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Very unusual request

Hallo,

I work in an environement were 2 different networks are runnings. Both of them are strictly monitored and it is not possible to connect one with each other.

It is an airport environment.

One of the networks, running under OS/2, has all the chekc-in and boarding systems. The other network (Win XP) is the 'office applications' network.

I need to keep records from the OS/2 environment. But the only possibility I have is to print them on a text printer (OKI dot matrix).

I wonder if anybody has an idea on how to capture o transfer the data 'printed' on to the LPT port from the OS/2 network and store it directly (via Serial, Paralel, USB or whatever method) onto a hard disk from the Win XP network, as .txt file.

If this is somehow possible, the security will not be broken and the records will be stored as electronic files instead of paper listings, with all its advantages.

Any help is welcome!!!!!


Many thanks for reading this

Hans Breuer
AGA PMI
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Comments

  • melissa_may1melissa_may1 Posts: 937Member
    Hi Hans:

    This is very easily done.

    But how is it that you have a secure system for check-in and boarding, but you don't have professionals available on staff to handle this request?

    What airport and/or airline is this for?




    [purple]Melissa[/purple]

  • hbreuerhbreuer Posts: 4Member


    Hallo Melissa,

    The airport I work in is placed in Palma de Mallorca, the Balearic Islands, Spain.

    We are responsibles for the supervision of many european airlines, like Air Berlin, Centralwings, Maersk Air, Novair, Malm Aviation and Fly Me. We do the passenger handling for Germanwings and Sterling.

    The airport environment is running under OS/2 and is a closed one. We can access the aplications at the check-in counters. In addition, the airport has installed 1 PC in our Back Office, with an OKI dot matrix printer.

    We, as company, have our own small network, run under WinXP.

    As nobody from our company is IT specialist, we have contracted all issues related to network and hardware to a third company. This company is based in the airport and does part of the hardware maintenance for the Airport too. So we can always deal about those matters with the staff who knows what can and what cannot be done.

    My problem is that the only possibility the airport allows to the handling agents to keep records of the flights which do use the airport own DCS system (which is a real basic one, just for point to point flights, with no connection possibility to other systems, but free of charge) is to print out the lists you want to keep.

    This goes against my idea of 'modern way of doing things' and environmental protection.

    I have been speaking with the staff from this third party company about the idea to 'capture' the print-outs and transfer them, as .txt files to one of our computers, via a LPT to serial cable or something like it. But they have no idea on how to do it...

    I have myself been 'programming' since I was 19 (starting with the old C64!). But I have never been serious about it, so now I do only small 'in house' applications.

    Once again, thank you very much for taking the time to read this long message.

    My Best Regards
    Hans












    : Hi Hans:
    :
    : This is very easily done.
    :
    : But how is it that you have a secure system for check-in and boarding, but you don't have professionals available on staff to handle this request?
    :
    : What airport and/or airline is this for?
    :
    :
    :
    :
    : [purple]Melissa[/purple]
    :
    :

  • Phat NatPhat Nat Posts: 757Member
    [b][red]This message was edited by Phat Nat at 2005-4-26 18:33:49[/red][/b][hr]
    Hey there Hans,
    I'm not a windows programmer (only DOS) so I can't make a program for you, but the following is an excerpt from David Jurgens HelpPC listing:

    [code]

    Parallel Printer Port

    Port 3BC printer data output (readable)

    |7|6|5|4|3|2|1|0| ports 278, 378, 3BC
    | | | | | | | +---- data bit 0, hardware pin 2
    | | | | | | +----- data bit 1, hardware pin 3
    | | | | | +------ data bit 2, hardware pin 4
    | | | | +------- data bit 3, hardware pin 5
    | | | +-------- data bit 4, hardware pin 6
    | | +--------- data bit 5, hardware pin 7
    | +---------- data bit 6, hardware pin 8
    +----------- data bit 7, hardware pin 9

    Port 3BD printer status register (Parallel Printer Port)

    |7|6|5|4|3|2|1|0| ports 279, 379, 3BD
    | | | | | | | +---- 1 = time-out
    | | | | | +-+----- unused
    | | | | +-------- 1 = error, pin 15
    | | | +--------- 1 = on-line, pin 13
    | | +---------- 1 = out of paper, pin 12
    | +----------- 0 = Acknowledge, pin 10
    +----------- 0 = busy, pin 11

    Port 3BE printer control register (Parallel Printer Port)

    |7|6|5|4|3|2|1|0| ports 27A, 37A, 3BE
    | | | | | | | +---- 1 = output data to printer, (pin 1)
    | | | | | | +----- 1 = auto line feed, (pin 14)
    | | | | | +------ 0 = initialize printer, (pin 16)
    | | | | +------- 1 = printer reads output, (pin 17)
    | | | +-------- 0 = IRQ disable,1=IRQ enable for ACK
    +-+-+--------- unused

    [/code]

    Set LPT2 on the OS/2 system to a general printer, such as an EPSON FX printer.
    If you connect a second crossover parallel cable to LPT2 of the OS/2 system and then into the Windows XP machine, then when you print to LPT2 it would send all the information to the WinXP LPT port. From there it is quite easy to capture the data (which will be sent out as seen on screen with possibly a few printer codes).

    There are lots of Windows programmers around here who I'm sure could help you out with the rest. Good Luck,

    Phat Nat



  • hbreuerhbreuer Posts: 4Member
    Hallo Phat Nat,

    I'll see if I can figure something out with your information.

    Thanks you!
    Hans


  • AlexandrescuAlexandrescu Posts: 66Member
    : Hallo Phat Nat,
    :
    : I'll see if I can figure something out with your information.
    :
    : Thanks you!
    : Hans
    :
    :
    :
    Phat Nat is right, yet I think his answer might puzzle you.
    Here is a more "in English" answer:

    In order to achieve this, you must get a so called "external Hard Disk Device" which can be electrically connected to both one of your computers that runs under Windows XP as well as one that runs on OS/2.

    Then you have to make sure that both the Windows XP computer as well as the OS/2 one can read/Write data on that external hard disk. This means that you must have two so called "device drivers" dedicated to this device; one driver that works under Windows XP and one that works under OS/2. (this is hardly a problem since both of the Operating Systems you use are wide spread and hardware manufacturers use to provide such device drivers - especially for Windows)

    I talked mutch, but I hope I succedeed to be less technicall - without loosing the correctness and rigurousity.

    If there are any things you can't understand, post me a message in my mailbox; I seldom visit this messageboard. Good luck!
  • Phat NatPhat Nat Posts: 757Member
    : Phat Nat is right, yet I think his answer might puzzle you.
    : Here is a more "in English" answer:
    :
    : In order to achieve this, you must get a so called "external Hard Disk Device" which can be electrically connected to both one of your computers that runs under Windows XP as well as one that runs on OS/2.
    :
    : Then you have to make sure that both the Windows XP computer as well as the OS/2 one can read/Write data on that external hard disk. This means that you must have two so called "device drivers" dedicated to this device; one driver that works under Windows XP and one that works under OS/2. (this is hardly a problem since both of the Operating Systems you use are wide spread and hardware manufacturers use to provide such device drivers - especially for Windows)
    :
    : I talked mutch, but I hope I succedeed to be less technicall - without loosing the correctness and rigurousity.
    :
    : If there are any things you can't understand, post me a message in my mailbox; I seldom visit this messageboard. Good luck!
    :

    I was thinking more along the line of a double-ended parallel cable that would plug into both computer's parallel ports at the same time.
    Of course, the cable would have to have certain wires crossed over (Data Send & Data Receive, etc). Then you could assign a basic OS/2 printer Driver (such as a dot-matrix) to the Parallel port (LPT2 for example). Then when you print from OS/2 to LPT2, all the data would be sent to the Windows XP Parallel Port, where you could read the data and write it directly to a file (which could be automatically named to the current date/time or whatever).

    This way would only require a cable and a special program on the Windows XP computer to handle the printer->data conversion.

    Now you need someone who knows how to access the LPT ports from WinXP ;)

    Phat Nat
  • AlexandrescuAlexandrescu Posts: 66Member
    : : Phat Nat is right, yet I think his answer might puzzle you.
    : : Here is a more "in English" answer:
    : :
    : : In order to achieve this, you must get a so called "external Hard Disk Device" which can be electrically connected to both one of your computers that runs under Windows XP as well as one that runs on OS/2.
    : :
    : : Then you have to make sure that both the Windows XP computer as well as the OS/2 one can read/Write data on that external hard disk. This means that you must have two so called "device drivers" dedicated to this device; one driver that works under Windows XP and one that works under OS/2. (this is hardly a problem since both of the Operating Systems you use are wide spread and hardware manufacturers use to provide such device drivers - especially for Windows)
    : :
    : : I talked mutch, but I hope I succedeed to be less technicall - without loosing the correctness and rigurousity.
    : :
    : : If there are any things you can't understand, post me a message in my mailbox; I seldom visit this messageboard. Good luck!
    : :
    :
    : I was thinking more along the line of a double-ended parallel cable that would plug into both computer's parallel ports at the same time.
    : Of course, the cable would have to have certain wires crossed over (Data Send & Data Receive, etc). Then you could assign a basic OS/2 printer Driver (such as a dot-matrix) to the Parallel port (LPT2 for example). Then when you print from OS/2 to LPT2, all the data would be sent to the Windows XP Parallel Port, where you could read the data and write it directly to a file (which could be automatically named to the current date/time or whatever).
    :
    : This way would only require a cable and a special program on the Windows XP computer to handle the printer->data conversion.
    :
    : Now you need someone who knows how to access the LPT ports from WinXP ;)
    :
    : Phat Nat
    :
    Absolutely correct! The reason I didn' wrote this is because I thought Mr. Breuer is not very technical on computers.

    The cable you described is called "nullmodem cable" - the problem is that it is rather rare; and that is probably the reason you described how to make one.

    Thancks for your pertinent completion of my previous answer!

  • 684867684867 Posts: 110Member
    Years ago someone screwed up a computer that belonged to a small company. The computer could only get to a DOS prompt and launch a rogue program that threatened to delete sensitive information. The solution was much like that proposed by Phat Nat.

    Create a null modem cable. You can do this with Radioshack and a prefab kit or a little home-ugly wiring.

    Run telnet on the target computer to capture the data. Then in DOS from the source computer use the type command, redirected to the parallel port.

    [code] type [filename] >> lpt1 [/code]

    You could concievably create a batch file to do this for you. Or you could write a program of your own to send the text over the wire. My advice is to try it manually with the type command a few times. Once you have that working, then you can automate the source side of the wire with a little code (I recommend VB and sockets). Last, you can automate the target (capture) side.

    You could even create your own protocol later on to speed up the transfer if the files are large enough.

    (or you could hire me to work for your airport...sounds like the third party company you mentioned is run by idiots.)

    ****************************************
    Excellence Breeds! Go Hard or Go Home.

    Let Penguins rule the earth.
    Break some windows today.

  • melissa_may1melissa_may1 Posts: 937Member
    OK, this thread is getting out of hand!

    Let's clear up some misunderstandings...

    1) You do not use a null MODEM cable on an LPT port.

    2) A null MODEM cable is designed for serial ports only.

    3) You cannot use TELNET to receive data from an LPT port without a hardware device to do conversion.

    4) The LPT port is Parallel data.

    5) The serial port is, of course, Serial data.

    6) In order to connect two computers via LPT port, you would need either some hardware conversion, or a software program run on both computers to transfer/receive the data.

    7) This command:

    type [filename] >> lpt1

    will only work on a text file, and only if there is a hardware conversion from LPT (parallel) port to some other port OR if there is special software run on BOTH computers.


    8) You all are making this way more complicated than it is.



    [purple]Melissa[/purple]

  • 684867684867 Posts: 110Member
    Have you tried the method I proposed?

    It works.

    Complexity is in the fact that the subject IT department will not simply reconfigure the network.

    ****************************************
    Excellence Breeds! Go Hard or Go Home.

    Let Penguins rule the earth.
    Break some windows today.

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