Thursday, September 18, 2008

Free Printable Play Money.... beware...

I want to teach my son about money but I don't want to hand him real cash. No problem, right? I'll just scan a few bills and print out copies, right? After all, I want him to learn about REAL money with faces of actual presidents and about all the parts of the bill.

So I scan my bills, which triggers a warning about counterfeiting. US currency is embedded with a code that triggers that response from my scanning program. Ok, fair enough. I *am* scanning money. It directs me to www.rulesforuse.org. I read over the restrictions for copying money and follow the guidelines. The images will be single sided, significantly smaller than an actual bill, and on top of it I'll alter the color a little and do a few other things that would make them stand out as play money. No problem right? So I edit my image in Adobe Photoshop CS3 and go about my business.

But, oh wait!! Even though I've complied with the instructions and my learning aid is perfectly legal.... It won't print! Not from Adobe Photoshop CS3, not from Microsoft Office Picture Manager, not from MS Paint, not from Picasa 3... it just won't print. Go on... try it yourself... I'll wait here.

See? Even though it's perfectly legal it won't print! It just tells you to visit www.rulesforuse.org again. How rude!

Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not pro-counterfeiting by any means, but I do have a serious problem with software telling me what I can and can not print. It amazes me that the software that can recognize that I'm trying to scan and print a picture of money can't recognize when I've met all the legal terms for doing so.

Of course, now that I've already put the time and effort into this unprintable printable I have to do something with it, right? So consider it a Free Printable Fun Circus Side Show Attraction!

So step right up! Look at the wonder that is the unprintable printable! Marvel at how it encourages your computer and printer to undermine your ability to read and follow instructions... be amazed at your lack of control over software and hardware that you've rightfully purchased...

Click to enlarge, press print to be disappointed.


EDITED:
UPDATE DECEMBER 4, 2009
My son's speech therapist gave me copies of these bills.  The original images came from a newspaper article (don't know which one or what newspaper) and were published as an educational aide.  I'm pretty sure that falls under fair use, but if there is a copy write expert among my readership please let me know.  At any rate, I scanned them and cleaned them up as best as possible.  The quality isn't amazing, but they are at least realistic.

Click on the image.  Save to your computer.  Print.

Printable Play Money

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