Computer Upgrades Can Be a Serial Killer


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I work in a large engineering department in New York and our IT department had been after me for quite some time to upgrade from Windows XP to Windows 7. Finally I had some issues with my laptop and it made sense at that point to just do it.

There were several specific-to-my-work issues that had to be taken care of though; for example, the ability to make serial connections. During a previous laptop change-out I no longer had a DB9 available for serial connections, only USB. If you haven't been through this yet, just search for USB-to-serial converters and you'll find a wide array of devices. If you get one I recommend trying it immediately to make sure the drivers and configuration work. You don't want the frustration of setting up the converter when you're in a crunch.

Once I started using Windows 7 I discovered that hyper-terminal was not included. I got around this by just using PuTTY (putty.org).

PuTTy configuration

PuTTY can save various terminal configurations (above) to simplify sessions (below).

PuTTy session

Looking for Hyper Terminal?

If you have access to a Windows XP machine, you can borrow Hyper Terminal for your Windows 7 computer. In Windows XP, find hypertrm.dll and hypertrm.exe. Copy both files to your Windows 7 machine and make a shortcut to them or add the program to the Start menu.


Irwin is transmission systems supervisor for Clear Channel NYC and chief engineer of WKTU, New York. Contact him at doug@dougirwin.net.


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