barcode scanners, anyone?

From: Kevin Handy <>
Date: Wed Sep 3 12:23:31 2003

Mail List wrote:

> Hi Mike,
> > If the companies had not been such putzii in restricting use to JUST
> what they
> > wanted me to do with it, most likely I would have kept it handy and
> used it for
> > both mine and their objectives. As it is now I don't use them for
> anything.
> I know what you mean. Another similar consumer data collection thing
> is going
> on with the grocery stores and the Harris Teeter VIC card and the Food
> Lion MVP
> card. You get some special buys if you have their card with you when
> you check
> out and they scan it, but when you let them scan your card, they know
> who you are
> and what you are buying. I don't know if you have those grocery stores
> in your area
> or not. It's never really been any inconvenience with it though. But
> last year when
> my mom was in the hospital for the first time, for something very
> serious that is,
> Harris Teeter's database must have recognized that she hadn't been
> shopping there
> for a significant amount of time, and they sent some coupons in the
> mail as an incentive
> to get her to come back and start shopping there again. I guess the
> important thing
> is just don't give them your email address too, or only give them the
> email address
> that you don't mind receiving the junk mail at.
> > My favorite is the CS1504 key fob sized unit with memory for a few
> hundred barcodes
> > that WuliWeb sent to me, but seems like the CueCat has lots more
> software for it (I also
> > have a few of those). I plan to get something going like Thokbook
> and isbn/barcode book
> > collection database thingy, but its still on the list of stuff to do.
> Some years ago when I was working as a tech for a small local computer
> company,
> they had me build and set up a couple of systems for a local retailer
> that were to be
> networked together, and one was to operate a cash drawer, and both
> were to have
> bar code scanners for scanning the UPCs on their merchandise. It's
> been so long
> now that I don't remember exactly what I had to do to make it all
> work, but I'm not sure
> I remember the scanners they were using needing a device driver. They
> did plug in
> inline with the keyboard. If I found one that just worked, with no
> device driver requirement,
> just as though you had typed the characters on the keyboard, that
> would be great. If it

What you want is called a keyboard wedge. Percon, Symbol, etc. sell them.
Depending on which one you get, you can attach pens, hand-held lasers, card
readers, etc.

> were pen sized and shaped, so super small and compact, that would be
> even better.

The pen scanners have more problems scanning items than the laser scanners.
You also have to control your swiping speed with the pens. The laser
work MUCH more reliably.

If you are using the scanners in a dirty enviornment, look into infrared
instead of the visible ones, as they can scan through crud better.

> Does such a scanner exist? I'm getting kind of tired of devices that
> only work with some
> operating systems and not with others, or get left orphaned when a new
> major release of
> an operating system comes out.
Which is one reason to use a keyboard wedge. They are usually programmed
by scanning barcodes from a manual. The computer doesn't have to know they
are there for them to work. Only time you would need to change them, is if
the keyboard connector changed.
Received on Wed Sep 03 2003 - 12:23:31 BST

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