Surely, I've signed my own death warrant.
I got text to scroll successfully on the football stadium message board. It turns out, it's actually important to disable the latch outputs while reloading the shift registers. If you leave them on while you strobe the shift registers into the latches, you get ghosty flickering around the scrolling text. I didn't think this would happen, but there we are. Of course, just as I get this working, the hard drive on the laptop starts flaking out. It's an 4.3G IBM TravelStar. I think this might be one of the big bad batch of drives IBM has had boatloads of problems with. I still don't have the software to the point where I can type "display-command your-message-here", or "yow | display-command", but perhaps tomorrow. Once I can pipe Zippy quotes to the sign, I should confuse the football players (practicing tonight) more than with my test message ("CQ PHS CQ PHS DE KB9LCL".)
My new iBook is on the way. And I won the auction for the //c motherboard on eBay, so I'll soon be able to get at all my old data and warez, assuming the 140K/side DSDD floppies haven't degraded over the years. Someone's checking on a //e enhancement ROM kit, so maybe I can get that beast running too. If that doesn't work, maybe I can burn EPROMs from ROM images floating around the 'net. That won't get me the character generator ROM, but perhaps I can steal that from the //c.