In most cases, Windows XP should be able to launch your DOS
application by using its DOS Compatibility Mode. Hopefully, getting
your DOS application to run should not be a source of difficulty for
However, once your DOS program is running in Windows XP, you still
1. Allow your Tablet PC to communicate with your printer.
2. Enable your DOS program to generate printer output (usually to
LPT1) in a way that Windows XP will understand ("capture") and
redirect to your printer.
"CONNECT" TO YOUR PRINTER
The USB-to-Parallel Converter Cable that lyrrad-ga mentions below is
probably your cheapest option. However, you may prefer to take
advantage of your Tablet PC's built-in 802.11 Wireless abilities and
easily connect your printer to a Wireless print server. This would
allow you to print from various locations in your workspace, without
attaching a printer cable to your Tablet PC.
Finally, for the sake of completeness, I have included a link to a
Wireless Cable Modem Gateway with built-in print server. This device
is only a good match if you have (or plan to have) your cable company
provide your Internet access. In that instance, this is a nice choice
since it would allow your Tablet PC to wirelessly print AND wirelessly
connect to the Internet. Of course, if you use DSL or telephone lines
to connect to the Internet, a Cable Modem Gateway is not a good choice
Buy.com: $ 25 StarTech.com USB-to-Parallel Converter Cable
Buy.com: $118 Linksys EtherFast Wireless Print Server WPS11
Comp-U-Plus: $230 Motorola SURFBoard Wireless Cable Modem Gateway
CAPTURE THE DOS PRINTER PORT
Regardless of which device you select to allow your Tablet PC to
communicate with your printer, you need to "capture" your DOS
application's print output and have Windows XP redirect it to your
For this example, I have named the device that your printer is
connected to "deg" and I have named your printer "canon". You can use
other names that match your existing configuration, if you prefer.
1. Make sure that normal Windows XP applications can print to your
printer. You want to verify that normal print operations a
functioning properly before trying to setup DOS printing.
2. Share your printer. If you have chosen a print server discussed
above, the setup for that device has probably already shared your
printer for you.
However, if you are using the USB-to-Parallel cable, you will probably
need to enable sharing for the printer. Right-click on the icon for
your printer, and you should be able to access the "Sharing" tab for
your printer. You can find your printer icon at: Start | Control
Panel | Printers and Faxes
3. Before starting your DOS application, issue the following command
at the command prompt:
net use lpt1 \\deg\canon /persistent:yes
(You can access the command prompt at Start | Run. Enter cmd in the
4. Start your DOS application and direct its print output to LPT1.
The following articles provide more details about printing from DOS
Microsoft Knowledgebase Article #314499:
"How to Print to Network Printer from an MS-DOS-Based Program"
"WordPerfect for DOS: Printing from Windows"
(While the details of this article are targeted at WordPerfect for DOS
users, you will find that the general approach can be applied to
printing from other DOS applications.)
Search Strategy: Find information about capturing DOS printer ports
in Windows XP and find devices that allow a Tablet PC and Parallel
printer to communicate.
Search Terms: Windows XP DOS Print USB capture port
I hope that you have found this information useful and easy to
understand. If you have any questions about this information, please
do not hesitate to post a clarification request prior to rating the
I recognize that I do not have complete details about your
configuration and needs. If you need additional help in finding a
solution for your setup, I will be happy to try to help further.