Monday, January 03, 2005

Adding an LCD display to server

As some of you might know, this site runs off a server that I put together myself. I've always wanted this server to have some sort of display (LED lights or something) that would somehow glow whenever I received a new email. A different light would glow when the CPU utilization went over 50%. Now, this is for times when I am around my house, but not necessarily using my desktop. This is more of a geek thing. Nice to have, not a must have.

Last night while surfing around, I came across a company called Crystalfontz that manufacturers various LCD displays. They even sell drive bay brackets so that the LCD display can be mounted in a standard PC case. Now these LCD units come in USB or Serial flavors. This means that they can be hooked onto a standard PC.

Besides, I also found that there is even an open source project (in Perl) called LCDProc that supports various LCD and VFD displays in a standardized way.

So finally it seems there is a way to satisfy my itch. In the next few days, I'll order an LCD display from CrystalFontz (btw, there are other vendors too that sell LCD displays) and then try use LCDProc to control and display stuff on the LCD panel. Once I am done, I will document the steps needed for adding an LCD display to your desktop or server.

You can even build you own MP3 display for songs played off your desktop PC or laptop using the above mentioned combination.

Cool, aint it?

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