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Old 12-27-06, 09:07 PM   #1
phantomcow2
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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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Old 12-27-06, 09:12 PM   #2
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Just checked my Inspiron 9400. No parallel port.
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Old 12-27-06, 09:14 PM   #3
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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.
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Old 12-27-06, 09:16 PM   #4
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. Why would they take away the parallel port?
*sigh*
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Old 12-27-06, 09:18 PM   #5
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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
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Old 12-27-06, 09:20 PM   #6
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What the hell is a parallel port?
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Old 12-27-06, 09:20 PM   #7
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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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Old 12-27-06, 09:23 PM   #8
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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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Old 12-27-06, 09:38 PM   #9
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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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Old 12-27-06, 09:42 PM   #10
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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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Old 12-27-06, 10:31 PM   #11
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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.
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Old 12-27-06, 10:33 PM   #12
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Geez.....you guys made me look behind my laptop...
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Old 12-27-06, 10:35 PM   #13
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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.
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Old 12-28-06, 04:09 PM   #14
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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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Old 12-28-06, 04:33 PM   #15
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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.
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Old 12-28-06, 04:55 PM   #16
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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.
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Old 12-28-06, 05:26 PM   #17
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http://www.quatech.com/catalog/parallel_pcmcia.php
http://sewelldirect.com/ParallelPCMCIACard.asp
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Old 12-28-06, 06:12 PM   #18
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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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Old 12-28-06, 06:14 PM   #19
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serial and parralel ports have went the way of the floppy drive...
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Old 12-28-06, 06:17 PM   #20
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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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Old 12-28-06, 06:21 PM   #21
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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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Old 12-28-06, 06:25 PM   #22
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What are you looking at controlling with the port?
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Old 12-28-06, 06:31 PM   #23
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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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Old 12-28-06, 06:33 PM   #24
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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/
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Old 12-28-06, 06:36 PM   #25
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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.
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