[tog] On the scrounge for a charity - anyone got an old parallel printer?
cian.masterson at gmail.com
Mon Aug 20 12:11:51 IST 2012
I work with Tom & Noel and they suggested you guys might be ones to ask
when begging for antediluvian hardware.
Short version: Anyone got an old parallel port printer that they'd like to
donate to Dogs Aid Animal Sanctuary? Preferably one it's still possible to
get inkjet refills/dot-matrix paper/consumables for.
Long version: My wife volunteers for an animal charity (www.DogsAid.ie)
who, amongst other things, provide an affordable vet service to people in
disadvantaged areas. They were recently given a blood analysis machine by
a kindly donor but it only has a DB-25 parallel printer port, and I think
it was built back in the days of yore when they expected to have a dot
matrix or similar permanently plugged into it. I've hunted the
interwebnets and while USB-to-Parallel adapters exist, they allow you to
use a Parallel-only printer with a USB-only computer which is the opposite
of what we need.
I know I could connect the blood machine to a computer via a
USB-to-parallel adapter so the blood machine "prints" to a listening
program on the computer, which in turn could then print to a USB printer
but I'd like to avoid that if possible. The people using this system
aren't necessarily going to be the most tech-savvy people on the planet so
I think the simpler the system the better. A jury-rigged system like the
one described above is going to be a lot more high-maintenance than having
an old inkjet or dot-matrix printer permanently connected to the blood
machine, and I'm hoping one of you has one in your big box of electronics
junk. You know the box with 4 modems, converter cables for obsolete
interfaces, a Pentium II motherboard, a zip drive, a 30MB hard disk and two
4MB sticks of RAM? Yeah, that box. I used to have a parallel printer in
my equivalent but unfortunately it got recycled back in The Great Purge of
So................to paraphrase Monty Python: "Spare a parallel-port
printer for an old ex-leper?" The only gotcha is that if it is so old that
inkjet refills/dot-matrix paper/whatever is difficult to get hold of then
it's not going to be ideal for a charity.
Thanks for listening!
PS: Dogs Aid is a 25-year-old animal sanctuary based near Finglas and the
vet clinic they run is in Ballymun. They are entirely funded by public
donations and entirely staffed by volunteers - nobody gets paid, including
the vet who donates her time for free. They are not the same as Dogs
Trust, and definitely don't have the same funding/budget for equipment!
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