1. 16
  1. 4

    Prior to USB the parallel port was the only interface on PCs that ran at a speed usable by anything that needed more bandwidth than a teletype. LapLink made a file transfer package that was featured here a few months ago that let you transfer files quickly using a special parallel port cable. I also had a Logitech hand scanner that connected via a parallel port and could do 300dpi mono scans over it.

    I had a cheap second hand 386 laptop in the ‘90s and so was particularly interested in the parallel port because laptops didn’t have any kind of expansion bus back then (PCMCIA was a few years later, USB, FireWire and Thunderbolt were a long way off).

    1. 1

      They were also handy for simple bit-bang interfaces that even a college student could build. The final assignment for my x86 ASM class was a bang-bang pump controller using separate pins for the motor and sensors. A recent closet cleanout turned up my hand-built SNES controller adapter from that same time period as well.

      1. 1

        Indeed so.

        I used a D-Link parallel port Ethernet adaptor and supported dozens of them on client machines. I also had a parallel-port sound card – a Logitech AudioMan, I think – and a parallel-port QIC tape drive. I suspect I still have ’em all. The D-Link was supported in Pygmy Linux, too, so I could load Linux from the DOS prompt and files on my C: drive, and then have LAN and Internet access from Linux.

        On a 386SX laptop with no slots of any kind.

      2. 0

        My screen happens to be exact size that when scrolling down, the background seems to be going the wrong way because there isn’t any smooth scrolling on my Firefox.