Recently, I stumbled upon an advertisement for this object. It is a gadget called Blink(1), which can be plugged into a USB port and which has two color LEDs, one on top and one on the bottom, that can be controlled by a piece of computer software to show any color in any brightness. The gadget is costing around 40 swiss franks and it has a nice piece of control software, which can be used to make the gadget light in many different useful ways. For example, IFTTT (If This Then That) can be used to make it light in various colors upon given conditions, or URLs, files or scripts can be called to define color combinations, or a mailbox can make it light up if a given number of new mails arrive, or if the mail of your significant other arrives or if the mail has a certain subject line. Or you warn of a low battery, or when the CPU load exceeds a certain percentage.
The whole thing is happening in a very small package, of which the plastic cover and a aluminium frame can even be removed, so that the resulting extremely small device fits in my small lava lamp.
The homepage of the Blink(1) shows the setup and possibilities of the gadget in-depth, where to buy it, and so on.
I decided to give up my own hardware, even though designing the circuit (part 1), building it, and programming the firmware (part 2) was great fun. But thanks to the Blink(1) I can save the extensive effort of developing the computer software. Instead I can just use the “Blink(1) Control” software and only need very little adaptive work.