First, here's a little background story: My father recently bought a new computer and gave me his old computer. I've got a laptop and I've used it happily as a gnu/linux workstation for about two years now, so I'm quite familiar with administering a single gnu/linux machine (desktop & cli). But so far I've only connected between computers via Firefox and Thunderbird. I don't really know how the server side of gnu/linux works -- what you can and what you can't do with it.
Anyway, I've got a lot of data files stored on my laptop and it's slowly running out of hard disk space. So I thought maybe I can connect the computer that my father gave me to my laptop and use it as a file server where I could keep my data files and access them from the laptop. Of course, I'll use debian gnu/linux also on this other computer because I'm using the same distro on my laptop.
I've done a bit of research and it seems that people generally use NFS to transfer files between gnu/linux computers. So my plan is to set up a NFS server on my father's old computer. But now there's a twist in the plot: My father's old computer has a CD-RW drive that my laptop lacks and I'd like to access this CD-RW drive from my laptop. Some further research I did seems to suggest that I could possibly connect to my father's old computer from the laptop using SSH and maybe I could this way burn CDs on the other computer from my laptop???
Now we get to my questions:
(1) Apparently I need to buy a second NIC for my laptop in order to accomplish the above plan. Then I can use one NIC to access Internet and the second NIC to access the server computer. Is this correct?
(2) Have I got it right -- is setting up a NFS server a good solution for accessing my data files from another computer? Is it possible to use SSH in order to burn CDs on another computer?
(3) Should I install the X Window System and the CD burning application (K3b) on the server machine?
I think those are the most important things I'd like to learn. If I can only figure out the big picture of what I need to do, I think I can then pick up all the necessary details from the available documentation. (Documentation always assumes that you already know exactly what you're doing.) And, of course, if the above doesn't sound like a feasible plan, you are most welcome to suggest improvements.