USB printer to parallel port

In summary, a USB printer should work fine on a USB 1.1 port on a computer. Older systems typically have parallel port hookups or USB 1.1 ports, but some newer USB printers are USB 1.1 only.
  • #1
Hello all,
Is there any cable out there that will allow me to hook up a USB printer to a parallel port on a computer? Problem is most printers these days are USB hookup and my older systems have parallel port hookups or USB 1.1. Or will the modern USB devices work on the USB 1.1 port I have? I know some will and some will not. It's just the printer I'm concerned about for now. BTW the printer is a Canon Pixma iP 1600. When I search on the web for info on it, it doesn't specify wether it will work on a USB 1.1 or not.
Any info or suggesttions would be great.
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  • #2
Printers are not usually high-bandwidth devices, and should work fine on USB 1.1.

- Warren
  • #3
Ahhh...I see...It's the bandwidth.
Thanx. I'm breathing a sigh of relief now.:approve:

  • #4
It'll be noticeably slower in USB 1.1 than 2.0 (of course, if you never try both, you may not notice...), but if it becomes a problem you could always buy some USB 2.0 ports for the printer.
  • #5
Hey, Thanx for the replies. The puter is actually an older laptop and I'm having some trouble getting a USB cardbus card to work on the thing. But I do have 1 USB port and I'm sure given the age of the system that it is 1.1.
BTW would 1.1 be that much slower than the parallel port? All my printers in the past used parallel ports anyway.

  • #6
USB 1.1 is much faster than the parallel port.

- Warren
  • #7
Thanx for all your help:smile: Anyway I went and hooked up the new printer to the USB 1.1 port and it printed, but real slow. But I what I came to realize is that this is a new printer with 1200x4800 dpi capabilities and my legacy device laptop with 133mhz processor and 48 MB of ram just ain't cuttin it. It did print a spectacular photo though. Just took it's sweet ass time. Text prints fast though and that's what it'll be used for most anyway.
Thanx again.
  • #8
Honestly, I can't imagine that USB is the bottleneck when printing a photo. The printer probably takes five minutes to print a full-size photo, but it probably only took 30 seconds to send a full-resolution file over the USB. I don't know that buying a faster computer would make much of a difference here.

- Warren
  • #9
Actually I think it's the time it takes to render the picture for printing, having a slow processor and only 48 MB of ram. I hooked the printer up to my faster system (also with USB 1.1) and it printed photos much faster. Actually this printer is a gift to my daughter. She has the exact same laptop as I do, and so I just wanted to make sure it worked OK on that system. It'll be OK I think. It's just for text mostly anyway. But yeah it does take forever to print HD pix, even after it spools to the printer.
  • #10
Yeah, printing a single high resolution photo can take hundreds of megabytes of memory to render. If you don't have enough ram, it'll use the hard drive instead (you'll see/hear it thrashing) and that takes forever.

But then transferring 100 megabytes over USB 1.1 will take about 90 seconds. When printing a photo, though, the printer probably takes long enough to print that it doesn't need to pause to cache the data.
  • #11
Yes with only 48MB of ram I'm sure it was cacheing off the HD, and couple that with a slow processor(133mhz) and...hmhmhmhmhmhmhmhm.
  • #12
The CPU and the quantity of RAM is the cause. USB 1.1 is fast enough even for high resolution pictures. The struggle is in you HDD because its space is used for compensating the lack of RAM. And I think you HDD is not a "High end" one.
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  • #13
Try using a linux live cd (like morphix, knoppix, or meppis) and see what happens when you try to print the photo. I bet it will print much faster.
  • #14
I have since upgraded to 256 mb ram and the time is much quicker. But still with only 300mhz it's a bit slower than my high end system. And yes the HDD is only a 5200 rpm EIDE.
  • #15
I'm using an Ubuntu Live CD on an ancient machine and things seems to go a little better and faster than the host Win 98 OS. Try it it's free.
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1. What is a USB printer to parallel port?

A USB printer to parallel port is a device that allows you to connect a printer with a USB port to a computer with a parallel port. This is useful when the computer does not have a USB port, but the printer only has a USB connection.

2. How does a USB printer to parallel port work?

A USB printer to parallel port works by converting the USB signals from the printer into parallel signals that can be read by the computer's parallel port. It essentially acts as a bridge between the two different types of ports.

3. Can I use a USB printer to parallel port with any printer and computer?

It depends on the specific model of the USB printer to parallel port. Some may only be compatible with certain printers and computers, so it is important to check the compatibility before purchasing.

4. Do I need any special software to use a USB printer to parallel port?

Most USB printer to parallel port devices come with their own drivers and software that need to be installed on the computer. This software helps to facilitate the communication between the printer and the computer.

5. Is a USB printer to parallel port faster than a regular USB connection?

No, a USB printer to parallel port does not affect the speed of the connection between the printer and the computer. It simply allows the two devices to communicate with each other using different ports.

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