LCDSysInfo for GOverlay: A $32 LCD gadget for PC enthusiasts and tinkerers

As a PC builder and gamer I find it fun and incredibly interesting to tinker around with my set-up, whether that’s buying a new graphics card to improve its speed, fiddling with the cooling to ensure everything can run smoothly, or overclocking to squeeze out some extra performance. I monitor many things, from the temperature of my CPU and its fan speed, to the frames per second and GPU load in games, just to see how capable my PC really is.

Traditionally I’d use a bunch of programs to monitor all these stats, including SpeedFan and Fraps, gathering info through pop-ups or windows on a second monitor. Then I was sent an LCDSysInfo – a small 2.8-inch LCD gadget that can be configured to show various stats – and monitoring my PC became significantly easier.

If you haven’t heard of the LCDSysInfo don’t be surprised, it’s the relatively unknown project of a Hong Kong-based hardware development team (ColdTears Electronics), and software developer Ezequiel Gonzalez. Originally the unit was sold just to developers for various uses, although Gonzalez wanted to display gaming related stats on it, and so started his own side-project. Purposing software called GOverlay, the system could be transformed into a remarkably handy gaming companion, and after enough work the team decided to sell this version to the general public.

Read: LCDSysInfo for GOverlay Review

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I was excited there for a second, as I'd really like a good quality coloured LCD screen to insert into a 5.25 drive bay, that can display things like weather, or emails, or news headlines, and the time, in big characters.
Would love something like that

Neat. About 10 years ago I got ahold of cash register display unit (the 40 characters * 2-lines LCD type that showed prices to customers) hooked up to a standard serial port, and I figured out the proper handshake and other settings, then started using it as a clock, or showing email subject lines as they came in...that sort of thing.

Given the sort of display discussed here, it comes to a point where it's tempting to say why not just use a monitor...but then the price point here makes a lot of sense.

I'm also somewhat reminded of the side-gadgets idea that Microsoft came up with during the Vista time-frame. Not the desktop / sidebar gadgets, but the idea was that you could have (for example) a small, separate display on the back of a laptop to show some sort of notifications when the system was otherwise in a low-power state.

[edit] Here it is. I was thinking of SideShow:

This is pretty old hat really, LCDSmartie has been doing this for well over 10 years. I had an LCD hooked up to a displayless laptop I used to use as a car music device.

A couple of my servers still have a Crystalfontz display running LCDSmartie (Windows) or LCDProc (*Nix).. for $32 may have to grab one of these for giggles. Not a fan of how it's mounted though.