I was also going to mention there's a HTML developer-oriented editor already included with office that few actually know is even there, called Microsoft Script Editor. Default located at:
"C:\Program Files\Microsoft Office\OFFICE11\MSE7.EXE"
It's actually pretty good even if it does seem to default to VBScript for some reason. It's kind of like Visual basic (drag buttons/elements around then put in the event-based coding). Just has the HTML coding instead. Even create HTAs (does anybody remember HTAs? Doubt it!)
I've been mostly skimming this thread but I don't think anybody has pointed to Amahi: seems like at least software-wise it would cover all the requirements for media storage and add/removal of HDDs. I should mention my favorite forum merely recommends Amahi as a FOSS alternate to WHS but that I have not actually used Amahi.
Also, I thought XFS was supposed to be a good/possibly best file system for large files?
Which version are you having trouble with? Are you sure that you're not just mindlessly repeating a 7 year old meme? Are you also one of the people who switched to Chrome because "Firefox uses too much memory" when simple tests show that Chrome uses more? I know it feels like you're a part of the club when you repeat what you hear from the other club members. But don't confuse groupthink with truth - especially when it comes to the quickly-changing world of tech.
Well there's been a few version changes in firefox since this time but at my last job 6 or so months ago I had to run chrome because the employer-issued laptop simply couldn't run firefox or couldn't anything *besides* firefox... Chrome on the other hand ran perfectly on this pathetic laptop. So chrome is taking up less of something. If not memory than...something else? All I know is on a laptop with very limited resources Chrome ran great and FF ran crap.
Based on the description I don't see why hosting it yourself isn't an option. If you literally have 500 gigs of data get two 1TB drives and build a NAS with the two drives mirrored. For OS you could use either a Linux server with LVM/RAID or a FreeNAS set up with ZFS. You could even virtualize it if you wanted to get fancy (easy to switch physical hardware used if nothing else). Open a port on your router and hand out the IP or setup a DynDNS sort of deal for others to access. You also want a separate USB hard drive to back the data up.
For the amount of money it would take to host all this data the Linux/FreeNAS solution would be much, much cheaper (less than $400US). Also, ridiculously easy to setup an SSH daemon on linux/FrreeBSD.
You sound like you're at some kind of college or university so I assume it wouldn't be too difficult to bribe a local computer scientist with mountain due and pizza to help you out as needed.
You winfiles.com I assume...? Why do I still remember that site??
Several years ago there was a special pen with a special paper you could buy: take notes with the pen, connect to pc and it had recorded all your key strokes. Seems like the best of both worlds. No idea if that product/idea is still around.
Looks like similar has already been linked but I bought this one a year or two ago:
I've never been in exactly your position of having a stable job but being completely apathetic about it but I go through something similar with things that interest me. To get the enthusiasm back I'd say look for a problem some one is having and program up a "wow" solution for them.
Everybody has an example of this I think: your mechanic is still shuffling paper and unnecessarily faxing things between offices...build a web-based database to replace it...maybe a parent is having the same constant issue with their computer...figure out some simple interface alternative that will minimize that issue.
In other words find a sense of satisfaction/accomplishment that will be give you some sort of semi-immediate "wow that's great" response outside of work...just may help bring you out of funk and re-kindle your love of programming. Also, if you don't exercise start exercising. I know that helps me quite bit.
At the risk of coming off contrarian I have to disagree: prices are dictated by supply and demand.
If supply has suddenly taken a dive whilst demand has remained constant or gone up there's fewer products to buy and thus each one is worth a little more. Remember when the Wii came out, everyone wanted one and they were being sold on Craig's List for $800? I don't think they're $800 now and this is because the demand dropped.
Point is there's a rational explanation for a price spike. Not necessarily a "profit grabbing ploy".
Yes, when you open a file panel or a network browser under Windows, you are using IE. The desktop is IE. The control panel is IE. Friggin' everything is IE! Even if you install another browser, you CANNOT tell those components to use it. So, yes, if you use Windows, you MUST use IE. You have no choice. And must you use Windows? Well, yes. Many web applications aren't written to international standards, they're written to Microsoft-proprietary functionality within IE. This WILL worsen, with this news about IE and Windows 8, just as it worsened considerably after Microsoft violated the Windows 95 injunction by releasing the bundled IE as Windows 98.
I guess you aren't aware but this is all true of Vista and 7. And yet other browsers and OSes exist some how. Just because the Control Panel window is an IE-based window doesn't mean you have to use it to check your email. It's just a window rendered with a web browser. Not that big a deal.
The competition is hurting something chronic. IE has rising usage figures. Firefox is starting to slide. Opera is sliding badly. Chrome may run foul of the Apple vs Google battle-to-the-death. (And one of them WILL die in it, if they don't back off.) Linux has never been fairly or reasonably offered as a desktop choice by anyone other than the OLPC group - and even they are now getting into bed with Microsoft.
Firefox is sliding because of project management (as far as I can tell). Opera has had fairly consistent market share for 10+ years, admirable on some level. I don't think that has anything to do with MS either. The reason I have never gotten into it is the whole built in web server thing. That seems like a really, really bad idea some how. Neither of these things have anything to do with MS. Chrome seems to be doing fine and still improving, I don't see any reason to worry about it. For that matter Safari still comes bundled with all those iTunes installs.
Point is IE doesn't seem that much of a threat to existing browsing technology, it will lose or gain market share based on quality as much as anything.
This isn't a socialist pay model: it's not mandated. There's choice. I can opt-in to channels I want like AMC and comedy central, opt-out of golf channel and all spanish-speaking channels. Or choose not to have cable at all. There's always Hulu/Netflix.
By contrast in socialist medicine for instance EVERYONE is mandated to buy health care...or the more politically correct phrasing "compulsory health insurance",
Children begin by loving their parents. After a time they judge them. Rarely, if ever, do they forgive them. - Oscar Wilde