Can I Still Use an Old Plotter Printer With a New Computer?

 RS-232 port

Episode 1665

Ralph from Pennsylvania

Ralph has an old HP draft plotter printer and wants to know how he can use it with a modern computer. Leo says that those old plotters used an RS-232 port and he will need to get a USB to Serial adapter in order to use it. Ralph will also need software to configure it. Leo says to do some google searching for user forums and YouTube videos to walk through it. The tricky thing may be drivers.

How can I control my HAM radio with my computer?

Episode 1298

Ed from Tennessee

Ed is blind and has trouble controlling his HAM radio with his computer. Leo says if he has software that is designed to control it, and a cable that converts USB to RS232, then it should work. The chatroom says that they haven't gotten it to work on Macs either. Macs don't work because they don't recognize COM ports. Windows, by contrast, is backwards compatible and has support for that. He'll also need drivers. If the COM port adapter came with software, then that could also be the issue.