Wow, is this obsolete !! Amazing how fast things change with computers. I will update soon...
My computer system combines 2 Macs, 2 PCs, and shared audio, video and printing components. It is Ethernet connected to DSL internet access (SBC), with a Wireless Access Point . I have tried to integrate the equipment into the room with a minimum of 'geek' factor.
I believe that it's important to get quality components where you directly, physically, interface with a computer. How can you be happy with a blazing fast PC if you get a headache from trying to read a fuzzy screen ? So spend a little extra to get a good monitor, keyboard, mouse, and mouse pad.
I use a Kensington optical scroll wheel mouse, MS Intellimouse and a 3M precision mousing surface.The monitor is an iiyama VisionMaster Pro 400 that is switched, along with the USB buss, between the two computers with an A/B switch box. An audio A/B switch is velcroed on top of it to control which system drives the Boston Acoustics MediaTheatre sound system.
The Mac is a 400mz G4, the PC is a component built 550mz AMD K6-2 box, both with 192 meg of PC-100 memory. My Mac still runs OS 9.1 and the PC runs either Windows 98 SE or NT 4.0 SP 6a.
Add-ons include a zip drive, CDRW's, memory card readers, and scanner. A DSL internet connection is distributed and protected by a Netgear RT314 router / switch.
I added a 2nd PC system on 11/2003 to act as a server. It's a 2.5 ghz AMD processor, basic system, running Windows 2000 Server to host WebFocus 5.x and be a file server. A 15" LCD flat panel doesn't take up too much desk space, while the keyboard slides out from under the desktop, and there's a second mouse floating around. But I don't have to do much to this machine, so the inconvenient access isn't a big problem.
There are so many external power bricks and cords, that I made a little shelf under the desk to hold them on a couple of power strips. Now there is plenty of room for toes and the vacuum cleaner.
Everything is powered through a TrippLite line conditioner tucked behind the left filing cabinet and controlled by the power strip above the Mac (magnetized to the cabinet). A little cable dressing goes a long way too.
And, yes, the desk is the old trick of a door on two short filing cabinets. But this door is birch with a light cherry stain and about 10 coats of polyurethane, lovingly applied.
Printing is accomplished by an HP LaserJet 4P, and an Epson StylusColor 740i. the Epson is available to both systems via its USB and parallel ports, the LaserJet 4 is Ethernet connected so it can serve the Mac and both PC's.