I've got a desktop PC in my bedroom but my roommate and I are going to put together a dedicated HTPC in the living room. I want to know what I can "get away with" putting on there and still have a stable system. (We plan on a P4, Intel chipset, solid power supply, etc. In other words, good hardware!) I suppose the bare minimum would be the following: OS patched and updated current drivers for all hardware DVD player virus scan & firewall (since this will be on the network) I'm thinking about adding the following: MP3 playback -- doesn't seem like much of a strecth, Winamp 2 is a svelte program. Don't many of you use your HTPC as an MP3 jukebox? IE and outlook express -- there are occasionally online DVD-ROM features that I will want to look at. Besides, these are installed with the OS aren't they? Not sure how useful e-mail will be on the HTPC though Games -- nothing too demanding, just older games like Half Life. It would be a shame to set up this nice PC with great picture and sound and NOT be able to play an occasional round of Team Fortess Classic. Has anyone had success gaming on their HTPC? Am I pushing my luck? CD Burning -- I would assume it is impossible to burn CDs while watching a DVD but is there any harm in installing Nero to burn the occasional CD? Office applications -- I see no reason to have these on the HTPC at all especially as there is a desktop PC in the house EAC & LAME -- should I not use the HTPC for ripping & encoding MP3s for the jukebox? Or, if anyone uses their HTPC for things other than what I've mentioned above, I'd love to hear your stories.