Ding resides in a black DIGN 3E Home Theater Case. It's black, it's beautiful, it has a blue Power LED and Display . What else would you want? Front USB and Firewire? It even has that!
I don't use a harddrive in Ding instead everything comes from the network. Unfortunatly this makes a HDD LED pretty much useless. But I wanted some blinkenlights so I had the idea of a network activity LED. Of course 3Com didn't add a Connector for an additional LED on their otherwise great NIC so I had to do some soldering. I soldered a cable to the contact of the onboard LED (see picture). The LEDs on the NIC are very tiny and apparantly do not use much power so I couldn't use the blue HDD LED that comes with the DIGN Case. Instead I used an old red one I had laying around.
I did the soldering at the backside and arranged the cable through a hole in the NIC. I attached two metal pins at the end of the wire and isolateted the solder joint with shrink wrap. Thes pins fit very well in the LED's connector plug.
The VFD display is a Samsung 16T202DA and is connected via Parallell Port.
To get it work in linux is easy. First make sure you disable all special features of the parallel port like ESP and stuff in your Motherboards Bios. Then get LCDproc - here is the debian way to do it:
#> apt-get install lcdproc
LCDproc is a Client/Server application. The lcdprocd server controls the hardware and the clients deliver the data to display. You need to configure the server by editing /etc/LCDd.conf - here are the options I changed for the Samsung display:
[server] Driver=HD44780 Bind=127.0.0.1 Port=13666 [HD44780] Port=0x378 ConnectionType=winamp Size=16x2
For using the display with XMMS I modified the sourcecode of the XMMS plugin MicroLCD to work with the 16×2 Character Display of the DIGN case instead of a 16×1 display it was designed for. You can download the binary and the sourcecode right here: microlcd-0.1.1-16x2.tgz.
To install copy
/usr/lib/xmms/Visualization/ and enable it in XMMS's plugin menu. It scrolls artist and songtitle in the top row and displays time, volume and info about shuffle and repeat state in the second row.
You can see the display with the XMMS plugin in action on the picture on the right. My digicam is a little bit too slow to catch the scrolling title. In the lower left corner you can see the red network activity LED.
What does that mean??