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Capture printer output as input via parallel port

Posted on 2007-04-02
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Last Modified: 2012-08-13
I have a black box system having some embedded Software that capures patient data and prints a report to a printer connected to a regular parallel port. I want to capture this data through another system by taking this output as input via the parallel port on another system. I want to know the best way to do it preferably in VB.NET or c#. It would save me a lot of printing costs!
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Question by:sssihl_dmacs
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by:younghv
ID: 18837222
Can't you just 're-direct' (">\\uncpath")  the output?

Vic
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graye earned 250 total points
ID: 18837378
OK, first you'd need to build a special "cross over" circuit that allows you to hook the two computers up via the parallel port.  Then you'd need to write a program that could read the input from that circuit.

Both of these tasks are not for the casual programmer... and would require a lot of work.

Here is a description of someone who has done it for DOS.   http://www.q1.fcen.uba.ar/materias/iqi/paralel1/home.clear.net.nz/pages/kheidens/lptcap/lptcap.htm

After you've read through that, you'll see what I mean...
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by:sssihl_dmacs
ID: 18840749
Dear Graye
Thanks for your suggestion. I went through the link you suggested. It can be done except for the fact that the solution provided there will work only on systems running real mode DOS and not on systems running any version of windows. That would be a real problem for me as i would have to dedicate one system just for this purpose. Is there a way to do it under windows?
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by:graye
ID: 18842914
I wasn't suggesting that the article was the solution... I was trying to provide you with the sense of difficulty of accomplishing the task

You might consider doing a search on the internet for a LPT "converter" (LPT->serial or LPT->USB).   It would also require a "cross-over" cable (serial or USB) to be able to link all of the parts together.  That will get the hardware part of the equation out of the way.

Then you'd just have to write a program to read the USB/Serial port (which is a lot more common)
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