The first files are now complete and have been uploaded to the Generic Smartsocket section. The first files are for the non shift register version, which allows the builder to use any segment and device driver combination they wish.
I still have to finish the manual with repect to detailing a few new commands, as well as implement the on-demand RTC time display 9which I am starting to think is not required because RTC functions might be used in the host device anyway.
What I may also try, as an extension of this, is to drive 6 digits from one PIC, for driving LEDs in particular. Although this could also work for IV-17's too but until now I have not had the chance to try the idea out.