Graphical Terminal Display

I've been looking for a while now at different ways of controlling a decent size (12"+) LCD screen from an Arduino. I realize of course that the Arduino does not have the ram or horsepower to fully and directly control such a screen. Nor does it have the power to do fancy animated hi-speed or hi-res graphics.

But what I am looking to do is display a fair bit of text, in 3 or 4 sizes, with maybe 2 or more fonts, with bold, italic, & underline, and with various foreground/background colors. Also, I'd like to do some rudimentary graphics, lines, circles, boxes, and maybe even upload a bitmap to the display terminal from an SD card on the Arduino.

The display will be mostly static, with the Arduino updating portions of it on occasion.

I ran across a board a while back (don't remember the name) that would hook up to an LCD screen and do pretty much what I wanted, but it was expensive, and only worked with certain screens, and I am definitely on a budget.

I have a stack of old laptops, and so I was thinking of running a serial terminal emulator on them. One that will run in XP, and preferably even Win 98 or DOS. I've looked at emulators from VT-100 which does some of the things I want, but not multiple fonts, or sizes, or any graphics, on up to X-Windows X11 which is overkill. There are so many terminal emulators and standards I'm a bit overwhelmed.

Has anyone reading this done something like this already? Can you suggest a terminal emulator with colors, a few fonts at different sizes, and basic graphics, but not so complicated as X-windows?

I would write one in Processing.;topicseen#new

I used to work with a database from Pick Systems which used the ADDS ViewPoint A2 Enhanced terminal.

I think ADDS terminals were a little more graphically robust than vt100 or wyse50 (we actually used some wyse terminals running ADDS emulation). The company that sells these terminals is Boundless Technologies. You will need these programming manuals: boundless technologies | Product Documentation

We made some pretty menus but I don't recall using any geometric shapes. Also, you are emulating a terminal which is an ancient display which is limited to two colors. We used a terminal emulator for PC's called Accuterm that allowed us to transfer data.

I have actually pondered the same idea and I concluded that I will use a Raspberry Pi which runs Linux and X Windows to handle the graphical application I had in mind. I even found some other people who came across the same small, inexpensive 10" LCD TV that I did and had a web page describing the cables and such to connect it to the Pi.


Try emulating a graphical terminal. Eg. the 'regis' graphics of vt240 terminals. See here for a description: ReGIS - Wikipedia

In general: linux has a 'terminfo' database of terminal models. Before you start coding, look up the terminal in the terminfo database. See here: Terminfo/termcap Resource Page

To work fine under linux, you do not need to emulate all control codes of a terminal. If you implement only those control codes listed in terminfo you ought to do alright for 99.9% of programs. Saves you some work.