No passwords, share everything?

Hello. My network consists of a Windows 7 PC, A debian mythtv box, a Macintosh G4 10.3.9 and a Windows XP SP3 laptop. I like this combination (the laptop is a Via based unit which came with Vista but turned out to be way too slow, so I *upgraded* it to XP which runs - and has always run - superbly). I can't see myself forking out for Windows 7 again because none of my other machines (which are ideal for the jobs they are tasked for) won't be upgraded to anything ever.

I'd love to be able to browse everything and see everything. This means everything, not just "these files in these folders". So when I hook up a printer, or a scanner, or an external hard drive that someone has lent me, I can just see it in "the pool" of available devices. I want to be able to put a USB stick in anywhere and see its contents anywhere. I want to be able to plug in an eSata drive on the PC, walk to the mac and then access the drives files as if I was sitting in front of the PC.

At the moment I have to deal with passwords and user accounts. My girlfriend can't get her head around the concept of switching users and I don't blame her. I don't give a shit about users. They seem completely pointless on my network, since a) I can't use them anyway since I have both debian and macs which don't really integrate with it, and b) I know who *I* am and trust me whether or not I'm sitting at my office PC or at the mac out in the garden.

Sometimes when I'm in the garden the mood takes me and I want to write something, but the files are up on my office PC, so I can't just "see it all" and "just use it" without having to dick around with shares and user accounts. Sometimes I'm at the laptop and want to watch some recorded TV or listen to music but I can't because Windows Media Player can't play any of the open formats I use such as TS video (proper mpeg transport stream, not microsoft's bastardised version) or OGG music or AAC. Linux can. Mac can. That frustrates me too, that Windows wants to play differently. Sure I'll switch to Windows Media Centre if there's a WIZARD that can let me play my existing database of movies, recorded TV shows, and 700GB of music in a variety of formats other than Windows Media Audio, without losing anything (such as a week of my life to set it up).

I thought I could just buy a NAS box. Which is a linux based network attached RAID hard disk (which is also where my printer is plugged in). Which means it's designed about shares and users and groups and passwords still. I want it so that if ANYONE is connected to my network then *I* TRUST THEM TO PLAY NICE. Me the human, not my computer, which is just something I use not something that makes decisions on my behalf. It's annoying to have to connect to since Windows thinks of it as "something on the network that it can't trust" instead of "a hard drive it can use if it wants to".

What's with this whole concept of users and passwords on a home network anyway? If I managed to log on to my machine by the horrible method of having to click on the name of the ONE USER set up on the computer (I mean, why is there a choice when there is only one option - imbecieles) then surely I know that I can do anything since this is MY network, so why do I need passwords to connect to other machines on MY network? Frankly if I could remove users and passwords and just use MY computer to do MY work then I would.

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