[svlug] Bar code reader

William R Ward bill at wards.net
Tue Jul 1 14:53:28 PDT 2003

I've been wanting for years to use a bar code reader, in conjunction
with online databases like amazon.com etc., to make a catalog of the
books, CD's, etc. that we have.  But I'm a cheapskate and it's never
been a high priority project.

A couple of years ago I bought a really cheap wand barcode reader
which ought to be able to do the trick, but it would require some
electronics work that I'm just not motivated enough to attempt.  It's
laughably easy - it uses RS-232 at TTL voltages, so it just needs a
1488/1489 circuit or the modern equivalent.  It has a DE9 connector.

Does anyone here know if something can be obtained off the shelf to do
this conversion anymore?  In the Golden Age of RS-232 this kind of
issue was very common, but I don't know if they still make/sell that
kind of adapter....

Barring that (pun intended), any suggestions for getting a (very)
cheap barcode scanner that understands UPC?  A keyboard wedge would be
nice so I wouldn't have to write a script to scan the serial port, but
either way is doable.


William R Ward            bill at wards.net          http://www.wards.net/~bill/
"A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds, adored by
 little statesmen and philosophers and divines."        - Emerson

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