Use of parallel ports in NES/PC interfaces

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Bregalad
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Use of parallel ports in NES/PC interfaces

Post by Bregalad » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:46 pm

I was excited about FDS writing in TapeDump until I saw this:
PC's parallel port
Then all my hopes went down.

Seriously, what is worse than parallel ports. I fracking hate them and anyone who still use them. They got defunct since 1998 or so. You'd have to be stupid to expect people to still own PCs with them. Seriously.

I'm sorry for the harsh attitude, but I am so disappointed I can't remain polite in such circumstances.

lidnariq
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Re: FDS Writing extension for TapeDump

Post by lidnariq » Mon Mar 11, 2013 12:51 pm

Bregalad, if you don't like it, you can go home. You don't have a parallel port, and you're upset when someone who does have one uses it? Tough.

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Bregalad
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Re: FDS Writing extension for TapeDump

Post by Bregalad » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:01 pm

I am home already and yes I am upset. Because all my previous attempts to ever use a parallel ports ended being a complete waste of time. Again this technology is defunct since 1998 or so and no PC since then are made with them.

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Re: FDS Writing extension for TapeDump

Post by tepples » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:24 pm

Bregalad wrote:Seriously, what is worse than parallel ports. I fucking hate them and anyone who still use them. They got defunct since 1998 or so. You'd have to be stupid to expect people to still own PCs with them. Seriously.
What GPIO method do you recommend using instead of a parallel port?

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Bregalad
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Re: FDS Writing extension for TapeDump

Post by Bregalad » Mon Mar 11, 2013 1:42 pm

Anything that can be used in 2013.
Micro-controllers costs about $1 nowadays, and they can communicate with USB/Jtag very easily from Windows and Linux.

Another option from a PC that should be considered seriously is the serial RS-232 port. It's also old and somewhat outdated, but not nearly as much as the parallel port, and desktop stations of nowadays still have one on them (even if laptops doesn't have any).

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Re: FDS Writing extension for TapeDump

Post by Tricky » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:45 pm

I thought the reason for parallel ports being used was that other ports sent data too fast for the Famicom to read it accurately enough...

lidnariq
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Re: FDS Writing extension for TapeDump

Post by lidnariq » Mon Mar 11, 2013 2:47 pm

Barrier to entry with a parallel port: pretty minimal. Two connectors. Barrier to entry with a serial port: about the same, but now you have to emulate a UART in the FC, which slows things down by a factor of ten and keeps the FC busy from doing anything else. Using an "ordinary" serial port doesn't actually help, because if you're using it as bit-bangable I/O it's incompatible with USB, and if you send asynchronous serial you still need voltage limiters to keep from frying the FC. You could use a "logic level" USB serial port, like a PL2303 or a FT232, but now that's an explicit cost, rather than one lumped into "do you have a parallel port".

Adding a microcontroller dramatically increases the cost (you still need all the connectors), and even if you specify a USB-enabled microcontroller you don't actually save much over the separate USB-RS232 bridge and crappy micro. (Don't lie to me about how easy it is to use V-USB in a hard real-time system. It's not.) It doesn't even actually increase the availability to the end user, because PCI and PCIe parallel ports are still available, and cost about as much as a microcontroller plus programmer.

On the other hand, you keep on running your mouth about How Other People Should Do Things and don't ever put your money where your mouth is. You have single-handedly diverted too many conversations by being toxic and loud.

And here I go, feeding the troll...

Could we split of Bregalad's rant from ccovell's original thread?

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Re: FDS Writing extension for TapeDump

Post by tepples » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:08 pm

lidnariq wrote:Barrier to entry with a parallel port: pretty minimal. Two connectors.
And a parallel port card. And a desktop (not laptop) PC to put it in.
PCI and PCIe parallel ports are still available, and cost about as much as a microcontroller plus programmer.
A microcontroller and programmer cost less than a desktop PC for someone who currently uses a laptop. Or is there some suitable external version of PCIe now?

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Re: FDS Writing extension for TapeDump

Post by socram8888 » Mon Mar 11, 2013 3:16 pm

Bregalad wrote:Again this technology is defunct since 1998 or so and no PC since then are made with them.
P8H61-M LX. Your argument is invalid 8-)

I've got one of these in 2011 for less than 40 bucks when I bought my current computer. It sports a 1156 socket for i3/i5/i7 processors, fast PCI-e 3.0 slots, SATA connectors, DDR3 RAM, and with a parallel and serial ports.

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MottZilla
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Re: Use of parallel ports in NES/PC interfaces

Post by MottZilla » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:22 pm

My small media pc (about the size of a PS2) has a parallel port on it with I do use. Many motherboards have headers for installing the parallel port. What is more of a problem is being able to use the parallel port in newer versions of Windows OS.

There's nothing wrong with using the parallel port though. It's a readily available option for fun projects. Yes it would be nice if we could just smush a USB interface on everything but it just isn't that easy.

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Re: Use of parallel ports in NES/PC interfaces

Post by blargg » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:34 pm

Should I have gotten that USB-to-Centronics adapter I saw recently at a thrift store?

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Re: Use of parallel ports in NES/PC interfaces

Post by SkinnyV » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:51 pm

All the 3 desktop computer I have in my house still have parallel port. I use it for my old tototek card and gba flash cart without issue. But then again I'm still too stubborn to move away from Windows XP, I keep hearing people struggling running thing on Windows 7 and I ain't about to switch to Win 8 anytime soon :lol:

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Re: Use of parallel ports in NES/PC interfaces

Post by tepples » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:52 pm

Some common USB to parallel port adapters are only for printers. They don't have the sort of timing needed for GPIO. As of right now, with laptop computers having no GPIO port, USB to MCU is probably the best workaround.

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Re: Use of parallel ports in NES/PC interfaces

Post by mikejmoffitt » Mon Mar 11, 2013 6:52 pm

blargg wrote:Should I have gotten that USB-to-Centronics adapter I saw recently at a thrift store?
Unfortunately pretty much every USB parallel adapter (and a lot of newer parallel ports on computers) don't implement all of the lines properly, often just enough to let printers work. I learned this the hard way and it's what drove me to use a 9 year old machine as my main laptop...

Edit: goddomot toppls

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Re: FDS Writing extension for TapeDump

Post by infiniteneslives » Mon Mar 11, 2013 9:22 pm

I do find it ironic how arguably the least neutral person on this forum is the guy from Switzerland. But maybe that's just a false stereotype ;)
lidnariq wrote:(Don't lie to me about how easy it is to use V-USB in a hard real-time system. It's not.) It doesn't even actually increase the availability to the end user, because PCI and PCIe parallel ports are still available, and cost about as much as a microcontroller plus programmer.
I'm guessing this statement is directed towards me, so I'll abstain from making any points/comments. But I would like to better understand what you mean because your statement mystifies me. I value your view point/argument and would merely like to understand it better. That and I'd like to understand why people think I'm a liar. :oops:

Are you saying that V-USB isn't easy from a developers standpoint or an end user's? Or both?

What you mean by 'a hard real-time system'. I assume the FC/NES, but how is it a hard real-time system compared to any other computer like system? Or is it that an mcu in general is challenging to interface with the FC/NES (not V-USB specifically)?
If you're gonna play the Game Boy, you gotta learn to play it right. -Kenny Rogers

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