Too Busy For Words - the PaulWay Blog

Fri 3rd Aug, 2007

Brute force, cunning, and spare DVDs

I'm in the middle of burning a heap of CDs and DVDs for Software Freedom Day, and am rapidly getting through a supply of sticky CD labels (thanks to gLabels and cdrecord). In the middle of all that I realised that the DVDs I was writing to had a nice, matte white side for printing onto, and my old Epson Stylus Photo R210 had a CD printing tray.

*pondering ensues - but not for long*

Of course, the handily online Epson manuals say that you need specialised software that only exists for the favourite proprietary desktop operating systems. Unperturbed, I pressed on. Inserting a coaster into the tray and aligning it properly, I attempted to print onto the CD using gLabels. Easier said than done: minutes later in #linux-aus I remarked:

If there's one thing I hate about Linux right now it is the complete and utter lack of anything approaching standardisation of print dialogs.

Because, of course, gLabels' print dialog had but one printer option: when to print (because, when printing labels, one need only ensure that ones labels are only printed during daylight hours). Inkscape's print dialog is even worse, basically making you choose the printer via a unix command. OpenOffice had the right tools, but after one inadvertent trial on a real DVD I was faced with a dilemma: OpenOffice Writer does not allow me to (easily) overlay text on the label graphic (which in this case is handy, since the default Fedora 7 cd artwork does not include architecture information), and OpenOffice Draw completely ignores such trivialities as page size and paper format when printing. The former is preferable in this instance as architecture information can be added with a pen later.

So. Don't believe that it can't be done, but don't leap to conclusions that you know what you're doing either...

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