From the MAKE Flickr photo pool
Mark designed the handy USB Message Pump board – Attach an LCD display and feed the board text you want displayed via your computer.
The Message Pump A.K.A. the USB to LCD Backpack is a device that allows you to connect a LCD display directly to your computer. It uses a PIC micro-controller, to drive the LCD and a FTDI USB to serial chip to connect to your computer.