Forgive me if this is explained elsewhere (or direct me to it). I've extensively searched for the answer.

I have limited experience in VB 4 and 5 but don't have the time to continue to learn later versions. I write small stand-a-lone applications for myself but my questions suround controlling external devices using the parallel port. i.e. toggling pins open and closed.

Is there a simple way to acheive this in VB4 or 5?

Also I am buying a notebook shortly and, well, there's no parallel port on them these days, so how can this be done using, say, the USB port?

Is there an external "black box" available which has USB connector on one end (to connect to the PC), and a set of screw terminals or 'D' connector on the other end?

Basically, I want to set a a form ocontaining, say 6 buttons, and toggle 6 different 'contacts' corresponding to each button. Does all that make sense?

Any help appreciated, thanks to all in advance!

(BTW, this is not a school project, I'm too old for school these days :) )

Look up LabJack. I used one of these to monitor some production machinery once. It can be programmed with VB. Has inputs and outputs, both analog and digital I believe.