> On May 17, 2022, at 1:02 PM, charles meyer <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> Odd question but not if you work in a library… besides using a label maker
> have you found any “marker” to label the “metal” part of a flash drive with
> just letters so it doesn’t get wiped out if you sweep your finger over it?
> Sharpies don’t work.

You have a *lot* of options:

I would take this opportunity to try to get my library to get some sort of laser CNC system that can do etching/engraving.

… but mostly because I want to play with one of those.

You can also put clear nail polish or some other clear paint over top to make it more durable.  You may also want to rub the area that you’re labeling with steel wool to rough up the surface and remove any protective coating that might be on the item before you label it.

I do like paint pens for labeling (especially white paint on dark items) larger items, but they often have a wider tip that’s problematic for longer IDs on smaller items like a thumb drive, and I don’t know how well they hold up to constant touching.   If I were labeling a dark thumb drive, I would paint a background rectangle with a light colored paint pen, then write in the ID on top (and I’m a pen snob, so would use Staedtler Lumocolor as I like it better for fine lines), then a clear coat on top.

It’s also worth mentioning that they now make printers for nail polish, so it might be possible to get that to print IDs on your thumb drives, but they’re even more expensive than the lasers.  But if any salons you have one, maybe you could look into getting them to print them for you.

… and you can still get old-school engraving devices for $20-30. They’re a handheld pen-like device, but they vibrate or rotate a very hard tip so they mechanically etch whatever you’re writing into metal or plastic, but it has to be thick enough that you don’t punch through.

And there are always label makers, but instead of your standard ones, I would look at the ones for labeling network cables.  They print the text multiple times onto labels that wrap around a cable then cover over it so it’s laminated.  I think they would work for something the size of a thumb drive.