Originally Posted by mizzer
Does WHS use a browser-based GUI or does it need its own monitor, keyboard, etc?
Also, what's your build like? Anything you'd do differently if you were building it today?
It's actual cut down windows server os - 2003 for original whs (which I have) or 2008 for the latest version of whs. You can set up a remote connection to the server and/or use the client based and/or browser based UI. I think the more you know about windows and windows networking the better.
I have an older core2duo based server with 2 gb ram - it does have my old 15" LCD and a crappy keyboard and mouse hooked to it for when I need to log in (also easiest during install/setup). After setup I've rarely used the LCD keyboard and mouse. Whs - at least v1 - is primarily used for system backup, but since it's windows, you can make it do oh so much more.
I'd use a faster core2duo processor and 4gb ram now since I do live conversion on the server of all my movies encoded in mkv format. I'd probably use as small an ssd for the system drive too (small storage space not size). If I needed it and my home network could do anything with it I'd team two intel gigabit pci cards as well.
If you want utility and flexibility and can handle some complexity, whs is amazing. If you want something simpler, I'd go the NAS route with wdtv or boxee.