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new laptop with parallel port for a parallel dot matrix printer?

Discussion in 'Laptops' started by PiErre, Mar 8, 2007.

  1. PiErre

    PiErre Guest

    I have to help a friend of mine to move
    from an old desktop (with win95 and
    a legacy program that have to print multiple-copy
    chemical forms with condensed ascii cha on an old
    dot-matrix 136-columns Brothers printer)
    to a new laptop (he doesn't want to buy
    an used one). The legacy program works in
    any environment from DOS to
    winXP - the only issue is that it pretend to access
    the printer on LPT1.
    Implementing the trick of the usb-to-centronic
    adapter and automapping the shared printer as LPT1
    worked for simple instraction like

    dir > LPT1

    but result in error when I tried to access it with
    the legacy program (I tested it on my own laptop).

    I found out that HP still sells NC6320 with the
    parallel port. The pre-sale assistant that I called
    from one side confirmed me that the system is
    certified even with freedos, but on the other side
    could not guarantee me that the printer will be
    accessible as LPT1 (even though I think there
    will be no issue in that)

    my questions are:

    1) that system is quite expensive...
    and for more than 1100 euros
    is shipped only with a shared-memory
    intel graphic 950 chipset
    is there any cheap alternative

    the obsolete legacy program can also print
    to file. Could be more easy to write my own
    "printer driver" that could detect print-to-file document
    and send them to the printer after instructing it to
    use condensed ascii chars?

    Can a docking station for a parallelport-less
    laptop provide LPT1 facility to the old program?


    PiErre, Mar 8, 2007
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  2. PiErre

    Quaoar Guest

    Start here: http://members.shaw.ca/bsanders/CleanPrinterDrivers.htm

    Contact the author for additional questions.

    Quaoar, Mar 8, 2007
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  3. PiErre

    Al Dykes Guest

    Look for the "docking station" or "port extension" option for your
    laptop. Most have one available and the latter can be inexpensive.

    Every dockport extender I've seen had a classic parallell port
    Al Dykes, Mar 8, 2007
  4. PiErre

    mike Guest

    There are several issues here.
    Older programs used to write hardware registers directly.
    If that's the case, you won't be able to use a usb adapter.
    If the program has a driver, you might be able to make something
    work by messing around in XP compatibility mode.

    Even with a real parallel port, XP is not gonna let you write
    the ports driectly. There are several workarounds for this.
    I like "userportxp". That works around the OS protection,
    but still may not fix your problem, depending on the quirks
    of the program. VERIFY this works before you drop the
    big bux on the laptop.

    You can print to file or export into another format that
    can be read by a newer program then printed. This works
    best if XP thinks it has a driver for your printer.

    Just try print to file then copy the file to lpt1.
    If that works, there exists a program that monitors
    a directory and if anything shows up there, it performs
    an operation on it...like print it. But don't remember
    where I saw it. Was a long time ago, so may not be compatible
    with newer OS.

    A docking station designed for your laptop with real
    hardware support might work. Beware that universal usb
    docking stations have the same problem as your usb adapter.

    The printer is not portable. Why a laptop?
    Would be cheaper, about 1100 euros cheaper, to put a
    desktop on the printer and import the things you want
    to print.

    mike, Mar 8, 2007
  5. Am 8 Mar 2007 09:14:46 -0800 schrieb PiErre:
    This links should list a number of laptops with built-in parallel port,
    some of these are used or not on sale anymore, but some might still be

    A cheap alternative to the NC6320 could be the FSC Lifebook C1320 or the
    newer C14210, or if you manage to find one still available the Lenovo
    Thinkpad R51e/R52
    It should almost certainly work as a real parallel port - but no 100%

    Andreas Schulze-Bäing, Mar 8, 2007
  6. PiErre

    SMS Guest

    The Fujistu E8110 has both serial and parallel ports, but it's quite

    Check out clearanceclub.com for good prices, but I have no idea if they
    are reputable.

    The E8110 is also shared memory.

    While a USB to parallel adapter is unlikely to work, a PC Card (PCMCIA)
    parallel port adapter may work (you have to be sure that the new
    notebook has a CardBus slot, as many of the low end notebooks have
    dropped the CardBus slot).

    See "http://www.transdigital.net/info.htm"
    If the card supports DOS programs and the legacy addresses it will
    explicitly state this. But also look at
    "http://www.quatech.com/support/parallelpcmcia_faq.php" number 19. This
    implies that on newer laptops that there is no support for DOS.

    If the programs works in a DOS window under XP then it should be able to
    use the PCMCIA card parallel port.
    SMS, Mar 9, 2007
  7. PiErre

    Davide Guolo Guest

    http://www.printfil.com - yes, it's compatible even with Vista. We've
    released a new version even this week.

    With Printfil you can automatically capture the file created by the legacy
    application and send it to any installed Windows printer either in RAW mode
    or by converting it in a GDI print job.

    By using RAW mode you could forward the file to the LPT dot-matrix printer
    connected through an USB-to-LPT cable (printer+cable must work ok in Windows

    By printing in GDI mode you could also send the same job to any other
    printer (including inkjet laser and virtual printers). In this case, instead
    of printing to the chemical paper you can merge a standard Windows BMP file
    as background and tell Printfil to print multiple copies of the same
    document to simple white paper (or a PDF document, a "fax" printer etc.).

    More info and a free trial version is available for download at

    Davide Guolo
    aSwIt s.r.l.
    Printfil - Windows Printing System for Applications
    Odbc4All - Connection to ODBC Data Sources for any Application
    @Kill - Batch Close Windows Applications - Freeware
    Davide Guolo, Mar 10, 2007
  8. PiErre

    PiErre Guest

    This NG really rocks!
    Many thanks to all!

    PiErre, Mar 12, 2007
  9. PiErre

    chris 2008

    Nov 26, 2007
    Likes Received:
    help with 4080CDT

    When i press the power on the power light flashers yellow how can i fix this:(
    chris 2008, Nov 26, 2007
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