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8. I/O Device Hacks > 80. New Uses for an Old Port

New Uses for an Old Port

Select the correct LPT port settings to optimize the performance of Windows’s Direct Cable Connection and third-party file transfer applications.

Your basic line parallel port is used for more than just sending text and graphics to your printer. Iomega and others found the port useful for connecting add-on disk and tape storage devices; Traveling Software, Symantec, AlohaBob, and others found the port useful for PC-to-PC file transfers; and Microsoft and others figured out how to use the port for PC-to-PC networking.

PC-to-PC file transfers and networking require a special cross-over cable (such as the Belkin F3B207 and F3D508 series) to get the right signals connected between two PCs, as well as the installation of appropriate software or the Windows Direct Cable Connection (DCC) feature. Microsoft provides easy-to-follow directions for setting up DCC at their web site: http://support.microsoft.com/default.aspx?scid=kb;en-us;305621. DCC can be used for Windows XP’s Files and Settings Transfer feature to migrate data from an old PC to a new one, transfer applications and data with Aloha Bob’s PC Relocator [Hack #96] , and clone entire drives from one PC to another using Symantec’s GHOST [Hack #95] .


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