Hey thanks man. Appreciate the feedback.
With regards to your problem, I would suggest doing two things. One is for you to replace your fedora 16 with 17. As John says, fedora 16 will not receive any updates after jan of next year so it's better for you to install 17 now so that you can have a running system for longer before upgrading to 18 or even 19 when it is released.
Second, fedora 16 & 17 use gnome 3 which is completely different from the earlier gnome 2. If you aren't comfortable with the existing interface, there is a fallback mode that you can use. You can also use the xfce interface. just do yum groupinstall xfce and it's a 20 Mb or so download.
The bottomline however is that most of what you do remains the same. It's just that the interface is different and so finding stuff may be a bit of a problem. What I do however is hit the windows key and just type in the name of the application I need.
Unfortunately I cannot offer any help with regards to samba shares because I use ssh and never did bother to study samba.