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I am writing a program that will eventually be used on a computer with a physical parallel port and will need to set certain pins high or low in order to signal to an external device. However, the development laptop I am using does not have any physical parallel ports and is too low powered to run a virtual machine. Is there any option available that will create a virtual parallel port within Windows XP? Ideally it would include a debug mode that would allow me to see what values have been pushed out on the parallel port.

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up vote 1 down vote accepted

Nobody knew the answer. Frustrating. I decided that the answer was to just find a computer that had the port, strip a parallel port cable and go at it with a multimeter.

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If you are writing a program... you should be able to write a very simple parallel port buffer reader and even integrate it into your program for debugging issues! Depending on the language there are different ways to access a parallel port, you should be able to google using to access a parallel port.

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I am writing a program, but I am not a programmer. I found sample code which claims it is pushing out an 8 bit integer on the parallel port - I just want to see whether it is doing what in claims and whether the rest of my code is written such that it does it when I want it to do it. My laptop doesn't have a parallel port in the system at a hardware level - i.e. no LPT in the Device Manager - so I don't think there is a buffer to look at. – Russell S. Pierce Dec 19 '10 at 1:50

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