Information for using small character LCDs such as the HD44780 with Mac OS X, LCDproc and Growl. And other Apple and Mac USB stuff.

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Shipped First Group Buy

So if you already paid, you have been shipped the parts.

The download for the instructions and command line tool is here:

Also, if you are putting one of these together yourself, download the tool and try it out.


Monday, June 13, 2005

Basic Growl Support!!

So, everyone showed a lot of interest in Growl support. Unfortunately, I needed to focus my efforts on getting a basic display utility. After some work, I realized I can just set Growl to log, and have the tail utility pipe the output to my LCD display utility. As a result, I have basic Growl notification support.

I will certainly continue to work on a real display plugin, but this should be a nice benefit to the people who will be buying the kit.

Group Buy Update

Quick update on the group buy:

If you already paid, I will be sending your kits out this weekend (with the correct cable).

As I mentioned, I received the wrong cables from my source. Fortunately, he has the right ones and will replace them for me. If you are still interested in the group buy, stay tuned!

Thanks again for everyone's interest!

Tuesday, June 7, 2005

Bad cables...

So I found out that there are apparently several types of Belkin F5U002 adapters out there. I just bought some that don't work, so watch out. They have a different usb vendor id, and they do not have a separate USB cable. Otherwise they look very similar.

They might even use the same chip, but they put out different voltages and behave a little differently.

Until I can find the correct cables, or figure these out, I am going to have to temporarily suspend the group buy.

I will keep everyone updated here.


Friday, June 3, 2005

LCD Test Kit Group Buy!!

So I decided I would make a kit available for people who want to start playing with LCDs right now. I want to do it in the form of a group buy so that I can buy all of the parts at once at a discount rate.

The kit would include:

  • HD44780 4x16 LCD
  • Belkin USB to Parallel Adapter
  • USB A to B cable
  • Centronics to LCD cable
  • header pins to connect the cable to the LCD
  • a simple command line program to allow you to pipe text output (from logs, programs, etc.) to your LCD.
  • Instructions
  • Discount on any future products or software I make using the parallel interface.

This kit would require some soldering and is not a commercial product. If you want a nice, finished product, wait a few more months, and I should have something available.

I won't be making much money on this at all.

I think it would cost about $30 shipped if I can sell 10. So if you are interested, post a write back.



Thursday, June 2, 2005

Not Possible?!?

I thought I would collect some links that say this can't be done. (Go to the bottom)

Wednesday, June 1, 2005

Parallel Port Mac OS X

Thanks hackaday!

For PC users who might not see the point:

  1. Macs don't have parallel ports or serial ports.
  2. This adapter is supposed to be for printing only, and LCDs require low level port control that most adapters don't provide.
  3. USB LCDs are expensive.
  4. USB LCDs don't come with Mac software.

I will posts some simple source code in the coming weeks if people are interested.

I may also offer a kit so people can use one of these on their Mac.

P.S. buy a new printer adapter from ebay rather than using one you already have. (My wife was ready to kill me when she couldn't use the printer.) Look for the brown dark gray ones that are not for the mac.

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