So you bought a new computer but you don't have serial ports?
It's surprisingly common these days - you find an awesome machine that does everything you want it to do, but then you get home and find out that amongst the lightning-fast processor and terabyte hard drive, you're missing something - a serial port.
Most laptop manufacturers have killed RS-232
In an effort to enforce newer standards, such as USB and FireWire, many laptop manufacturers have let serial ports fall by the wayside. They don't take into account the millions of people and businesses that still require serial ports for one application or another.
Add a true serial port with a USB adapter
You can use a USB to Serial Adapter to easily and quickly add a serial port to your laptop. The nice thing about the adapter is that you can use multiple adapters on one machine (using a hub or an add-on card) and dynamically set the COM assignment.
Various serial devices requiring some type of serial port
Many PDA's, GPS units, routers, printers, fax machines, etc. still require serial ports. A lot of these devices are moving to newer standards, most notably USB, but many still operate on legacy technologies (serial or parallel) because of the difficulty in rewriting drivers for the newer standards.
Preston Wily is the Director of Marketing for Sewell Direct , a retailer of hard-to-find computer hardware and accessories.