In college, I stumbled onto an old coffee vending machine (put in a quarter, a cup drops down, then a squirt of water, shot of coffee grounds, a little sugar and a touch of cream.) It used a mechanical timer to trigger everything to make a cup of coffee. I removed the coffee making brain and relays, "reprogrammed" the mechanical cams and connected it to five different strings of Christmas lights in front of my parent's house to make the bushes look like they were chasing each other in slow motion (this was 1973.) People talked about it from all over. In 1984, I used an 8 circuit dedicated computer board and connected it to solid state relays to control 4 vertical and 4 horizontal strands on a big Christmas tree in my front yard... people would stop their cars in front of the house watching the lights dance on the tree... and I knew I was onto something. The next year I used a retired Apple II and had 16 circuits to control. In 1990, the Apple blew out it's power supply and I shifted to a PC clone... and it's been growing each year. Now it's become a family tradition for a lot of people in the middle Tennessee area. I couldn't be more proud!