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  1. #1
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Do laptops come with parallel ports?

    Do most modern laptops come with parallel ports? In the somewhat near future, I am considering replacing my laptop with something a little more powerful. Only thing is, it needs to have a parallel port. Somebody told me laptops never come with parallel ports nowadays. Is this true?
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  2. #2
    long time visiter Alfster's Avatar
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    Just checked my Inspiron 9400. No parallel port.

  3. #3
    unofficial roadie DirtPedalerB's Avatar
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    no most compact models only have usb and VGAout now ... a port replicator will usually have one if you buy that accessory.

  4. #4
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    . Why would they take away the parallel port?
    *sigh*
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    unofficial roadie DirtPedalerB's Avatar
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    It's big and ugly and space is a premium.. also you'd probably snap it off eventually if you used it alot.. most don't even have a serial port now. you may be able to find a usb converter

  6. #6
    CPM M4 BananaTugger's Avatar
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    What the hell is a parallel port?
    Ten tenths.

  7. #7
    Huachuca Rider webist's Avatar
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    I suppose it is simply progress. If you look at most newer printers they are USB as well. If hooking up your printer is of concern, I suppose the prices of newer printers are less shocking than they used to be.

    Bye the way, on most new laptops, floppy drives are an optional (and usually external) add-on.

    USB takes up a good deal less space than parallel.
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  8. #8
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I don't care about the floppy drive. I lost the one I have on my current laptop, It's somewhere around hte house I think. The parallel port is very useful, with many different outputs and inputs. I guess I can't use a laptop for what I wanted.
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  9. #9
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    . Why would they take away the parallel port?
    *sigh*
    Because it has become outdated like the floppy drive. Just buy a USB to Parallel adaptor.
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  10. #10
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edp773
    Because it has become outdated like the floppy drive. Just buy a USB to Parallel adaptor.
    I don't see how a USB-Parallel adapter would work for my needs. Only a parallel port offers the ability to control so much. I can produce a 5v pulse on any given port at any frequency. I can control relays. A USB does not have that amount of inputs and outputs.
    It is as if laptops are made not to connection to anything useful. I did find a few parallel port adapters that give full function. Maybe I would be better off buying a computer
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  11. #11
    Nothing here to see!!!!!! flyingscotsman's Avatar
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    Some of the pc's nowadays do not come with parallel ports, years ago built a robot needed the parallel port to control it, would have no idea how to do it nowadays.

  12. #12
    hello roadfix's Avatar
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    Geez.....you guys made me look behind my laptop...
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  13. #13
    Footballus vita est iamlucky13's Avatar
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    Have you found anyone in your area or through contacts at work who has experience working with automation systems? They might have experience dealing with this sort of thing, although I suspect they may have specialized cards ($$$) to interface with some of the really fancy controllers.

    Fortunately, all the stuff I've had to work with, the drivers are programmable via serial or ethernet...they don't need a drive signal directly from the computer. And for anything that doesn't have a standard interface, work ponies up for it. I hate to suggest it, but it sounds like you might be in for quite a bit of jury rigging to come up with an affordable solution. I wish I knew enough about the stuff you're working with to help more, but frankly, it sounds like you're the bikeforums foo expert on motor controllers.
    "The internet is a place where absolutely nothing happens. You need to take advantage of that." ~ Strong Bad

  14. #14
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Parallel ports have been gone for like 10 years, what are you on about? Printers switched to a IEEE1284 port YEARS ago. I haven't seen a true parallel port since the early 90s. Although....the interface may be compatible.

    see:
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1284
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centronics
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Centronics_printer_port

    I wouldn't expect to see them much more (if at all) even on desktops, much less laptops. You should be able to find a pci or pci-express card that has one on it if you need it.
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  15. #15
    Senior Member DannoXYZ's Avatar
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    I think he really does mean IEEE-1284 bi-directional when he says "parallel port". Or at least that's what he needs.

    Just buy a used laptop from fleaBay with real serial and parallel ports.

  16. #16
    Crankenstein bmclaughlin807's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    . Why would they take away the parallel port?
    *sigh*
    Because it's old and obsolete, that's why.
    "There is no greater wonder than the way the face and character of a woman fit so perfectly in a man's mind, and stay there, and he could never tell you why. It just seems it was the thing he most wanted." Robert Louis Stevenson

  17. #17
    Wood Licker Maelstrom's Avatar
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  18. #18
    Senior Member edp773's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by phantomcow2
    I don't see how a USB-Parallel adapter would work for my needs. Only a parallel port offers the ability to control so much. I can produce a 5v pulse on any given port at any frequency. I can control relays. A USB does not have that amount of inputs and outputs.
    It is as if laptops are made not to connection to anything useful. I did find a few parallel port adapters that give full function. Maybe I would be better off buying a computer
    Information goes a long way in stating what you want. I would suggest keeping your old laptop for your robotics use.
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  19. #19
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    serial and parralel ports have went the way of the floppy drive...
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  20. #20
    Chairman of the Bored catatonic's Avatar
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    OK all jackassery of mine aside.

    Find a powered USB parralel adaptor. They do exist.

    My co-worker uses a USB serial adaptor, and he found it works just as well as a regular serial port for communication purposes.

    If you need a traditional parralel port badly enough, why not just get a VIA EPIA motherboard, and make a compact dedicated use computer for your needs?
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  21. #21
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    I think I am just going to keep my laptop. I may actually buy a new computer, and use what I have now for my needs. In actuality, I don't need a lot of processing power for what I do. 2.8ghz will be way more than I need. But the prices of these computer goods has gone down so much, I don't mind.
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  22. #22
    Dances With Cars TRaffic Jammer's Avatar
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    What are you looking at controlling with the port?

  23. #23
    la vache fantôme phantomcow2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TRaffic Jammer
    What are you looking at controlling with the port?
    A few things:
    Four stepper motor drives. Each drive needs two output pins dedicated to it.

    There will be also limit switches, which will one input pins. Three limit switches.

    And two of the pins will go to control an AC relay.

    There will also be an Emergency stop. When pushed, it will send a signal to the computer. Therefor, it needs one pin.

    Down the road there will also be a need for one pin per stepper drive to notify the computer if there has been a stall detection, or a fault of any sort.
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  24. #24
    Trans-Urban Velocommando ax0n's Avatar
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    I have a Great Pentium 90 laptop with a bi-directional parallel port.

    http://retro-computing.blogspot.com/...50-laptop.html

    But you can't have it. I <3 it way too much. 3 hours on a charge (I bought a brand new battery for it a year ago).

    BTW, some of you GEEKY retro grouches might enjoy the rest of that blog:

    http://retro-computing.blogspot.com/
    ax0n: Geeky and bikey
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  25. #25
    On my TARDIScycle! KingTermite's Avatar
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    Have you thought of something like a PIC microcontroller kit or a BASIC STAMP which I'm sure has I/O ports you can use just the same. You can even program them in basic I think.
    Quote Originally Posted by coffeecake View Post
    - it's pretty well established that Hitler was an *******.

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