra slot opened for another hard drive. The other advantage to the HP Server is that they now have a plug-in for Mac Time Machine support. That way, I can also backup my MacBook to the server. It did take me a while and a trip to the Apple store to get this working, but I finally got a complete backup of my Mac.
Another advantage is that the server can also be accessed from the internet. You can browse your shares and even stream audio and pictures with included applications. The other bonus is that you can also Remote Desktop into the computers connected to the server from the web. That would be great for me but with new restrictions on my work firewall, I cannot do this as port 3359 is blocked. Trying to find a way that I can use a different port that is allowed thru our firewall. But the music streaming and picture slideshow works great.
The other thing I wanted to get working is being able to send torrent files to the server and have it control my downloads. After a couple of hours of researching and testing, I was able to get uTorrent and Web UI working. Now from a browser, I can upload torrent files to the server and it will automatically download the file and put it on a share for me. If you want to know how to do this, check out the How-to on this website. uTorrent Setup.
Anyways, as I figure out some more hacks I will post.