So I got myself a couple tiny 5x7 LED matrix displays to tinker around with. I thought they might be a nice replacement to 7-segment displays. On the new Hollow Earth, I'm using a microcontroller with a greater number of pins, so I think it's doable. Might make for some neat animation, too!
Then my mind caved in at the thought of manually typing binary data for each PIXEL. It's pretty daunting to do by hand, because each LED in the matrix does NOT have its own pin. Instead it's a row and column array where you have to carefully "render" the LEDs, line by line, applying positive power to cathodes where you *don't* want pixels, and so on. Arrrrghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..........
Too much, I said, so what do I do? I install something I haven't used in like ten years, Visual Basic 4.0.
An hour later, I have made an app where I can draw a number, letter or graphic just by clicking on squares, and then automagically spits out code and/or raw binary data I can simply paste in my micro!
Whatta time saver!
Writing a program that writes code for you. How zen!