Re: [PARPORT] Todai Camera?
Mon, 19 Jul 1999 08:00:06 -0400 (EDT)

> Has anyone tried to reverse engineer the Todai parallel port
> camera. I contacted tech support via email to Japan and they
> said it was an NEC design of some sort and were very sorry that
> they couldn't give me any useful information.

At least they responded :-)

> They're available from several places for around $31-35 and
> they work great under windows (with updated drivers from their
> web site).

Can you point me to a specific supplier, at that price its worth
wasting a few bucks ;-)

> In any case, could someone give me some basic pointers
> to reverse engineer something like this?

Well, if we can get the data, there's lots of expertise here to
analyse it.

> I tried portmon (from Systems Internals) per a suggestion
> in a previous post to this list but it shows no activity
> for the parallel port.

It's no use for devices that bypass the OS and go straight to the
parallel port. ALL these devices do that.

> I'm a little reluctant to try to
> set up WINE in case it works under that.

That's probably your only hope right now. It's possible that we might
be able to do something with VMware eventually, but its not there yet.

Here's a clue. If the Windows drivers involve a VXD file, it won't work
in wine. BUT, if the driver is implemented entirely as an application
program, then it might work, and you'd be able to do i/o tracing.

> Right now I'm writing a little program to send different
> bits to the parallel port and looking to see if talks back.

Good luck. Even the most primitive protocols will be impossible to
crack that way. Most devices require that you wiggle the data lines
in some specific multibyte pattern (without altering any control lines)
before they will react in any way.

Grant R. Guenther

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