View Full Version : connectivity office/portable

12th September 2003, 12:58
I have the following machines in the office:

1. the company PC: Windows NT, has serial + parallel ports and a CDRom reader; no USB.

2. My portable: Windows XP home (it's what came on it), has parallel + USB ports and a CDRom writer, no RS232 port.

Is there any way I can swap data between them? The idea is of course not to change too much (client equipment not changeable anyway) and not to spend loads: I'd buy cables and software basically. So far I have:

1. diskette. Yes, it works, for any files that are still small enough.

2. Networking doesn't work because XP home won't talk to an NT domain-based network.

3. null-modem doesn't work because my portable has no serial, only USB.

4. CDRom doesn't work because the office machine has no writer.

5. Flash cards and external disks don't work because the office machine has no USB.

6. The office phone system is digital so I can't connect my portable to the internet via it!

OK, so I've hit on a wonderfully incompatible pair. What is the minimum I have to do to swap reasonable amounts of data?

12th September 2003, 14:32
Laplink can work over parallel ports.

Networking might work if you set up an FTP server on one machine and ftp the files.

12th September 2003, 15:19
OK, so I buy Laplink and a parallel cable. Good.

Networking: I suppos I should be able to stealthily install a second network card on the work PC and define a separate network with my portable on it, thus making the work machine a router... but I bet I couldn't.

What about an external modem on the office machine's serial port, and a few feet of phone line to my portable's modem. Bizarre but it might work?


12th September 2003, 15:25
doesn't look lik laplink will work:

from www.laplink.com


I just upgraded from an older version of LapLink, where I had connected via the yellow parallel cable that came in my software. Why is the LPT port grayed out or missing when I look in LapLink's Port Setup?


Microsoft's Windows NT 4.0, Windows 2000 and Windows XP operating systems do not offer the driver architecture required to provide support for any type of parallel data transfer cable. The driver architecture necessary for file transfer/remote control is different that what is required for printer drivers. Therefore, LapLink has no ECP or parallel cable support.

12th September 2003, 15:29
I think you can get a USB to Serial converter box.

Capn Graybeard
12th September 2003, 16:20
What about a parallel zip drive - up to 250MB, I think.


12th September 2003, 22:49
buy PCI USB card for office PC and use flash drive. Not 100% sure if WinNT4 supports it.

Or easier - get cheap CDWriter - prices are so low that a few cables at retail prices might cost you more than actual drive.

Get WiFi card - dont think will work with NT4.

> I think you can get a USB to Serial converter box.

these are not cheap - the only advantage is that you dont need to open client PC. But if they are so crappy that they cant provide good equipment surely they cant whine too much if you suggest free hardware upgrade that will prolong live of that PC?

Matrix IT Ltd
15th September 2003, 14:53
You can install the NetBEUI protocol on Windows XP...

I would suggest you do that and then just connect the two machines with a cross-over cable.


15th September 2003, 17:03
PerlOfWisdom, Capn Graybeard, and AtW -

All workable solutions, and I thank you for the input. All, however, stretched one or other of my specs: either cost too much money, or need to open the office PC.

They won't upgrade it because they do have a plan for its replacement; but in the meantime it does fine for my office work, so I quite understand that they don't have a problem with it.

15th September 2003, 17:49
You can get a CD Rewriter for about £30.
Make sure they know it's yours though, so you don't lose it when they take the machine away.
It should be very easy to install, just look at the jumper settings (master, slave etc) on the old drive and copy them on the new one. The IDE and power cables will be the same, that's pretty much all you need to do.

16th September 2003, 12:21
Why not upload/download on the web? Alternatively, if the files are not too big, just email them around.

16th September 2003, 18:53
> I think you can get a USB to Serial converter box.

these are not cheap

£20 in Maplin.

I haven't tried laplink over usb-serial though.

Infrared on laptop ? you can use it to talk to your phone/PDA later at home : serial -> IR £30. I think NT supports networking over IR.