As of now, I'm leaning towards another media system and hacking in zwave support for it, since the system is pretty useless to me right now (can't view media, its on the NAS and now it crashes when I try to get a list of videos).
Rule #1 - Be Patient - Rule #2 - Don't ask when, if you don't contribute - Rule #3 - You have coding skills - LinuxMCE's small brother is available: http://www.agocontrol.com
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it seems you have answered your own question re "why". all this manual fiddling you dont have to do when you use the system properly. ie it becomes the gateway for your entire network.I posted my answer in case someone else finds this post in the future and wonders how I got it working. I did have to add both the IP and the MAC address to get the external share to work, then I added a link to it on the core's HDD. It didn't seem to show the files on it otherwise.