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interfacing PC with Data Aquisition system

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We have a data acquisition system (DAS) interfaced with and controlled by a PC. The interface is via the parallel(printer)port. The data collection and analysis package mounted on the computer is now about 10 years old. It is completely reliable but runs under DOS on a PC with Windows 95 installed.
We are trying to replace the PC with a more modern laptop/notebook (this is essential for outdoor field work) but are having big problems in getting communication between the DAS and the PC. We do not expect the package to run under a modern version of Windows because after Windows 98 there is no true underlying DOS system. We have tried booting some newer laptops (several of them) from a MS-DOS boot disc and then running our program, but without success. The message from our PC is always the same “Cannot communicate with the DAS”. We have stripped the Windows system from the laptops and installed MS-DOS 6.22, but that does not work either. We have used the BIOS to configure the parallel port in different ways, SPP, EPP, Bi-directional etc to no avail. We are at a loss to know what to do next.
We would be grateful for any suggestions as to what the problem might be, and of course if anyone can suggest a solution then that would be superb. Revisiting the source code which was written in C and making all the necessary changes to the graphics routines etc so that it can be compiled to run under Windows is NOT an option.
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