Small project to provide email notification via an RGB LED hooked up to the USB port.
Uses a 4d-micro-USB module to provide power and RS232 to a Picaxe 08M controlling an RGB LED. Can control colour (seven colours: work email in red, newsletters in green, other in blue) and brightness by sending characters to the COM port, this is done by a Python script run every 10 minutes by Task Scheduler with an accompanying system tray icon to allow LED to be turned off again (see python gmail check in four lines of code, pySerial and pySystray).
The schematic is as simple as possible:
The relevant code (python and picaxe basic) is pretty self-evident, I will provide it if anyone is interested. Update: Another post has some code.