Home networks are great to share files between all the computers on the network. Also great to be able to use one printer for all the computers on the network.
The IM thing is just a perk. Kinda like e-mailing the guy in the chair next to you at work.
Yeah,,,, my wife can't figure out why I have more than one pc open and running at a time. It is nice, I have my desktop I surf and download on at home and my laptop for work, both running at the same time.
Both my girls have a desktop or laptop for their own use and then we have one we call the public, or first come first served pc my wife uses. However ten years ago the pc we had was a $2500.00 solitare game. (Larry the cable guy quote) But I got good at playing solitare!
In my office we have 8 pc's or laptops we are surrounded by and only 2 of us in the room.