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A Thing

Have Nomad - Will travel

Product: Nomad printer
Company: PeriPheron Technologies Ltd.

In a popular television Western of old, a footloose gunslinger kept a derringer pistol in his belt. A righteous arbiter of right and wrong, Paladin was a hero for the 1950s. If a less lethal version of the show were made today, its title might be "Have Nomad - will travel," and packin' would mean carrying a wireless receipt printer.

Canadian-based PeriPheron Technologies has added the Nomad belt-worn unit to its line of POS receipt printers. Equipped with three wireless IrDA ports and Bluetooth capability, it also has USB and RS232 connections. An integrated magnetic stripe reader enables collection of credit card data.

No longer must back-office bookkeeping staff struggle with copies of nearly illegible receipts. With eight megabytes (MB) of flash memory and 256 kilobytes of RAM, the Nomad can be open source for embedded systems, while containing drivers to support Windows, Windows CE/Pocket PC and Palm operating systems.

Weighing 2.9 pounds, including the paper roll, the printer is also a system that can be configured for a variety of applications, like mobile delivery. It measures 6.5 inches x 3.3 inches x 7.4 inches. Users may clip it to a belt or carry it in its shoulder-strap carrying case. A vehicle mount adaptor plate for snap-in/snap-out adapts it to a mobile computing vehicle.

The unit was designed for ergonomic ease and to stand up to the rough treatment a printer in the field must endure. The paper roll is designed to stay in place if the device is dropped. The user interface has five LED lights, including one for battery condition; two control buttons; and an audio piezo system.

The print head is a Seiko LTPV445 four-inch clamshell. It performs direct thermal printing at 208 dots per inch.

The unit uses paper rolls 4.4 inches wide and 140 feet long and can also print labels. The Nomad prints six sizes of bitmap fonts with variable boldness and spacing and uses PCX, BMP and GIF graphic formats. A five-cell NiMH battery pack can be swapped out easily, according to the company.

Today's mobile workers may not be heroes, but they can be packin' a printer.

PeriPheron Technologies Ltd.

Article published in issue number 060601

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