Archive for March, 2010

Famicom Compatible Printer Port Interface

21/03/2010

Also Featured on Hack A Day! Wow! I’m flattered!

If you live anywhere in the world (except the US maybe) you may have seen one of these:

Famicom compatible 8 bit computer

You can seem to find them in any place that sells imported crap from China, usually along with more traditional Famicom clones like the Polystation with its countless variations and piles of pirate cartridges. They can be yours for 10 to 20 US dollars, complete with two joypads, a light gun, a mouse and an operating system cartridge.

These are basically another Famicom clone with a keyboard built in. They tend to come with “educational” software like typing and math games, sometimes they even come with a mediocre knockoff of a popular graphical operating system like Microsoft™ Windows, and of course a plethora of unlicensed 1st generation Famicom games.

One of the peculiarities is that they usually come with word processing software. If you’ve actually used it you’ll notice that the software contains a Print option in its menus, and if you select it the computer seems to try to establish a connection with a printer. You might be wondering why is that even there, since these cheap computer knockoffs don’t have any means of interfacing with other devices save for game controllers (they can’t even save your data!). You might have heard vague legends about some of these machines actually having a built-in printer port, but they’re nowhere to be seen. Until now! (more…)

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