STAND ALONE CONTROL
in this section i got the info from www.christmascave.com
( christmascave.com was purchased by animatedlighting.com
I do not recommend the new company )
a good place to look for the stand alone is www.lightorama.com
this units can be stand alone or computer controlled.
(I now use these and am thrilled with them)
the site above has some pre-built boxes that all you have to do is plug it in and it does the rest ( you can also get kit versions from here) you can also get some from other commercial sites.
advantage: you don't have to do do anything but plug it in
disadvantage: not as much flexibility (unless you have software/hardware to change the settings on the pic chip)