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Oscar's Stock Ticker for Logitech G15

The Logitech G15 keyboard is a customizable keyboard that has a large 160x43 backlit LCD display on top.

It offers also few other features, such as 18 fully programmable keys and backlighted keys. Logitech sells this as a gaming keyboard (and as I discoverd that is probably true)

Of course the LCD display got my attention. In games this can be used for displaying gaming stats. In windows it displays media stats, clock and CPU/RAM stats.

I wanted to use the LCD for few more useful functions. Some possible ideas are:

  • displaying graph of current stock or currency
  • displaying RSS feeds
  • network messaging

In this quick experiment I choose to implement the first idea - a stock ticker that displays a graph.

For a source of graph I used the kitco images such as this one:

This shows 24hr USD per Gold per ounce. Even if you don't care much about the yellow metal, the Gold graph is in fact a reliable signal of what is currently going on in economy. There are also many other graphs but for our purpose I will use the Gold.

So what such software should do is to periodically download the image (every 30 sec) from the web and then process it and send it to the LCD.

The main problem of course is the fact that the display is only 160x43 with only one shade (on or off) which makes very hard to resize the image nicely. I therefore added some way to crop the original image so only part of the image will be used and eventually resized to the LCD display.

Installation 1.1

  • Ticker.zip (600kB) (soon)
    Mediachance USA

Unzip it to Logitech directory and run it.

Final word
The LCD display on keyboard is an interesting idea and I wish it is more common, so I can add it to other software (for example it can display progress bar during DVD-lab compilling etc.)
The Logitech kbd is not bad, but after a while I actually removed it from my programming machine and put back the old trusty Microsoft Internet kbd with white keys, black letters and higher angle.

I put the Logitech on my "general" computer (browsing internet, reading e-mails etc. but not heavy typing) The G15 does look good and it is probably great for dark night gaming with the ability to control 18 customizable keys. However for general typing I am not quite sure.

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NetImage Settings
The software is just one single exe. Place it to the Program Files/ Logiterch directory (or anywhere else) and run it. Once you run it first time it will show the settings that you need to fill up.

You set the URL of the image (gif/jpg):

Then You can click Update Now. This will download the image from internet and display it in the window. Now you can set cropping the image - I used directly the 160x43 with 30 pixel offset from top so only the central part of image is displayed 1:1 on the LCD

The process can use all or only one channel of the RGB image. Since the result is a black and white LCD 1 pixel image, using only certain channel(s) can help to create more viewable image.

I also added ability to set threshold for low and high color intensity. The low threshold will set black all colors below the value (in my case all shades 0-230 will be set to 0 and the High will set all shades above the value to 255 (in my case 250-255). This allows me to pick only the part of the color range of image (remember we have 1 bit pixels on LCD, no shades)

My result is pictured on the image above. This came from this graph:

Normally the software starts hidden with only small icon in the tray. Note: after first run you don't need to add a shortcut to StartUp directory because the LCD Display software will start the program automatically on windows start (Check the Logitech LCD Control Panel, the NetImage should be listed there)

Kitco has many different graphs and I am sure also many stock trading companies display simillar mini-graphs that can be used here after some tweaking.

Later I will try to create RSS feed display for the LCD.

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