Might be useful in some situation, so good to know.
However, I would say that in this day in age anything designed for a serial port should be verified to also work with some of the common USBserial dongles before it goes into production. I don't yet believe we should design in USB in place of serial, because serial still has a lot of uses in simple, robust settings. But we also shouldn't count on serial behaviour that may not be there when you send somebody out in the field with a laptop and a USB serial-dongle...
Even the brand new Dell c2d and amd desktops still have parallel and serial ports. Dell optiplex 320,740 , 745. Where I work ,staff get Dell machines, students get HP desktops in the labs, have some problems as students are not allowed to plugin hardware directly to the machines (apparently part of the lease agreements). At least we are sticking with xp for the moment, then it looks like a complete switch to linux and where windows is needed , connect to a windows vm session on a server.
Looking at getting myself one of these pcie cards
Have support for windows and linux and will work on a mac under parallels or boot camp or even a mac running linux.
Question - does vista have support for parallel ports ? I haven't been able to get a straight answer yet.
For what it's worth, these boards actually have a total of 4 onboard seria ports - there's a header on the board that takes another supplied port tha can be mounted in a PCI slot or whatever.
I was pleasantly surprised to find there's a compactflash slot on th underside of the motherboard. It's hanging off the IDE controller and i wired up such that DMA actually works with a capable card. I completel missed this in the specs when I was ordering these things!
Oh, and if you want them for cheaper than iGoLogic's asking price, neweg has them (the Celeron m 800 version) for $215 or so.
The downside is that, under linux, I've been fighting interrupt-relate problems with the gigabit ethernet and the upper two serial ports. I' hoping I get these problems resolved as the version with the 800MHz UL Celeron m is several times faster than the Via Epia systems I've used i the past, but the power consumption isn't really any higher.