I’m a Linux user. The benefits and reasons are many and the drawbacks are, to my way of seeing things, few — and generally trivial. *
I’m not here to preach about Linux but to point out that I am running headlong into one of its few limitations and need some help.
What Linux does, it does flawlessly. And that includes the universe of what most users will ever ask of it. More than that, unless you want to buy a technical support subscription, it is — end to end — free.
What it does not do well, however, it does not do at all.
Linux will, through the courtesy of the WINE project, run a LOT of software originally written for the Windows operating system and other emulators will run DOS and a whole host of “truly antique” operating systems.
It will even run several operating systems simultaneously.
But, despite the vast strides made in that direction, it WILL NOT run the label software offered by DYMO to drive its Laser Writer Twin Turbo printer … and I really like that printer. I paid good money for it, and, when I can use the driver software for it, it works like Linux … flawlessly.
It prints to a good variety of label sizes and has a decent library (in software) of label formats … more than most home users will ever need.
But … it will not run on Linux.
I’ve recently begun reloading ammunition and have a need to print some specially formatted labels for boxes of reloaded cartridges. I have a spare computer that I can dedicate to running Windows air gapped from the Internet, (so security patches are not an issue) but I’m having trouble finding a legitimate copy of Windows of suitably recent vintage (anything from WIN 98 forward should work).
With Microsoft switching to a “subscription” mode of distribution, what I need will become less and less available. I need to get my final copy NOW.
I’m willing to buy a used (desktop or laptop) hard drive, a boxed OEM (NOT “upgrade”) version or anything similar. I am not soliciting anything “pirated” but it WILL be air-gapped so it’s not important that it be up to date. If it will boot and run my label printer, I will pay for it.
Windows offers some “back door” coding to companies who will agree to write their code exclusively for their operating system. My best guess is that DYMO makes some of those “odd-ball calls” in exchange for free copies of the compiler, a list of the “magic” commands and tech support when they go tits-up and that is why the folks at WINE have not been able to work with it. I’ve contacted DYMO several times over the years and have never received so much as the courtesy of a reply.
I’m not a coder or I would have already written the missing code and placed it in the wild already … I certainly can’t be the only person who wants to run this hardware under Linux.
I’m hoping that I have a reader who can be more helpful than DYMO.
Are you that person?
*Spoiler alert: if you are are unable to afford paid tech support or unwilling to Google with some intensity, you will need to be at least somewhat literate and willing to grab a pot of coffee and spend the afternoon curled up with a good tech manual – or several. Once you get the hang of the command shorthand and know the lay of the land the “man” command is often enough … unless your system is temporarily bricked. In that case, grab a cuppa joe and dig in. O’Reilly and SAMS are your friends when Google is silent. Bring money.