I spent a while looking through the forums for a solution to the issue I'm having with connecting a 16x2 LCD, but haven't come across anything quite like what I'm seeing. I followed this tutorial for wiring the connections: http://www.ladyada.net/learn/lcd/charlcd.html
I also made the necessary code changes to the LiquidCrystal HelloWorld sketch mentioned toward the end of the tutorial, namely the note about changing this:
LiquidCrystal lcd(12, 11, 5, 4, 3, 2);
LiquidCrystal lcd(7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12);
Unfortunately, when I load and run the sketch this is what I see on the LCD:
As far as I can tell, everything is connected correctly. I even double-checked the header pin soldering for connectivity and shorts. The pattern shown on the LCD is at maximum contrast. This pattern was persistent before I connected the data lines (only backlight, pot, logic power connected) and goes away when the pot is turned down. I never got a single line of blocks mentioned in the tutorial at that step. I was thinking that there was something wrong with the LCD, but I tried a 2nd LCD to the same effect.
It would help if a 2nd (or 3rd, or n) set of eyes could look at this and give me some feedback. Thanks!