Extract old DOS "database" data via parallel printer port?
Posted on 2004-11-26
I have won a new customer :-)
He has 5500 customer records on an old DOS based system. This system appear to have no export capabilities of it's own. There are data files and customer details are visible as text within them (when opened with Wordpad) but they are very messy files and may be binary files. I have cracked one of these before but it was a terrible job that took many days.
The one thing the old application can do is print. Any ideas to "capture" the output stream (which I can send to a parallel port but not to a file). Note that I cannot print to serial. I have only the choice of a printer driver (HP LaserJet is on the list) and LPT1, LPT2 or LPT3.
I guess what I want is a program which runs on a second PC which makes the PC pretend it is a HP Laserjet. I then connect two PCs together (laplink cable) and print using the DOS application. I then want the other PC to pretend it is a PCL Laserjet and then write the output as a text file.
Alternatively, a software application which intercepted the real LPT1 hardware and did the same would be fine as well.
You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you need more info.
Chris Van Buren