Alphacool External 240x128 LCD-Display
Posted by: Dan on: 03.06.2008 01:00:00 [ Print | 0 comment(s) ]
There are no real system requirements for this screen, all you need are:
- Windows 2k, Windows XP, Windows 64 or Windows Vista
- 10MB free disk space
- Alphacool USB LCD-Display (obviously!)
Simply install the software and hook up the display. Windows will automatically install the screen, and the software will then cycle through its default info Ďpagesí.
The screen looks very cool. The alphacool logo is displayed when the software loads up.
I just want to point out that there is a discrepancy between how the screen looks in the photos I have taken and how it looks in real life. In these photos, it looks like in the background (where the text and pixels are) that there is light bleeding around the edges. However in reality the whole screen has a white tint to it, so there is no noticeable bleed like is shown in these pictures. You could interpret that as the there being so much bleed that it covers the screen, but in reality you wonít know the difference and it still looks good either way. So letís take a look at some of the default screens available:
In this mode the display tells you how much hard drive space you have and everything about it.
Here you can see everything about your RAM, including pagefile and total amount available/free.
This screen is probably the most useful as it shows a similar graph to the one found in the taskmanager, as to how much your processor is being used. The graph updates at most a couple of times a second, but is enough to see what your computer is doing.
The rest of the screens are: clock, rivatuner, Fraps, winamp visualiser, media player status, system status, motherboard monitor and network status.
When you exit the software or shut down windows while it is running the display shows this screen.
If you have yet to be convinced that there is anything worthwhile on the default screens then this is where the software Alphacool has provided really shines. With it you can create your own pages, showing as much or as little information as you want. You can preview the screen and the changes you are making in real-time on your PC, or on the device itself if you want to.
Here is the on screen PC preview, the bottom buttons from left to right are: change LCD orientation; new page; pause/play cycle through existing screens; skip back/forward (through the screens).
The screen editing software has a lot of control over everything that you could possibly want to add, you can modify existing screens or create a new one completely. You can even drop a picture into the background (2 tone pictures work best).
Here is all the available plug-ins that you can use to make your own page. As you can see itís quite a useful list, with lots of plug-ins from popular software, however the catch is that these programs must be running in the background to pull the data from (Which would be the case if you wanted to get information from the apps anyway).
†I also think the Everest plugin is spot on, for those familiar with Everest you know that it can display every bit of info from all temps of everything (GPU, CPU, HDDís and well all temp sensors Everest detects (which is a lot) as well as that it also can display the voltages, FSB you name it Everest has it
Here is an example of a screen made while messing about with my laptop, using Everest I was able to poll all this information, imagine the possibilities on a full blown system with all the sensors Everest pulls info from.
And if this isnít enough for your liking, then you can code your own. I donít have the know how to make plug-ins of my own, but there is a forum with people who like making these sorts of things, which can be found here
With a downloaded iTunes plug-in I was able to make my own page, and it turned out pretty nice:
(The moirť isnít actually there in real life; itís just a camera artefact) Pretty swish donít you think? Well that wraps up everything I can think of to test with this screen, so letís wrap this review up.
Next Page Ė Conclusion