haha. i was looking at that page earlier today.
When making connections to either a PC parallel port, or I/O pins of a microcontroller, be sure to isolate the motor well. High voltage spikes of several hundered volts are possible as back EMF from stepper motor coils. Always use clamping diodes to short these spikes back to the motor's power bus. The use of optical isolation devices (optoisolators) will add yet another layer or protection between the delicate control logic and the high-voltage potentials which may be present in the power output stage. Whenever possible, use separate power supplies for the motor and the translator / microcontroller. This further reduces the chance of destructive voltages reaching the controller, and reduces or eliminates power supply noise that may be introduced by the motor.
will the darlington array provide enough coverage?
also that page doesnt give any definite help for using a serial port.
since digital electronics and software are my weak point, I'm clueless on how serial communication works. I've heard of people using parallel ports to drive steppers. would that still be possible with the said IC in first post?