Dongle issues: parallel dongle, no parallel ports on computer

So, my SurfCam uses a paralle dongle, I've had it that long...
My latest set of computers ( I am using notebooks for a lot of my stuff) no
longer have parallel ports.
SurfCam wants $$ to replace my Parallel dongle to a USB version). I just can't stomach that. Besides, I KNOW that my parallel dongle has minimal encryption in it as the mathematics of encryption, let alone the technology did not even exist when I was issued a dongle.
Anyway, I digress, my question is, has anyone found a suitable parallel port solution for non-parallel port equipped notebooks?
Options that I believe are available: Expresscard to parallel (or PCMCIA to parallel cares) (many makes available ranging in price from ~$30 to $130) Docking station (probably an actuall mfgs, version not a aftermarket one) over $150, not very protable USB to dongle (this is quite doubtful, found no hardware yet).
Anyone have something they've used successfully? (doesn't necessarily need to be for SurfCAM))
John
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JBower wrote:

http://www.byterunner.com/byterunner/category=USB+to+Parallel+Adapters
or just google usb parallel port, most as cheap as $9.95
they also have nice usb adapters for com ports, I run a microscribe through one of those, seamless.
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Michael Gailey
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JBower wrote:

John, I went through this with Smurfcam recently. My new computer came without a parallel port. No problem, I bought a parallel card. Smurf doesn't like add on cards for some strange reason, so I had to bit the bullet and bought the USB dongle. Cost me $175 which was a total ripoff, just another way to get some $$ out a poor machine shop.
Another reason in a long list to not like Smurfcam!
Best, Steve
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Regards,
Steve Saling
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Garlicdude wrote:

we need to be in the parallel usb device biz, cost $9.95 each, maybe better in a quantity, sell for $175.00, did they get an install too?
Now you see what they meant when they said they "serviced" you.
hang in there Steve!
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Michael Gailey
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My Mastercam dongle is still parallel, and I've been going through the process of upgrading the shop computers. I've got a few new Dell's and an Alienware laptop, and none of them have a serial port.
I bought a USB-parallel port adapter at Fry's electronics for $30-40 bucks, and it doesn't work. I was planning on buying some serial cards for the new desktops, but it doesn't sound like that will work either.
I'd prefer to keep the serial dongle, because it's very discreet. There's no chance of somebody mistaking it for a USB memory stick and walking off with $15,000.
I really like the new Solidworks security method. When you're going to use your seat on a different computer, you just de-activate the license, then re-activate it on the other computer. No worries about losing the dongle.
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Joe788 wrote:

joe, I never move mine so I don't get into problems.
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Michael Gailey
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wrote:

You will find the parallel port dongle software accesses the hardware directly so needs to see the same registers at physical I/O ports as an IBM AT or PS/2 chip set. USB > printer adaptors emulate the parallel port to the printer but the computer and software sees an USB printer.
http://www.doc.ic.ac.uk/~ih/doc/par/doc/regpins.html without data, control and status registers it won't work.
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Peter Hill
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Peter Hill wrote:

TRUE! run the disc that comes with the adapter, setup is everything.
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Michael Gailey
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contact these guys: http://www.safe-key.com /
keep your dongle in the safe so no one can take it.
Karl
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wrote:

Karl, is that company legit? Seems like a pretty good idea at a somewhat reasonable price. It sure would be nice to keep that dongle locked up in a safe place.
The less than professional website kinda puts me off a bit though.
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The fella's name is Robert, its a one man company. I've done business with him for several years. great customer service.
Karl
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Joe788 wrote:

Joe,
Ya these guys are legit. been around for a very long time. I have used them in the past, for software I don't even use anymore. I had completely forgotten about them it has been so long.
they got in a little bit of trouble years ago with the Activator guys IIRC, but in the end were found to be not violating IIRC. since you have to have a legit licence & dongle, etc... All they are doing is emulating the dongle.
ca
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Nothing like your computer polling the serial port 100 times a second to make sure your not a theif. Surfcam sucks. I can't wait till they go belly up, prolly this summer.
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