Other than the words "Aaaarrrrhhhh Search"
Here's a couple of suggestions, try LCD print to see if works at all, have a go to.Mike Site to get a copy.
There have been several discusions on parallel port cable lenghts, like this thread and the up shot is, that you should be OK, although I'm sure someone will correct me on that.
Try using a lower value resistor in series with the back light resistor, that'll give you a crude and fine tune ajustment. Don't ask me what value, you'll have to play around, and figure that out yourself.