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Monday, February 21, 2005

Barcode Scanner

[click photo for gallery]
Its been a slow last few days... a lot whole lot of nothing because I ran out of stuff to fix. Anyhow I went downtown to check the surplus stores for fodder, and I found a wand type barcode scanner. I picked it up for $5. Anyhow the thing is a little pen with a wire to a box, and the box had two RS-232 (also known as Serial) ports, so I thought I could get it going with my palm... so the first part was getting it to turn on, so i found a 6V power supply and hooked it up and it beeped! some sign of life. Next part was getting it to scan something and then after that, talk to something... With power to the unit the tip on the wand lit up, and theres a little bi-color LED on the box that changes color as I swipe it over things. So I swiped a bunch of different barcodes. The little light would sort of blink red instead of green, so that was promising, but I was still waiting for that satisfying beep that indicates that it accepted what it read - like at library way back when. Remember? The lady at the counter would aggrivatedly say "oh goodness" and repeatedly scribble over the barcode on the book until it beeped. So I tried several different barcodes, and then I tried my library card... Beep! success. The other one that would make it beep was my Rogers card... both seemed to be longer codes than the ones you'd find identifying products. Anyhow, I had the thing plugged into my palm V through the sync cable. The terminal program I had open appeared to just talk through the serial port, so I figured it would hear anything the scanner said. At first nothing showed up, but then I tried plugging into the other serial port on the scanner (one says terminal, the other modem) so I tried the one marked modem, and then the palm was getting the data. It came up with the same number that was printed below the barcodes! w00. So now I hope I can find an application that will allow me to use the scanner to input data like keyboard. Then I can use my palm for inventorying! or something... whatever.

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5 pillowblog: Barcode Scanner [click photo for gallery] Its been a slow last few days... a lot whole lot of nothing because I ran out of stuff to fix. Anyhow I went downt...


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