Read printer data on DOS OS

June 30, 2013 at 18:04:35
Specs: DOS
I have a software application running in full DOS PC (no windows install). It run some testing and print out through parallel port to a printer.

Question: how do i read the printer data from the parallel port from windows? i'm trying using hyperterminal but what i got is some funny character.

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June 30, 2013 at 19:36:42
I am not surprised you get funny characters. Hyper-terminal expects to get its information form an RS232 serial port, not a parallel port.

The information coming out of the parallel port contains code and data to tell the printer what to do with the information, font type, character size, bold, underline etc. Information that is totally irrelevant to hyper-terminal

If you want hard copy from the application, just set it to print directly to a file if the application has that facility. Otherwise you need to do some fancy programming to interpret the data the same way a printer does..

Possible but no trivial task


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July 1, 2013 at 02:06:27
Hi Steven,

a) using the dos MODE command you can re-direct the printer output to a serial port.
This was used when printers with serial interfaces were attached.

b) cannot recall if you can print to a file using a dos command, but there were a number of dos utilites that do this.
Google 'dos print to file' to find.

Please advise back on progress.

Good Luck - Keep us posted.

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July 1, 2013 at 04:30:38
You can redirect a printer to a file but you will end up with a file containing all the aforementioned printer codes. The resultant file is really only good for sending to a printer, and then one the same type as the default printer when the file was created.

The problem is that DOS applications had there own individual printer drivers which the user had little control over. If you had Windows, Windows 3.1 even, the problem would be solved. You could install a plain text printer and print a file to that instead of a real printer.


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