See the test results for all programmers.
This is a serial AVR programmer, even though it connects to the computer's parallel port. See the Programers page for more. This programmer is not slow. Cable length may be something to watch. I used a 6 foot cable with no problems, but I have an older motherboard in the test machine, so it may have higher voltage outputs. Most of the other parallel port programmers here may have better reliability than this one, since they are buffered in some way.
This is the easiest of all of the programmers. No perfboard is required, since all connections to the port are either direct or through a single series resistor. I haven't tried it, but general experience suggests that it would be foolish to omit the resistors.
The thing that looks like a wire tie is. The cable clamp on the 25-pin connector is too large to clamp the cable, so I put a wire tie on to give it something to pull against.