Why no more parallel ports on Dell desktops?

Discussion in 'Dell' started by Bruno, Sep 15, 2005.

  1. Bruno

    Bruno Guest

    Seems that Dell has phased out parallel ports on the Desktop PCs. The
    4700 is gone now, and the 5100 and 9100 are unencumbered by parallel
    ports (and other things).

    I called Dell today to ask and they basically told me I should just
    buy a new printer too, because my printer will probably not work on XP
    anyway. HP says my Laserjet 4L will work.

    So what's a bloke to do? This seems a decent enough reason to buy
    elsewhere. Is there a trend in the industry, or just Dell?

    Bruno, Sep 15, 2005
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  2. Buy a USB to Parallel adapter.
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Sep 15, 2005
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  3. Bruno;
    Parallel is antique and on the way out.
    Whether Dell is first or last, it will probably eventually be the norm.

    Purchase an adapter for the antique printer.
    Jupiter Jones, Sep 15, 2005
  4. Bruno

    Pen Guest

    I bought a cheap parallel to USB cable for my older
    printers. Turns them into USB ones.
    Pen, Sep 15, 2005
  5. Bruno

    Ted Zieglar Guest

    It's an industry trend. USB and 1394 are so much faster than parallel (or serial) connections and the cables are easier to manage. A bloke needs to buy a parallel-to-USB adapter for his venerable 4L, which will probably still be in service when you're buying the next computer after this one.

    Ted Zieglar
    Ted Zieglar, Sep 15, 2005
  6. Bruno

    NoNoBadDog! Guest

    If you absolutely insist on keeping the quaint, antiquated parallel printer,
    then buy a parallel to USB adapter. However, with a little effort, you can
    find a more modern USB printer for what you will pay for the USB-parallel

    Dell lasted longer than most. Parallel has been dead for a couple of years
    for now.

    NoNoBadDog!, Sep 15, 2005
  7. It is an unfortunate (and unnecessary, IMO) trend in the industry,
    and it extends to RS232 serial ports as well.

    With the various chipsets available today, and the pre-assembled
    connector arrays available to motherboard makers, it costs practically
    nothing to continue to place serial and parallel ports in PC's. I see
    the industry's trend away from such as merely another way to force
    people into spending more money to "upgrade" their printers, as you've
    already found out.

    For my part: I will not buy any laptop, or desktop motherboard,
    that does not have at least one standard serial and parallel port.

    My advice would be to build your own system from scratch. That
    way, you can hunt up a decent motherboard (I'm a big fan of Tyan) that
    still has S & P ports.

    Happy hunting.

    Dr. Anton T. Squeegee, Director, Dutch Surrealist Plumbing Institute.
    (Known to some as Bruce Lane, ARS KC7GR,
    kyrrin (a/t) bluefeathertech[d=o=t]calm -- www.bluefeathertech.com
    "If Salvador Dali had owned a computer, would it have been equipped
    with surreal ports?"
    Dr. Anton T. Squeegee, Sep 15, 2005
  8. Bruno

    Ben Myers Guest

    Why criticize the OP's values by calling it a "quaint, antiquated parallel
    printer". If it gets the job done reliably, and the OP does not need any of the
    bells and whistles of a newer printer, why should he replace it?

    Keep in mind that the printer manufacturers (all of them, HP, Lexmark, Epson,
    Canon) have kludged their cartridges as much as possible to either eliminate or
    discourage use of anything but their own brand of cartridge, not a 3rd party
    cartridge or a refilled one. And then, when you buy a printer, you get
    mini-cartridges with just a smidgen of ink. When the cartridges run out of ink
    a couple of hundred pages later, reality sets in, in the form of cartridge
    prices which approach the cost of the printer itself. I may be exaggerating
    here, but not by a lot.

    Against this backdrop, a quaint antiquated parallel printer with rock-bottom
    operating costs sounds real good. Myself, I run an HP LaserJet 5 with parallel
    port, but networked. At a cost of $20 to $50 per 5000 pages for toner, my
    printing costs are hard to beat.

    But you and others have said it well: "buy a parallel to USB adapter." End of
    story. Sometimes, oldies really are goodies... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Sep 15, 2005
  9. Bruno

    Notan Guest

    My workhorse is an HP 6P. While I purchased an inkjet, years ago, strictly for
    graphics, the vast majority of my printing is B/W text, and the HP fits the
    bill to a tee. (I'm running it as a wireless, networked printer.)

    Notan, Sep 15, 2005
  10. I'm still working with a 4P. Slow as hell but reliable.
    Robert R Kircher, Jr., Sep 15, 2005
  11. Bruno

    Fixer Guest

    <snip> It's an industry trend. USB and 1394 are so much faster than parallel
    (or serial) connections
    Ted Zieglar not true actually serial is very fast and getting faster thats
    why we have Sata disks (serial ATA) and and PCI express is serial as well
    Fixer, Sep 15, 2005
  12. Bruno

    Hank Arnold Guest

    Then your buying options in the future will become very, very limited.
    Losing serial ports and parallel ports saves money and space. They are going
    to be less and less available along with PS/2 ports............
    Hank Arnold, Sep 15, 2005
  13. Bruno

    Leythos Guest

    I agree, with USB being so dang problematic it's a total PITA for
    support people.

    Yesterday we had a young lass call because her new HP printer would not
    install properly, she worked with HP for 2 hours and still could not get
    it to work... She had front and rear USB ports on her computer...
    Symptom, installing the printer cable on the rear USB ports does not
    cause the New Device service to see it.... Found that the rear USB ports
    would not see anything with a USB mouse connected to it (nice HP
    computer problem). Connected printer (USB) to front USB ports and it
    worked fine.

    I've seen Sony Vaio 12" LCD laptops that ONLY have USB for devices, we
    make more in support charges in 6 months than the laptop cost the
    clients due to the USB issues.

    If USB only supported 1 device per port and each port was on it's own
    controller, it might be OK, but it's been a PITA since the day it came

    While many don't see the need for Parallel, I've got several Wax Thermal
    printers (Phasers) and none of the USB Print Servers I've tried work
    properly with them, the Parallel ones do just fine.
    Leythos, Sep 15, 2005
  14. Bruno

    Ted Zieglar Guest

    Your point is well taken. We are referring to different things.

    Ted Zieglar
    Ted Zieglar, Sep 15, 2005
  15. Bruno

    Ted Zieglar Guest

    I did refer to the OP's printer as "venerable". I'm still using the 6L I bought in 1997 (for $400!). It's slow and kind of noisy, but otherwise solid as a rock.

    Ted Zieglar
    Ted Zieglar, Sep 15, 2005
  16. Bruno

    Leythos Guest

    I have one client that has a working HP LJ-II, another with a LJ-III and
    several with LJ4M printers. Not to mention all the ones with Lexmark
    Optra-L series printers (on of the first true 1200 DPI lasers) ....

    The newer printers are nice, but only after you get above the $400
    Leythos, Sep 15, 2005
  17. Bruno

    Jim Higgins Guest

    As long as you're looking at it that way, USB is serial also.
    Jim Higgins, Sep 15, 2005
  18. Bruno

    Ben Myers Guest

    Absence of parallel and serial ports is all part of an industry-wide push to
    "legacy-free" systems, i.e. systems unencumbered by interfaces which date back
    to the early-1980's IBM XT. These include parallel, serial, keyboard, mouse,
    and floppy diskette. The alternative instead is to connect all low-speed
    devices up to USB, which is now pretty mature in its 2.0 revision. The idea
    here is to support fewer physical interfaces and drive down production costs.
    The silicon needed to do a legacy interface costs pennies, but the circuit board
    traces and connectors are where the major costs lie.

    Fortunately, there are still alternatives available for people who need the
    legacy devices. For parallel, you have the choice of a USB-parallel cable or a
    PCI parallel card. Same with serial. If you have a favorite keyboard like my
    old clicky-clack IBM 101, there are USB-keyboard adapters. Same with mice.
    And, of course, there are USB floppy diskette drives... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Sep 15, 2005
  19. Bruno

    Ben Myers Guest

    Though a serial port, SATA, and PCI Express "serial" have a word in common, they
    are entirely different technologies. One should not confuse them, despite the
    presence of the same word... Ben Myers
    Ben Myers, Sep 15, 2005
  20. Bruno

    Ted Zieglar Guest

    "..."legacy-free" systems, i.e. systems unencumbered by interfaces which
    date back to the early-1980's IBM XT."

    Sounds like the results of a Silicon Valley divorce.
    Ted Zieglar, Sep 15, 2005
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