Re: Re Linux Desktop
> You don't need a RaspberryPI to do that, you can use any X86 machine with a printer port, (and add one via a cheap PCI card if it lacks one).
That may have worked in the 1980s and 90s with ISA bus and MS-DOS (and MS-DOS based Windows) or *nix. But apart from not being a usual feature for the last decade or more, they have degraded, under Windows, into being interfaced by driver software so there is less access. They are also digital only while the BBC and others catered for analogue input ports.
""" NOTE: The I/O port level controlling details here has proven to work well with parallel ports on the PC motherboard and expansion cards connected to ISA bus. The programming examples might not work with PCI bus based I/O cards (they can use different hardware and/or I/O addresses, their drivers make they just look like parallel ports to "normal" applications). The programming examples do not work with USB to parallel port adapters (they use entirely different hardware, their drivers make them to look like normal parallel port to operating system "normal" applications)."""
"""Direct port controlling from application is not possible under Windows NT."""
Under Windows, you can write your own device driver and there are some available, but generally it is not an easy thing to do anymore, though it can be done under Linux, or other *nix, if you can find adequate hardware.
The point is that for the last decade or two the vast majority of 'computers in schools' and homes are Windows (only) and don't have easy access to the ports so the sort of experiments that 'home computers' were used for in the 80s and Raspberry Pis, Arduinos, and many others can be used for now.