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Copier File Transfers - Possible on modern hardware?

 
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Trenton_net



Joined: 29 Jun 2006
Posts: 227

PostPosted: Fri Feb 12, 2016 9:54 pm    Post subject: Copier File Transfers - Possible on modern hardware? Reply with quote

Hey everyone,

These days is it possible to use modern hardware to send files to a copier? I assume under Windows, where you have no direct access to computer ports it might be difficult, but perhaps on Linux it would be easier? Do any of those USB to Parallel port adapters support raw access under Linux? (I assume not, or have some other technical limitations.)
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dbjh



Joined: 02 Aug 2003
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Wed Apr 19, 2017 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Yes, it's possible. In fact, for uCON64 very little has changed in over 10 years. For example, you can transfer files to an SWC on Windows 10 even with uCON64 2.0.0, which was released in 2005. You do need the right version of inpout32.dll though. I would recommend the latest version of uCON64, 2.0.3, which includes a proper version. Concerning USB to parallel converters, that will simply not work. USB is modern, but of the cheap kind. The latency is orders of magnitude worse than the good old parallel port. Of course, it's better at throughput. Where to get a parallel port then? From one of the *many* online electronics shops in the form of a PCI card. I recently bought one for 10 euro. It works on both Windows and GNU/Linux.
The only issue I see is with backup units requiring EPP for parallel port I/O. Apparently many manufacturers don't follow the specification. Someone​ on this forum explained the issue years ago here.
Chilly Willy's analysis is quite off though. If GNU/Linux supports the PCI parallel port (out of the box or after manual configuration) then uCON64 will work fine with at least the currently supported ToToTEK devices *if* it is configured to use ppdev. By default it is not (for performance and compatibility reasons!) and then you will have the same issue as on Windows. For the currently supported ToToTEK devices the *only* problematic code is this (in tototek.c):
Code:
static void
init_port (void)                                // original name: init_port
{
#ifndef USE_PPDEV
  outportb (port_8 + 0x402, (inportb (port_8 + 0x402) & 0x1f) | 0x80);
  outportb (port_9, 1);                         // clear EPP time flag
#endif
  ttt_set_ai_data (6, 0);                       // rst=0, wei=0(dis.), rdi=0(dis.)
  ttt_set_ai_data (6, 0x84);                    // rst=1, wei=0(dis.), rdi=0(dis.)
}

A rough solution could even be making that offset of 0x402 configurable.
For really old DOS tools there exists a modified version of DOSBox with parallel port passthrough functionality. I have to look up the name, but I've successfully used that on 64-bit GNU/Linux.

Edit:
It appears the site of the author of that DOSBox version is gone... I will probably add at least the source code and a patch to make it compile to the uCON64 homepage. It's (or they're) called "Mega Build" series (by H-A-L-9000).

Edit 2:
Added link to explanation and commented on that thread. Also added DOSBox version's name.
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dbjh



Joined: 02 Aug 2003
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 2:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I went ahead and basically implemented that "rough solution". Also see here.
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dbjh



Joined: 02 Aug 2003
Posts: 161

PostPosted: Thu Dec 21, 2017 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, the parallel port passthrough functionality of DOSBox Megabuild 6 wasn't working on 64-bit Windows, but I have updated the source code and put a Win32 build (that also runs on 64-bit Windows) on the uCON64 homepage, together with the updated source code. I have also made the original Win32 build and source code available.
So, you're now completely covered on modern hardware :-)
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