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The Blink-o-Tron is a simple device that you can hook up to your parallel port. It has 5 indicator leds which can be controlled through software on the pc. This has many possible applications for example notifying when new mail has arrived, network traffic monitoring, etc.

The Blink-o-Tron in action:
All software for the blink-o-tron can be found in the Linux section.
Currently, 2 software applications are able to take advantage of the blink-o-tron, the first is a volume visualizer plugin for the popular open-source audio player, xmms. The second is a special version of the program NetLED, which allows you to monitor network traffic right on your blink-o-tron.

If you want to create this yourself here's a plan that should help you out:

(I used 3mm red led's and resistors of 150 ohm)

This is a picture of the Blink-o-Tron from the back:

If you have questions or remarks, feel free to contact me.