All I did was follow instructions, but hey… it worked!  Of course, it didn’t work at first since I put the wrong resistor on the LCD’s contrast pin.  Lesson learned: use a good light when reading resistor color codes.

As a software engineer by training, I had a handful of electricity and magnetism and circuits courses, but to be honest, I’ve forgotten most of that.  So while working through the hands-on guide, I’ve tried to refresh myself on some of the basics of Electronics 101.