Every conversation you have with the outgoing admin, record (with permission, of course). When they're showing you something a workstation, screen capture it. Write notes up for all of this the first while its still fresh. Have them walk you through each server, each device, and all the issue with it. You won't remember everything they've said, and they aren't going to do as great a job documenting things as you'd like during their last week, as they're head's already out the door.
Incorrect. In a lot of ways, the US colonies were populated by an early form of corporation call the joint stock company. These were created, same as modern companies, to disburse risk between a group of investors.
See the Plymouth Company and the London Company.
Your comparison to facebook is somewhat off base. Since you don't pay anything, its hard to say they're 'swindling' you by reactivating your free account when you log into it. Also, since you're not paying anything you're not thier customer. You're the product they sell to other people.
I agree, excpet thinking they have decent drive sleds. How do you make a server that lets you accidentally bump a drive and dismount it? Want to have that ejected drive come back online? Gotta reboot the server. Want to use the lock on the box to prevent those drives from accidentally dismounting? Sure you you explicitly picked a boot volume in the Startup Disk control panel, otherwise you'll get that lovely blinking question mark if you ever try to reboot it when locked.
The mounting/hardware of the Xserve lines seems like what you'd come up with if you'd never actually had to deal with servers before.
You might want to take a look into Centrify and LikeWise's options for doing OS X management from an AD centric environment. We use Likewise open software for AD integration for our linux servers, and don't need the group policy type control for those, but the rest of thier feature set looks quite nice.
Considering its setting next to a pin for marbles and for good manners, I'd say its probobly about at right level for the 9 year olds its targeted to. I remember at that age earning an arrow (do they even still have those arrow patches) for learning a couple ways to tie a tie in cub scouts.
There's still a few apps out there that either require USB keys for licensing, or that you want to have interact some sort of physical device that doesn't have its own IP stack. Thankfully, these cases are fairly uncommon these days, but they do still exist.
You're just making it harder than it needs to be. Use Ghost, Acronis, KACE, or any of the other semi-hardware agnostic imaging systems. Failing that, just take individual images of each peice of disparate hardware. Just takes a little one time act for each peice of hardware, and a large disk drive.
You're not going to be able to throttle at the router in an environment like this. For an office this size, its doubtful that the computers are on different subnets. Same subnet = not going through the router, and just staying local on the switch.