# Four Pin Parallel?

I'm working at an office location that has an Okidata printer. Now, what I'd like to do is intercept the raw data that is being sent to the printer, so I can parse it into a database. I digress, however.

My point: this printer is connected to a four wire telephone cable that comes "from the sky." The telephone cable is plugged into a parallel cable with a four pin pinout. The pins that are connected to this cable are: 2, 3, 7, and 20. This should correspond to: Data In (LSB), Data In (1), Data In (5), and Ground.

Now, everything that I've read about parallel ports contends that printouts should not be able to come out of this Okidata dot matrix. Yet, I select items from my WYSE terminal and, lo and behold, reports come flying out of the thing.

Could anyone give a possible explanation for this, which could potantially elicit some light on a solution to my lemma?

Sincerely,
John B.

• : I'm working at an office location that has an Okidata printer. Now, what I'd like to do is intercept the raw data that is being sent to the printer, so I can parse it into a database. I digress, however.
:
: My point: this printer is connected to a four wire telephone cable that comes "from the sky." The telephone cable is plugged into a parallel cable with a four pin pinout. The pins that are connected to this cable are: 2, 3, 7, and 20. This should correspond to: Data In (LSB), Data In (1), Data In (5), and Ground.
:
: Now, everything that I've read about parallel ports contends that printouts should not be able to come out of this Okidata dot matrix. Yet, I select items from my WYSE terminal and, lo and behold, reports come flying out of the thing.
:
: Could anyone give a possible explanation for this, which could potantially elicit some light on a solution to my lemma?
:
: Sincerely,
: John B.
:

Hi John:

It sounds like you really have a serial connection here. Pins 2 and 3 are data, 7 is ground, and 20 is a status pin. Parallel printers need more than four pins, unless you're using a parallel extender device.

You mentioned a Wyse terminal, which suggests you're on a Unix system. Unix systems are typically connected with serial cables as well.

If you're on Unix, then it also sounds like you're taking the long way around by trying to capture printer output and route it to a database. There are typically command-line ways to do this sort of thing, expecially in a UNIX environment.

Or are you trying to do something sneaky?

[purple]Melissa[/purple]