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Parallel To Usb Adapter - Why You Need a Parallel to USB Adapter

computer ports printers port

Universal Serial Bus technology has made life a lot simpler for many computer users. The ability to “hot-swap,” which is unplugging one device and plugging in another without restarting the computer, has made many workers more productive and to share external devices more easily. Additionally, because USB can be expanded, USB hubs can be utilized to allow up to one hundred and twenty-seven different devices to be hooked up to the same port on the computer. However, in some cases, USB is not a viable choice for a particular user, and a different port must be used. In this case, an adapter is needed to change a USB connection to a different port such as a parallel connection.

In the early days of personal computers, the primary connection options were parallel ports and serial ports. Parallel were the first and became the preferred method of connecting external devices because of their speed. Until the 1990s, parallel ports were used to connect printers, scanners, external drives, and just about any other type of computer peripheral device. Parallel ports were faster than serial and over time came to have standardized pins and port designs so that any type of printer could be plugged into any type of computer.

However, parallel ports often created problems because they required advanced electronics to ensure that all the bits were transferred in the right order. This meant that long parallel connections often produced errors. Additionally, parallel connection were designed primarily for one-way communication needs such printers (in fact, parallel ports are often referred to as “”printer ports.”) Two-way communication like modems required serial connections, which has eventually evolved into the USB connections that we use today.

Most situations that require a parallel to USB adapter involve connecting an older device to a new computer. For example, some large format printers that are several years old only have a parallel port. For home users, buying a new printer may only cost fifty to one hundred dollars, but some large format printers are hundreds or even thousands of dollars. An adapter can allow these older printers to still be used with new computers, and thus extend the investment a company makes in specialized devices.

Another common reason to require a parallel to USB adapters is a need to use dot-matrix printers. Many governmental, educational, and legal entities need to fill out forms that use carbon paper and therefore require a printer that actually strikes the paper instead of spraying ink. Typically an older PC is used, but as more companies switch to Mac, they often require an adapter to use the old parallel dot-matrix printer with new Mac computers. Fortunately, the hardware adapters for this are easy to find, and most versions of Mac software come with print drivers that should make this a simple problem to fix.

However, it’s important to remember that in most cases it is very difficult to connect a USB device to a parallel port of a computer, primarily because USB is the newer technology and parallel ports cannot properly decipher the signal. Many newer printers that are designed for home or small business do not come with a parallel connection. Instead, they rely solely on USB connections. This can cause problems for home users who require a new printer but are still using an older computer. This is sometimes the case for home users who have custom-built computer towers rather than generic boxes. In this situation, rather than trying to find an adapter, it is usually a better idea to purchase a USB expansion card, which is a PCMCIA, PCI, or AGP card that has two or more USB ports on it.

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