So, assuming my search skills dont suck, i havent found any really usefull information here on this topic. Some quick background: Last night i replaced the nic in my computer (the onboard one crapped out), and while rummaging through my parts tub, i found all the EL wire and CCFL's i bought this summer for a project that never took off (the mobo i desinged it around died). I whipped them out, and hooked them up to a test psu and rigged up my desk to maximum pimp-ed-ness. The EL controller has a sound controlled setting, as does one of the CCFL inverters. The only problem is that no matter what the setting, they both flicker at a different rate (or maybe i suck at getting the sensitivitys right). So i got an idea But, being not experienced in this area, i need some help. My initial idea was: write a small program to read the sound stream, and do a 'filter' (i think thats what my friend called it). Which would basically send a pulse for every bass note. This signal could be output on the serial port (i got no parallel port, and the usb->parallel adapter is in use, though i suppose i COULD get another one...). And i could have something to interpert the signal and triger a relay to switch the 12v input power to the el wire box/ccfl box. This would ensure that they would trigger at the same time (the warm up times cant be that far apart...???) But then my mind got thinking, and stopping short of a completely automized house with centralized core and a warp drive.... I thought that it would be nifty to have the program on the computer be GUI. The only thing... i know C, not C++, no basic, not java... i have no clue how to make a GUI in C (well, i know X11...), nor how to run C programs in windows (i use unix to program). Said GUI could control the CCFL/EL power states.. IE On, off, sound Also, the program could set certain EL/CCFL's to be high, mid, or low activated... But then... my mind started ticking again (maybe this is why my boss says i shouldnt think... ;p ) And i thought how cool it would be to also have the room lights controlled, so ive been looking at X-10 products (LIGHTON also)... And of course the insparation there was the Party Room Basically, if i can get the lights working, then in the future, i want the ability to expand and take over the world... i mean house... So to sum up: Q1. what do i program the GUI with Q2. How do i go about getting the sound stream into the program Q3. how would i write to the serial port Q4. what do i do on the other side (whatever is connected to the serial port) Q5. any hints/links?