Make:NYC is having a name badge contest and I needed a badge to demonstrate at the first meeting.
I had some CrystalFontz Serial LCDs (Model CFA-632 $37) laying around and these neat little modules have a boot EEPROM that you can program to load text and graphics when power is applied to the module without serial data input.
I attached a voltage regulator for the power supply (battery eventually). I also connected the serial cable for programming. I then glued an "attractive" foam bezel to the front of the LCD.
This is the CrystalFontz boot programmer.
The finished product with lavish nylon string neck loop and 9v battery power source!
I should be able to cook up a halfway decent badge for the next meeting.