[PARPORT] Reverse engineering a parallel device protocol

From: Alexandre Courbot (alexandrecourbot@linuxgames.com)
Date: Sun Oct 28 2001 - 11:18:37 EST

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    Hello everybody,

    I own a Rome mp3 player (http://www.romemp3.com) that connects to the PC
    via a parallel port. Unfortunately the software is only available for
    MS-Windows. I'd like to have a GNU/Linux software for this device and am
    willing to write it, but the compagny never answered to my mails asking
    for specifications.

    So the best solution is to study the protocol in order to get how things
    are working. Unfortunately, this is the first time I do such a
    development. I guess the first step is to find a way to 'sniff' the
    parallel port while using the Windows 98 software in order to find out
    how it works. I've searched for a software that would allow such a
    thing, but unfortunately I found nothing really usuable (portmon seems
    to be nice, but since the software use it's own VxD it doesn't intercept
    the communications). Another solution would be to twiddle a bit with
    some hardware to read the port results, but yet I don't know much about
    this matter. Since there seems to be lots of people here who know this
    subject, I'd be gratefull if someone could point me to the solution he
    used for his own development. The prefered solution being the easiest
    one, a sniffing software. :)

    Also, I was wondering what you guys are thinking about the legal issues
    involved with such a hack (that's nothing else than reverse
    engineering), and whether it is safe to do this outside the US.

    Thanks in advance,

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