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Archive for May 15th, 2009

Geek Scratch Paper Redux

4x5" grid for 4.25x5.5" stock using 5x8" page

4x5" grid for 4.25x5.5" stock using 5x8" page

While attending a recent IEEE talk, I scored a stack of quarter-sheet flyers for a “Green Fair” that were outdated and presumably destined for recycling (or, more likely, the trash can), printed on gorgeous glare-white card stock with one blank side. Couldn’t pass ’em up…

As described there, I’m the sort of person who thinks on grid paper.

This being a new paper size, I went to incompetech.com again, set up a nice 4×5″ grid, fetched the PDF, then discovered that 4.25×5.5″ paper isn’t one of the R380 printer’s standard sizes. So I loaded the PDF into The GIMP and aligned it within a 5×8″ page. After a bit of to-and-fro tweakage, the grid came out neatly centered on the flyer.

The image is the resulting PNG file, which should Just Work if you have a similar setup and print on a borderless 5×8″ page. There may be some interaction with the default 2% borderless printing expansion; I turned that off in the Turboprint driver. You (well, I) want exact 1″ grids!

If you don’t have a full-bleed printer, some fiddling with the margins may be in order. My Epson R380 printer feeds & prints top-first and left-aligned, if that’s any help.

Anyhow, I ran off two dozen grids, whacked some cereal-box cardboard to the right size, and padded everything together with Elmer’s Wood Glue to see how that works. It’s a bit stiffer than I’d like, but these flyers are more like thin cardboard than thick paper.

Quarter-sheet grid tablet - showing binding

Quarter-sheet grid tablet - showing binding

My R380 has a continuous-flow ink system, which is basically the only reason this sort of geekage makes sense. At two kilobucks per liter for photo ink, it sure doesn’t…

[Update: I wonder why somebody rated this one as “Dead Wrong”? It’d be useful to know what went wrong; the comments box works just fine.

For what it’s worth, I just ran off another stack. Nothing wrong with the process, that’s for sure.]

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