Part of the pre-Vista hype was the idea of auxiliary displays. Laptop and desktop displays would provide additional information from your computer. The Vista SideShow feature hasn’t really caught on and the surplus hardware has started to drop in price. Take this PicoLCD for example: It’s a 4×20 character LCD with an IR receiver, multiple buttons, and a USB connection. The best part is: it has Linux drivers and an open source SDK. We know  a lot of you like wiring up HD44780 based screens, but it’s hard to pass up a $50 prepackaged solution with such nice extras.

[via Engadget]


  1. zigzagjoe says:

    vista only …. -__-

    besides that, it seemss quite nice.

    looks like it would be possible to hack the linux drivers into a state to let it be used on windows [properly]…probably better that way anyways. vista sucks.

    also, wtb working inputbox.

  2. jose says:

    I saw these a while back, but couldn’t find a source for them…

    awesomes that hackaday brings it up again…

  3. henk says:

    I have two screens I can’t choose between;
    A 4×20 LCD with big characters, 4x bigger than normal.
    A 2×20 PLED display, with awesome contrast and viewing angle.

    I can’t choose between them!

    PLED is awesome but the LCD is bigger and has 2 more lines.

  4. strider_mt2k says:

    Hackaday, never leave us again.


  5. kato says:

    anyway to get it to work with xp?

  6. miked says:

    this looks cool. i would be very surprised if they didn’t
    put up more details soon. mini-box sells so many parts for
    itx hackers, they should understand their customers. if
    not, one of their customers will.

  7. rasz says:

    sorry, but I can get fully working 15′ LCD for $50

  8. bort says:

    @rasz: a 15-foot lcd? o rly?

  9. psurf says:

    with some elbow grease, you can get a full color non-interactive one for under 20 bucks:

  10. Dillon says:

    Does anyone remember the ID-75 from Massworks? I’ve been trying to get ahold of the SDK they offered to similar stuff but alas its no longer available. Anyone anyone have any leads?

  11. shporg says:

    hey thats cool, its just like the one i have on my g15
    keyboard which only cost me 80 bucks, plus its illuminated
    with hotkeys and apps to choose from, displays info for media
    and games and comes with free child clown shoes yay!!!!!

  12. Steve says:

    This screen is a littl expensive for a character module.
    Its great they have an sdk so it may end up being ported to
    the so called “lessor” operating systems. I see bigger
    application in hacks though. I would like to know what is
    inside the box. How much room for modifications are there.
    Can we add our own batteries and such. Thi biggest question
    is it an industry standard HD4478 lcd driver and form factor.

  13. I appreciate your putting this information on the web. easier to access, read and digest. Your procedures on proper filing is very enriching. thank you so much.

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