Cute. I get it.
If you have time, RoGuE, I'd love to be educated on why closets are not so good for the daily computer.
In full disclosure, another part of the strong allure to me with hiding it in the closet is that besides enabling me to get a really fast and powerful machine while also solving the noise issue, I'm imagining a much more aesthetically pleasing and less cluttered workspace, since I can completely hide the machine and some of the peripherals like the printer and my 3 external hard drives in the closet.
My motives are vain, I realize, but I'm trying to justify locating my "office" in a nicely decorated somewhat-space-constrained family room without hiding it behind computer-armoire-doors so that it's instantly and constantly accessible throughout the day. Even with a quiet machine, the machine still needs a well-ventilated location (correct?) and to me that translates to being "on display".
My true vision (which I admit is perhaps unrealistic, unreasonable, and cost-prohibitive) is that the only thing "on display" is a monitor, a nice-looking ergonomic chair, a wireless keyboard and mouse on a pullout tray, and the minimum of cabling required to support all this. The rest would ideally be hidden behind closed doors, either in neighboring cabinets or in that air-conditioned closet I have available. I'm picturing the USB sync cables for my digital camera, pda-phone, and iPod, along with space for those devices hidden but easily accessible in a drawer under my desk-top. I'm picturing a decently sized flat-screen monitor with a built-in webcam, built-in speakers, and an anti-glare coating (to combat the light that shines in through the large windows behind me).
My vision also includes being able to enjoy peace and silence in this room when we so choose. I would love to be able to, without powering down my machine and without having to compete with its whirring and humming, sit down to read to myself or the kids. And at other times, I'd love to be able to compute while still being able to clearly hear the kids in the next room and hear the birds chirping out the window.
Maybe I'm too sensitive to noise...
Our family room opens up to the dining area and kitchen and even the hum of the refrigerator makes it hard for me to fully relax. And I don't think anything can be done about that one.
When I'm craving quiet, I even opt to shut off the house AC on hot summer days if the kids can tolerate the heat, because that noise also really bothers me.
still absorbing all your advice and open to more input,