Saturday, 20 June 2009

Thermal Label Printer

I've just taken delivery of a Dymo LabelWriter 400 printer - mostly to help me make sense of the mountains of "stuff" that I seem to own and carry around with me.

Installation is very easy, and the printer functions like any other MacOS printer, albeit with very small paper sizes!

My thoughts are already beginning to turn to investigating the some of the possible applications that the printer might have for photography and collections management.

Here is what I've come up with so far:
  • Temporary (?) labelling - label output is quick, easy and cheap. I can already think of one job I will be doing next month where the ability to spew out the numbers of the last batch of photos onto a batch of labels would probably make for less confusion later on in the process. The technology is thermal printing, and whilst we know that the labels won't be archival, I feel that they would make a very good stop-gap measure until there is time to do a proper marking exercise.
  • Machine readable labels - a little pet favourite of mine - bridging the interface between objects and computers. I've already been able to successfully output Code 128 barcodes onto the labels, using an open-source barcode generator outputting data from a PHP/MySQL database. And my twenty-quid barcode reader reads them perfectly as well.
  • I've run-off a few sample labels and will be using them to label up some of my own geological specimens, and as time passes, I'll report more on how it all pans out.