When creating many Arduino-compatible projects some people are downsizing to the ATtiny45/85 microcontrollers due to the cheaper price and ease of programming. However with only 8 pins you would think not too much could be possible. To demonstrate what can be possible, Instructables user "baharini" shows how to use an ATiny45/85 with Arduino bootloader and a 74HC595 shift register to drive a full-sized HD44780-compatible LCD module. It's quite simple and works well - plus cheaper than using an ATmega328.
If you find yourself programming ATtiny45/85 microcontrollers now and again - save time and hardware assembly with the new Tiny AVR Programmer:
With a simple USB interface it makes programming the little ATtinys with Arduino a breeze, and is supported in Windows, MacOS and Linux. Plus there's a GPIO LED and breakout pins to use it is a basic development board as well. For more informationa and to order click here.