I didn't have ANY PC with a parallel port anymore, nor a laptop, but I found out that the Dell laptop docking stations have an LPT port, so I borrowed one of those from work and got the display working again.
I'm trying to decide if I want to make just one HUGE shift register and drive it with something like an SPI port or of I should keep the seven individual registers and drive them with DMA.
Driving one giant chain would be cool, but there would be LOTS of parallel loads on the clock and load lines. Like 49*4 = almost TWO HUNDRED chips so I've got to give that some serious thinking some time.
I think next I've got to build a base to hold the power supplies and whatever computer I choose to use, and I'm almost trained on using the ShopBot, so I'll probably use that to cut some plywood for a base and then move on from there.