A few weeks back I decided to make another attempt at driving an LCD using picaxe. My first attempt was almost a year ago, however when the $6 LCD failed to display anything I wrote it off as defective.
But after a long night where i found it hard to sleep i stumbled on a site that should me clearly how to power up and set the contras with backlight on. 15 minutes in and i was hooked. LCD light boxes displayed as i adjusted the contrast using a 1oK pot.