Well, I finally got in everything I needed to experiment with, but I must say that my microcontroller was driving me insane. From what I read, you didn't need a programmer since it was built into my AVR (ATMega32). So, I hooked everything thing up, followed the directions on a site about hooking up the cable, and sure enough it didn't work. I spent 4 days, looking through about 30 articles, to no avail. Today, I finally got it to work.
I don't know why, but everyone has seemed to completely phase out parallel cable support. The only thing that really helped me was a program called AVRDude. From what I can tell, it's the ONLY programming software that supports Direct AVR Parallel Access. I still had to browse through its configuration file to actually find what pins need to be connected, but it does work now.
I'm actually rather surprised that articles about this stuff are nearly non existent. I’m starting to wonder if this is caused by the lack of interest in this filed, or if it’s caused by the electronic manufactures to force you to spend a extra 60 USD for a programmer you don’t need.