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TandyMan100
April 8th, 2009, 05:55 AM
On modern computers, the parallel port is used exclusively for printers, thus the 'parallel printer port'. Is this port still a true parallel port that can be used for other periphials other than a printer? e.g. zip drive.

On a related note: can you use other periphials on the parallel port of a 1100FD?











Just full of questions.

mbbrutman
April 8th, 2009, 06:08 AM
Yes. If anything the parallel ports on PCs and compatibles have become more versatile since introduced 28 years ago.

My modern computers don't have parallel ports anymore. Your timeline seems inverted.

TandyMan100
April 8th, 2009, 08:02 AM
Modern meaning x86

Bungo Pony
April 8th, 2009, 01:44 PM
If anything the parallel ports on PCs and compatibles have become more versatile since introduced 28 years ago.

Yes, except for one issue... the OS. I've had so much trouble using ANY parallel and serial device with all of the Windows NT series OSes, with the exception of printers and mice. Using a programmer on the parallel port of a PC running XP? Not a chance. That's when that old Win98 laptop comes in handy :)

Vlad
April 8th, 2009, 01:52 PM
Yes, except for one issue... the OS. I've had so much trouble using ANY parallel and serial device with all of the Windows NT series OSes, with the exception of printers and mice.

Which is why I find it odd that you can get PCI-e cards that add COM and LPT ports. Beyond some specialty printer that probably wouldn't have drivers for a modern OS, what would you really need them for? I suppose dial in for a server since thats still used but that's kind of a niche thing anymore. Also lately I've seen Mainboards that don't even had PS/2 ports anymore, just more USB.

Bungo Pony
April 8th, 2009, 01:59 PM
Everything's going USB which is kinda sad. Easiest way to get two computers to talk is a serial cable and a basic comm program. Now, you need a special USB cable with special software to use it. Not fun anymore :(

Vlad
April 8th, 2009, 02:03 PM
I agree. I got all nostalgic when I tripped over my Wyse term and found its absurdly long NULL modem cable. I miss the COM port way of communications even if it could be frustrating at times.

MikeS
April 8th, 2009, 02:03 PM
Everything's going USB which is kinda sad. Easiest way to get two computers to talk is a serial cable and a basic comm program. Now, you need a special USB cable with special software to use it. Not fun anymore :(
Well, most systems do still have an ethernet port; just needs a cable like RS-232, but considerably faster...
And of course there *are* serial or parallel USB converters or PCI cards...

Chuck(G)
April 8th, 2009, 02:35 PM
Yes, except for one issue... the OS. I've had so much trouble using ANY parallel and serial device with all of the Windows NT series OSes, with the exception of printers and mice. Using a programmer on the parallel port of a PC running XP? Not a chance. That's when that old Win98 laptop comes in handy :)

There are programmers for configurable devices (microcontrollers, CPLDs, FPGAs) that work on 2K, XP and Vista, but all require a special driver to access the parallel port hardware on a bit-twiddling level.

jh1523
April 9th, 2009, 02:59 AM
And of course there *are* serial or parallel USB converters

Yes but those aren't really compatible with anything that uses said ports in any nonstandard way, eg by using flag pins for data transfer etc.

Terry Yager
April 9th, 2009, 09:44 AM
On modern computers, the parallel port is used exclusively for printers, thus the 'parallel printer port'. Is this port still a true parallel port that can be used for other periphials other than a printer? e.g. zip drive.

Yes.


On a related note: can you use other periphials on the parallel port of a 1100FD?


Yes, there are many peripherals designed for parallel ports, including disk drives, zip drives, CD drives, NICs, and even comms cables for linking two computers together ala null-modem style (INTRSVR/INTRLINK), etc. My Adaptec SCSI controller hangs off the parallel port and can be used with almost all external SCSI devices. If you have a parallel zip drive, it should work. I do know people who've done it with the 1100FD.

--T

TandyMan100
April 9th, 2009, 10:04 AM
really? any links/email adresses?

mpickering
April 9th, 2009, 10:59 AM
Just to add another use of the parallel port: sound.

The Covox Speech Thing (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Disney_Sound_Source) was a sound box that could be plugged into the parallel port to provide sound for certain games. Disney produced their own version. Worked well.

As it turns out, back in the day when sampled MOD and S3M files ruled the world, several of the trackers could play to such a device. I used a DOS tracker called DMP and found schematics online to essentially build your own Speech Thing DAC box to plug into the printer port to provide sound. I wound up building several for myself and friends. Hooked up to amp and speakers, they worked surprising well for $10 worth of parts from Radio Shack.

Back in the day as a poor teenager when an 8-bit SoundBlaster went for $120+, this was a cheap way to get digital sound. In fact, the schematic on the Wiki link above is pretty much the circuit I built.

Man, that brings back memories!

Matt