You only get 48 characters per line using the default font. The alternative font (font B) is much denser, with 64 characters per line. The second printout is only about an inch longer than the first one, yet has twelve additional lines of content.
The barcode at the bottom is a sort of physical permalink using a Code 39 barcode. I’m thinking that each daily digest could also exist in a (private) blog, and a barcode (complete with text date stamp) could be a handy way in. If you’re using this code, or something like it, you could do this…
I used EvoBarcode Scanner to test reading it back in.
More ideas for a daily digest:
- today’s calendar entries (like Tom’s)
- recent Twitter @ replies and Direct Messages
- recent emails
- friends birthdays via via Facebook
- Radio 4 schedule
- anything anyone wants to send @roo_printer
Tonight I hooked it up to Twitter. Every minute to checks to see what my contacts are saying and prints whatever is new since it last checked (usually 2 or 3 updates).
30 minutes of my friends’ twitter updates equated to five feet of paper. I don’t think I’ll be running this all the time but it does feel reassuring to have it whirring away in the background.
Another use of the Microprinter: printing books. I took the text of Cory Doctorow’s Down and Out in the Magic Kingdom (mainly because I can). It has over 47,000 thousand words, and if you print it at 64 characters per line on standard 80mm thermal paper it’s about 60 feet long.
Printing time: about 40 minutes (pausing briefly after every paragraph to let the printer catch up). Rolling it back up again took nearly as long.
At Nick‘s very cunning suggestion there are perforations at every chapter (as well as every sub-chapter, which the ASCII text denotes using a ‘#’ character on its own). Together this divides the book into 59 perforated segments which are about 30cm long on average. Rather than needing a bookmark I’ll just tear off the sections as I finish them.
It’s a portable, recyclable, tear-and-shareable book.