Alphacool USB-Display

Software

Software

The software included with LCD screens has a habit of being non user friendly, complicated and generally awkward to use. Having used two main third party applications, LCD Hype and LCD Smartie I can categorically say that Alphacools offering, albeit in Beta stages is by far the easiest and quickest to use.

The package has two main functions, Page Editor and Profile Editor. Page Editor allows you to design your screen layouts and the Profile Editor allows you to assign timings and event settings to each page. Here are further capabilities and some examples of the software in use.

Page Editor

The software includes support for third party programs as well, with plugins included for applications like Winamp, Fraps and Speedfan. Extra plugins are being added with each update possibilities are currently endless

Here is one I put together in a few seconds demonstrating the Winamp compatibility:

Winamp Support

Here are two examples of the pre-made displays that are included in the current Beta version. One displays system memory usage and the other, CPU usage.

Premade Example

Premade Example

I have to say that I was personally very impressed with the included displays and in several cases replaced my layouts for the pre-made equivalent.

The overall use of the program is fantastically easy. The user simply opens the object menu, selects which plugin they wish to use and then drags and drops the object onto the display. All the expected formatting options are applicable as you can see below, as well as several extras such as colour inverting and scrolling animations.



Standard Options Task Manager Objects

One useful function the program also has is the ability to update to the LCD panel in real-time, as the user creates their layout, allowing them to view what the finished thing will look like.

The second part of the software is the Profile Editor. This application allows the user to order their displays, set timings and even set certain displays to show upon the launch of a specific application.

First example here is of the timeout settings, where the user can program a particular screen to stay displayed for a certain amount of time.

Timeout Setting

Second example is of the software's ability to bind a specific screen to an executable file.

Executable Functions

Lastly is an example of the software's Event function where screens can be associated with computer events such as system shutdown and system wakeup.

Event Settings

One final function that this package can carry out is 'Software Mode' which is automatically initiated when an LCD screen is not detected. This function displays an on-screen version of the display profile:

Display Preview

Note: The screen's packaging states that the software 'LCD HYPE' is included. This is currently not the case as Alphacool are at the moment preparing their software (currently in Beta stages) for release. At present the Beta software featured on this page, along with drivers is available from www.alphalcd.de and features both x86 and x64 compatibility.

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27-10-2006, 06:54:44

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