It looks like Chris Barron is making some good progress on the Smartsockets project.  Head on over to their Yahoo group to learn more and if you're not already a member, join (It is things like this that make me wish I stayed in electrical engineering....)

If you're not familiar with smartsockets:

Smart Sockets were born from a desire to create a family of products which consists of different types of popular displays, each with a standard uniform command set and a large number of display mode functions.

There are many inbuilt fonts and transition effects which can run at several speeds. This allows you to make an interesting display display routine with the minimum of fuss, the only requirement in terms of data signals is an industry standard 9600,8,N,1 input. This means they can be driven directly by a PC, a PDA, or a microcontroller.

There are also user-definable characters, which allows for the creation of a new character set, which is stored in non-volatile memory.

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