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Re^2: using Brother QL-570 printer with Perl

by Bruce32903 (Scribe)
on Aug 03, 2011 at 14:31 UTC ( #918277=note: print w/replies, xml ) Need Help??

in reply to Re: using Brother QL-570 printer with Perl
in thread using Brother QL-570 printer with Perl

No, I don't expect the Monks to do my research for me. When I have had experience with something and see a question I often take the time to share my experience or give a suggestion or two. Often a "try this" or "I don't think you are looking at this the right way" can be very helpful.

I have spent about 30 minutes doing a Google search and so far have only found "use this Windows program" types of solutions. Trying to use custom written Perl code under Linux I have not found anything helpful.

Brother does not seem to have a phone number to call for these types of questions. I have posted a question on their web site. The web site states that it often takes 3 days to get a response. Since I will probably get a "use Windows software" answer from the India contact center I am looking for answers elsewhere.

I will do a little more searching on Perl support of barcodes but if I can't talk to the printer it will be a waste of time. I don't have a clue if sending data to a USB connected barcode printer is easy or not. So far getting information is not easy and getting help is not working out too well. I'm pretty sure I can "roll my own" barcodes with about 2 hours of programming. It often takes me more than 2 hours to take the "easy" path of downloading something and then trying to get it to work.

Once again I am faced with the question authoring problems. If I ask a short question I get attacked for not doing my own work. If I ask a long question with lots of details and demonstration of work I bore people and give some lots to shoot at. When I go for the middle ground it doesn't seem to work well either. The engineering Q&A sites seem to have the same problem so I guess that is the way it has to be.

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Re^3: using Brother QL-570 printer with Perl
by Corion (Pope) on Aug 03, 2011 at 14:36 UTC

    It might or might not be useful to do some more research into the printer and its surrounding infrastructure. If the printer is accessed through a serial connection over USB, you might get lucky and be able to use whatever serial printing protocol is available. Maybe even using PCL5 already is enough.

    If the printer uses a custom USB protocol, you're lost unless you can reverse engineer the (Windows) printer driver or find out how to make a Windows printer driver work with CUPS, much like ndiswrapper does for Windows network card drivers.

      So far I have not found anything that is not "use the Windows software" oriented.

      I have had good luck using the printer (for about a year) using Open Office and Linux. But, so far I have been using Open Office's "File --> New --> Drawing" drawing editor to create the barcode and then hand paste the bar code into the Open Office document. This takes quite a bit of time. I have done this over and over for the several hundred parts in our system and saved the files for reuse. But, now I want to generate serial number bar codes "on the fly". The manual method is far too time consuming.

      The printer is connected to the PC via USB. I don't know if I could figure out anything by looking at the USB data. So far Windows seems to be much more dominant for USB sniffing. So far I have not had success with apt-getting "snooper", "snoopy", "usb-snooper", "usb-mon" or any of the other USB sniffers that show up on Google hits. (my notes are not in front of me, I may have misspelled some of them). I also can not get Wireshark to work with USB.

      I am running Ubuntu 9.04. It seems like some of the USB tools might require recompiling the kernel or other admin level tasks that are beyond me. Every Google path seems to have a brick wall at the end of it.

      I am someone who just uses Perl as a tool. For about 10 years I have 3-5 times a year needed something done. At these times I dust off my Perl books and try to get it done. Being self taught at this I have a few areas with a lot of experience and several areas with huge gaps in fundamental knowledge. Thus, I could be missing something simple.

      Thank you,

        So, how does Open Office print to the printer?

        Find out how Open Office (or Libre Office) does it, and then do that, just by Perl. Or create the appropriate Open Office documents in Perl and use or automate Open Office to print them, if it is beyond your abilities to find out how Open Office itself does it.

Re^3: using Brother QL-570 printer with Perl
by ww (Archbishop) on Aug 03, 2011 at 14:53 UTC

    Actually, IMO, your response still indicates that you expect others to do your work for you. If clarification of that is needed, consider:

    printing your barcode labels to the particular printer is your project; not ours; not Google's or Bing's or Yahoo's; not Brother's; and (repeat not ours. PM exists to help folks (who help themselves) learn Perl; not to solve incidental and OT problems like attaching a printer.

    For example, you say you telephoned Brother. Why not search the web for the manual and find at least some of your answers there. Feeding Google the search terms "Brother QL-570 manual" will produce any number of hits... the first of which (after the paid ads) are:

    1. Professional Label Printer | Office Brother QL 570 - Cached Brother International in the United States - At Your Side. Global Site ... Why a Brother? How do I use it? Features Buying Guide Applications Register for updates ... Brother QL-570. Professional Label Printer ... Specifications - Supplies & Accessories
    2. PDF Brother QL-570 Label Printer Manual - CompUSA File Format: PDF/Adobe Acrobat - Quick View About This Guide. 3. Introduction. The Brother QL-570 label printer (hereafter referred to as "the machine") enables you to quickly and easily ...

    And why are you letting an assumption (almost certainly incorrect) -- namely, that sending data to a USB printer from Perl requires somethingthing more arcane than sending data to any other printer -- stand in the way of checking that manual and your OS documents?

    Officially, this isn't a 'No Whine Zone'... but doing so tends to produce less satisfactory results than obtain when you read and consider implementing the suggestions -- implied or otherwise -- from respondents.

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