The Max7219 seems to be specifically designed to drive LED displays, rather than a shift register per-se?
If electronics scares you then you are not ready to do this project yet.
digitalWrite (csPin, LOW);SPI.transfer (registerNumber); // 01 to 08 for digit 1 to 8SPI.transfer (dataToDisplay);digitalWrite (csPin, HIGH);
I've had a go at this Instructable:http://www.instructables.com/id/Arduino-4-digit-7-segment-display/It's taught me a lot about the way things work.
If I can afford it this month I'll probably buy the two MAX7219s and multiplex using them. I like the idea of multiplexing the segments rather than the digits - can you explain a bit more about the way you'd write the sketch for that?
One thing with the Instructable above is that there's a noticeable delay between pressing the enter key and the new digits appearing on the LCDs. Is that normal?
I hope to use the fantastic program Link2fs_Multi_FS9_V2, available free from http://www.jimspage.co.nz/intro.htmHis examples show no delay even though using the same Serial.begin command.