I was looking for something else, but then found this and figured it might come in handy for something- here’s how to control the parallel port with Perl using a module called Device:ParallelPort. Device::ParallelPort is a Perl API that allows low level access to the parallel port of most computers. It does this by using a number of drivers, which can be customized and added to, including Linux (direct and parport), Win32, Script, Dummy, and more. It also contains a number of direct access devices including an example printer and a relay controller card. Link.
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If you are using Linux you can use a USB->ParallelPort cable via ParPort and achieve the same thing :-)
Currently I don’t have that running for Windows other than direct io. The FreeBSD port however should also work with other parallel ports but I have not tried it.
Scott Penrose – http://linux.dd.com.au/quests/os-perl/parallelport/