Search for VFD Display but they generally come in 5 1/4 enclosure size, not seen one smaller yet (not looked much though).
I'm after the Thermaltake VFD Module to go with the HTPC case I just bought if it's cheap enough. The case was 50 quid but the case with VFD module is 120 or so. It seems these things arnt cheap in relation to what they are in reality.
It's what you show on it/the support the device has where it matters.
Showing track info/CPU temps and the like seems the norm on them.
Not come accross one that is completely programmable in terms of a realtime interface that you could perhaps utilise from your own apps but I'ld be interested if anybody else knows.
The Frontview application works with a few screens (mainly those on cases etc like the iMon ones on the silverstone cases) but also works with hitachi displays. Thsi application gives pretty much full feartures in MCE, including program being watched etc.
Manufacturer / Model Soundgraph iMON VFD
Signal type Infrared
Display 2 lines, 16 symbols per line
PC connection used USB 1.1
OSes supported Windows 98 - XP, Windows MCE 2005
Special features Multifunction display
Retail package includes 5.25" front panel, remote control, manual, CD-ROM, ATX power adapter
I need something for my termaltake case that I bought. Didnt seem worthwhile the extra 70 quid at the time for the VFD version of the case.
Anyway, if you follow one of the links from that first link you get to a manufcaturer of these and things get interesting including some reasonable priced VFDs and even little LCD's as well. All supported by that software and all with RS232 interface.
Being a programmer myself that's got to be worth a play with, could have fun with the mini LCD's.