In visualizing POP3 servers and in monitoring online IMAP connections, I described how we monitor our twelve distributed mail servers. Having a web interface with a map that shows red and green is all right, but I wanted something better: a realtime panel with real blinking lights on it. Perhaps not quite as impressive as the Blinkenlights project, but you get the idea. Since I don’t have the slightest idea about electronics, I consulted with Thomas, Guenther and Olaf who know a quite a bit about the subject. I gave them my requirements: about sixteen red/green LED(Light Emitting Diode) connected either via a serial or parallel PC interface or even USB(Universal Serial Bus). I am prepared to fund the project out of my own pocket, so the cost has to be kept as low as possible, and I told them that I’d implement the software. The three guys immediately set to work designing what turned out to be a rather simple interface, a prototype of which was ready the next morning. Since I wasn’t very pleased with the design of the electronics (the software to drive the LEDs would have been too complex) they changed the design and I hope they’ve whipped up a new board. All this is being done during their free time. As soon as the project is completed, I’ll post details.