I was just wondering, since most PCs motherboards nowadays do not have a RS232 connection, what do you do for that? I tried a USB to serial cable and couldn't get it to work even though it says the driver was installed correctly. Actually, I've never heard of anyone who made it work.
I have a USB-to-Serial cable made by Sweex and I can confirm that it works for me using both Windows XP and Windows 7 & PuTTY. I think it uses a Prolific chipset.
In the lab and the comms rooms, I have some old Cisco 2511RJ routers. These have 8 or 16 terminal ports - you can pick them up on ebay now for very little.
I was using an PCMCIA card to connect to serial ports in the past.
But it was also not 100% reliable.
So I'm keeping saying my managers:
I need a notebook with a RS-232 port on motherboard!