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Parallel port printer
Old 10-09-2008, 11:15 AM   #1
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Parallel port printer

Are they still making parallel port printers? My mom has an older PC running Windows 95. Nearly every inkjet printer I looked up requires Windows 2000/XP or newer and a USB connection. She has no desire for a PC upgrade (she's not on the Internet). She just wants to be able to print out personal documents and recipes.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:24 PM   #2
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You can get a cable that takes Parallel to USB. I assume you can go the other way. I am currently using a 12 or 13 year old HP Laserjet 4 with two 2008 computers. When the computer came they had no Parallel ports and I had to get a cable to go from the printer to the computers. Take a trip to Best Buy and ask them. I am pretty sure they will have one - that is what I did - but I did not get the cable from them as they wanted about $39. I purchased mine on-line for $9.95 delivered. Good Luck.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:31 PM   #3
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Thanks for the suggestion. I just assumed that a parallel port and USB port were incompatible. I'll need to determine if there are any limitations in going from a parallel port connection (printer) to a USB connection (PC).
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:34 PM   #4
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Yes they are still made, though you may have to order a specific model from a computer store or online rather then just browsing through the models they have at your local big box store.

Where have you looked so far? A quick check of an online store that I use shows the Epson Stylus C88+ Photo Inkjet Printer 14/23PPM 5760X1440DPI USB2.0 Parallel in stock for $75. They also have an Samsung ML-3051ND Laser Printer 30PPM 1200DPI Duplex USB2.0 Ethernet Parallel 32MB for $177.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:36 PM   #5
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Thanks for the suggestion. I just assumed that a parallel port and USB port were incompatible. I'll need to determine if there are any limitations in going from a parallel port connection (printer) to a USB connection (PC).
I just realized I stated this in reverse. I want to be able to go from a USB connection (printer) to a parallel port connection (PC). Sorry about the confusion.

Edit: I just realized that even having an adapter cable likely does not solve my problem. Nearly all of the USB only printers require Windows 2000/XP/Vista. The PC would still be running Windows 95.
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Old 10-09-2008, 12:40 PM   #6
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A quick check of an online store that I use shows the Epson Stylus C88+ Photo Inkjet Printer 14/23PPM 5760X1440DPI USB2.0 Parallel in stock for $75.
That would do the trick. My mom currently has an Epson Stylus 640 that won't print anymore. And should she ever go to a newer PC, the USB 2.0 connection would allow her to keep the printer.
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Old 10-09-2008, 04:40 PM   #7
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You can also buy a little card to stick in the computer that has usb ports on it for about $5 AR.

The big problem you may run into is that most newer printers just wont have a driver for windows 95, even if it has a parallel port on it. In looking at the site for the c88+ all I see are drivers for win2k, xp and vista.

I'd probably recommend that you buy an old laser printer that has a parallel port and stick a new toner in it. Something in the earlier laserjet series might be around for a good price. You might also find a range of laser and inkjets at Goodwill or a rummage sale somewhere.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:35 PM   #8
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Here is a LJ 4 Link: 4 Printers - Cheaphpprinters.com

You can drill back for some others. I was surprised by the price of the LJ 4 - really holding their value beyond what I thought it was going to be. But if it is coming with a new HP Toner Cartridge the price is not too bad as a HP Laser Cartridge is about $90.

Good thing about Laser printers is that the toner does not dry out. I use mine pretty lightly and only have to replace the cartridge ever 3 years or so.
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Old 10-09-2008, 05:36 PM   #9
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The C88+ does have driver support for Win98 and Me.
Epson Stylus C88+, Drivers & Downloads - Technical Support - Epson America, Inc.

I missed that its for Win95, its been a long time since ive used that, weren't those drivers usually 95/98/Me compatible? I guess they stopped explicitly mentioning 95 since its so old.
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:26 PM   #10
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Not necessarily. Win98 would run win95 drivers, but some win98 drivers wont work on 95. Win95 uses VxD, win98 and up use WDM.

At a minimum you might not get any support if you have a problem.

Funny I did a google search and got a page with just win2k, xp and vista drivers for that printer....
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:34 PM   #11
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The C88+ does have driver support for Win98 and Me.
Epson Stylus C88+, Drivers & Downloads - Technical Support - Epson America, Inc.

I missed that its for Win95, its been a long time since ive used that, weren't those drivers usually 95/98/Me compatible? I guess they stopped explicitly mentioning 95 since its so old.
Actually, I purchased a Win98 CD-ROM (full version - retail) that I used on an old PC I no longer have. I could install Win98 on her PC. If I go that route, then I could still get a printer like the Epson C88+ (and choose between parallel port or USB).
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:43 PM   #12
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You'll want to download and burn a service pack cd on your internet connected computer. There were a lot of fixes to win98. Not sure if microsoft is still even offering the updates.

Check out any apps she's running and their versions. Some old win3.1 software that worked okay on win95 didnt work as well on win98 and a few apps that ran on win95 got quirky on win98.

Is it too late to point out that a 3 year old basic desktop machine is under a hundred bucks and a brand spanking new one is ~$200?
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Old 10-09-2008, 06:47 PM   #13
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Is it too late to point out that a 3 year old basic desktop machine is under a hundred bucks and a brand spanking new one is ~$200?
Not really too late. I've been trying to convince her to go with a new PC, especially if she has even the slightest thought of getting on the Internet. But it may be worthwhile to get her an updated PC even if she decides she really doesn't want to be on the Internet.
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Old 10-09-2008, 07:05 PM   #14
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Keep an eye on the dell outlet. Theres some nice machines there for $250 now but you'll see some smatterings of sub $200 machines from time to time.

I was figuring that machine is probably 8-9 years old, perhaps more. The power supply might be getting tired, fans might be about worn out, etc. It'd stink to throw money at a special printer just because it has a parallel port on it only to have the computer crap out on you six months from now.

If you're going to need to change the monitor at the same time, a nice discount laptop instead of a laptop/monitor combo might suit her and end up being cost effective. My dad and my MIL both loved going from a desktop to a laptop, if for nothing else to be able to sit with it wherever they wanted.
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