Then i would probably go with C# because the syntax is a lot like php also because you're starting over it would be good for you to learn that style of syntax as VB.NET is a little untidy(Personal Opinion) and C# is a little more structured also is a little more powerful language.
Network attached storage device so you can have all the files on you pc sync to a raspberry pi or even an old PC running linux. Heres some links
http://lifehacker.com/5988835/turn-a-ra ... -power-nas
http://www.instructables.com/id/Raspber ... box-clone/
Depends on what you want to develop for? for me I've taken a twist and started learning python and ruby as these languages run nicely on the raspberry pi witch is what most of my development contributes to these days as the IOT is starting to take full throttle and becoming a big thing(Come on tell ...
The plans for the holidays is to build an cnc/3D printing machine :teehe; :teehe; :what; :what; Could it be this one by any chance? http://www.tinkernut.com/portfolio/hack-old-cd-roms-into-a-cnc-machine/ If so, my cousin is working on the same one :D Not that one I want one a little big bigger lol ...