Howdy. Looks like a nice, busy place you've got here. I'm new to this adventure, so I'm still in planning and research mode. But I've been a computer guy (IBM mainframes) for 37 years, so anything digital gets my attention. I'm looking for a new winter hobby. I guess I've pretty much always wanted to get into HO, and now seems to be the time. First I heard of DCC was a few days ago on the web. I guess I'm not too surprised, computers are everywhere these days. But things sure have changed since my old Lionel O set back in the early '60s. Anyway, the first of my, perhaps many, questions. Since I plan on doing full computer control, do I really need a "command station"? I don't care about a hand held "cab", I hope to get everything fully automated. If I need to take manual control, doing it "on screen" isn't a big deal, at least for me. I've seen a few vague references talking about connecting the computer directly to a booster, but I haven't, at least yet, found any hardware or software that supports this. Programs like TrainContoller seem to require a "digital system". I see that it does support an 8255 adapter, but isn't that just for accessory control? Isn't the 8255 just an on/off switch, and not a "data port"? Can I get engine control from an 8255? So, any ideas on hardware and software that lets me take "direct control"???