Parallel Port - Unidirectional Parallel Ports

Unidirectional Parallel Ports

In early parallel ports the data lines were unidirectional (data out only) so it was not easily possible to feed data in to the computer. However, a workaround was possible by using 4 of the 5 status lines. A circuit could be constructed to split each 8-bit byte into two 4-bit nibbles which were fed in sequentially through the status lines. Each pair of nibbles was then re-combined into an 8-bit byte. This same method (with the splitting and recombining done in software) was also used to transfer data between PCs using a laplink cable.

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