E-mail Waiting?
March 20, 2006 4:44 PM   Subscribe

You'veGotMailFilter: I'm looking to have some visual indication that I have e-mail waiting on my Windows-based PC. Not on the monitor, but an external device. LCD, a big flashing LED, a waving flag, whatever. Preferably something I could, potentially, rig up in other spots of the house, too. Anywhere from a simple flashing light to a listing of e-mail headers in a mailbox (integration with Outlook 2003 or 2007 a plus). I have a Griffin Powermate, but that device seems to only flash for waiting e-mails on a Mac; I need a PC-based solution. Or a standalone solution. Ideas?
posted by Merdryn to Computers & Internet (13 answers total)
Get a blackberry.
posted by delmoi at 4:47 PM on March 20, 2006

Or a Treo.
posted by cellphone at 4:49 PM on March 20, 2006

fits in a drive bay or elsewhere.
posted by kcm at 4:50 PM on March 20, 2006

Executive Dashboard.
posted by provolot at 5:21 PM on March 20, 2006

On that link that provolot sent, I'd recommend the Ambient Orb...if you're a "do it yourself" kind of user, a guide is available to, well, do it yourself.
posted by bachelor#3 at 6:00 PM on March 20, 2006

the Optimus Mini-Three is a kind of prototype-as-product thing - a USB keyboard with only 3 keys, but each key is an OLED screen that can be customized to display icons and other custom images, and they keys can can be bound to different apps, etc.

I find it cool and all, but not 100 bucks worth of cool. Still, it does what you're looking for, and combined with a USB-extension solution of some sort, could be easily used in a different room.
posted by chudmonkey at 6:05 PM on March 20, 2006

Does it have to be a flashing light? (I'm thinking hard of hearing solution being needed?)

You could go for sound, obviously, but - if the light is a deal-breaker, you could translate the sound into light - say, use a baby monitor next to the PC, sound sets off monitor, Monitor flashes away?

You'd need a song to play rather than a ping so the light(s) stayed illuminated, but this would be a cheap simple wire free option; multi-room is also possible with some of the DECT monitors.

You could also set up mail-forward alerts sent to a vibrating pager perhaps; another option?
posted by DrtyBlvd at 6:32 PM on March 20, 2006

WiFi bunny.
posted by PurplePorpoise at 6:37 PM on March 20, 2006

These ones are great with an increasing green indicator - think 'Knight Rider'
posted by DrtyBlvd at 6:38 PM on March 20, 2006

Pertelian External LCD Display @ Thinkgeek ($69.99)
posted by blue_beetle at 8:38 PM on March 20, 2006

FWIW, Microsoft is recommending that hardware manufacturers build this into Vista-compatible mobile computers. Doesn't help you right now, but I bet in 2 years it's considered a standard feature.
posted by anildash at 12:22 AM on March 21, 2006

Or an audrey. I used to have one of these, the pen blinked and lit up when an email came in.
posted by bigmusic at 1:04 AM on March 21, 2006

Response by poster: Got a Treo, (and had a CrackBerry) but whenever I'm near speakers with either one, their interference makes an awful racket.

The CrystalFontz seems like a clever idea, and there seems to be a fairly vibrant hacking community around it, so that's a plus. But that WiFi Bunny... Now that's just frakked up. I might have to go with that one just on the "WTF is that" factor.

All told, if the Optimus Mini was out today, I'd buy several. But it ain't (and I'm not sure it ever will be, it's what inspired me on this quest), but right now I'm leaning toward the Pertelian or the Nabaztag (WiFi Bunny, for those who didn't go to the site). Thanks, all.

P.S. Sound would've been fine, but it's intrusive. This isn't a hard-of-hearing requirement, it's an "I don't want to spend ten hours a day in my basement" requirement when I'm waiting on an important message from a client or somesuch. Thanks, all!
posted by Merdryn at 6:56 AM on March 21, 2006

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