I started off trying to control the layout using the IBM PC parallel printer port. I put together an I/O expander circuit which had one PWM speed control, one point controller and a signal controller driving two lamps. The circuit gave out digital signals which were interfaced to the layout by a block control interface and a turnout control interface.
The software was on DOS and the user interface was very crude. Momentum while starting and stopping the train were provided in software. Unfortunately, after this, I could never ever go back to a throttle without momentum.