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Parallel Port

This interface is found on the back of older PCs and is used for connecting external devices such as printers or a scanners. It uses a 25-pin connector (DB-25) and is rather large compared to most new interfaces. The parallel port is sometimes called a Centronics interface, since Centronics was the company that designed the original parallel port standard. It is sometimes also referred to as a printer port because the printer is the device most commonly attached to the parallel port. The latest parallel port standard, which supports the same connectors as the Centronics interface, is called the Enhanced Parallel Port (EPP). This standard supports bi-directional communication and can transfer data up to ten times faster than the original Centronics port. However, since the parallel port is a rather dated technology, don't be surprised to see USB or Firewire interfaces completely replace parallel ports in the future.

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