"Why would I want to turn a power outlet on or even OFF with my computer...?"
Ever stub your toe getting out of bed to pee in the wee (tehe) hours of the morning? Enjoy mood lighting? Hell, maybe you just want to be a dweeb like me? This will make your life a little more easy, and if it doesn't do that it'll still make you super-swanky.
The great thing about this project is that it's not limited to a light - this is a computer controlled POWER OUTLET. So long as you're using a simple house-hold appliance this project is for you.
What makes this even cooler is that you can control 8 things with your parallel port (there are 8 data pins). So if turning a light on and off isn't enough for you then you can, potentially, turn your room into a TECHNO DANCE BAR!... or not.
You have to understand, before you try any of this, that I'm not responsible if you get injured; if any of your property is damaged, or if you get shocked - lighting your clothes on fire and turning you into a screaming human candle - I'm not responsible. So, please, be careful and pay close attention to any details... it'll save you a lot of annoyance and tribulation.
Mistakes only happen because of the unknown or overlooked... the closer you pay attention to what you're doing the less likely you'll be to make a stupid mistake. I know this because I am the master of stupid mistakes.
You're going to need a few things...