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?