Monday, December 31, 2007

Everyone loves a good barcode hack, ehhh?

What better way to end the year than a discussion of barcode hacks!

Now go read this too.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Finally, a use for camera barcodes

We've been hearing about the "benefits" of 2D barcodes on cell phones for years now. Tickets, schmickets. That don't do it for me.

But tying a physical object to its Wikipedia entry? That at least holds out some semblence of usefulness. And who brings this cell phone magic to the masses? Semapedia, who else.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Barcodes On The Brain

"The Szhk Biennale of Architecture for 2007 features a commissioned collaboration between members of idu architecture and [daz[. They will be producing a temporary book store and cafe; aptly titled ISBN and Barcode respectively."

I keep trying to convince my family to get a second dog so we can name him RFIDo. Or maybe Modulo. Codabar?

Nothing like a barcode tattoo for the holidays.

Bar CodeWe're proud to announce that JetCityOrange's barcode tattoo gallery has reached 60 photos by year end 2007.

Thanks go out to the dozens of people who graciously alllowed JCO to post photographs of their barcode tattoos.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Finally! A good use for RFID

Someone asked me about RFID last night at dinner. I gave my standard response: "Who cares?" reflecting the lack of business opportunity it affords.

Well. Now I've found a reasonable use for RFID: a door opener. Not just any door opener but one that can be controlled via one's cell phone or browser!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Better Living Through Barcodes, part 642

Here at Super Top-Secret Barcode HQ we really do love barcodes. And to a (wo)man, we love to read. So the barcode bat-cave was all a-flutter when we stumbled across Zack Grossbart's fascinating How-To on organizing a home library. Good stuff.

Sunday, December 09, 2007

Barcodes in the O.R. A good thing (I think...)

This article talks about surgeons losing sponges during operations. The solution? barcoding the sponges. Scan 'em in, scan 'em out.

Sounds like a great idea. Maybe I should schedule my next operation there. Just don't tell me how many sponges are left inside hapless patients on an average day. I don't wanna know.

Monday, December 03, 2007

A Barcode Web Site for the EU

Those in the European Union now have their own barcode website. In all 23 offical EU languages.


Azalea Software & Crystal Reports 2008 press release

Crystal Reports 2008 barcode software Azalea Software
We've all been holding our breath for months now but it's come to pass. Azalea Software's barcode software is bundled with Business Objects' Crystal Reports 2008. We just did a press release announcing this.

Print Code 39 barcodes right out of the box. Print UPC, Code 128, Interleaved 2 of 5, and POSTNET barcodes by purchasing upgrades from Azalea Software.

Friday, November 30, 2007

Azalea Software Announces New Barcode Websites

One of the joys of selling barcode software is having a growing network of barcode websites. To that end, Azalea Software is happy to announce the latest batch bar code web sites:
UPCTools, C128Tools, C39Tools, I2of5Tools, and POSTools.

And yes, there even more barcode-related sites coming!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Barcode-Free Turkey Day Blogging

From The Wooden Robot, a very handy How-To:

Happy Thanksgiving!

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Barcode Madness!

LEGOs™ + lasers? A barcode scanner, natch.

Barcode weirdo extraordinaire Scott Blake has some fun stuff up at YouTube:

A lovely barcode rainbow from Rosistem- First barcoding website from Romania!

And we're pleased as punch to hear that our surreal friends the Barcode Kitties have landed a Happy Meal™-type deal with Peruvian burger chain Bembos.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Barcode Printing in Crystal Reports 2008

Crystal Reports 2008 now features barcode support within this popular database reporting tool. What they didn't say when they announced Crystal Reports 2008 recently was that they've incorporated Azalea Software's barcode fonts into the product.

While Azalea has offered a plug-in that works with Crystal Reports for many years, their barcode fonts are now tightly woven into the fabric of Crystal.

[The sounds of cheering Crystal developers can be heard in the background.]

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Some Days We Regret Outgrowing Recreational Drugs

We present you Seikodo Corp's Barcode Kitties. Your guess is as good as ours.

And no, their whiskers don't scan, which hurts us down deep in our souls.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Azalea Origami

Or would that be origami azalea. Either way, here's our company's namesake done in folded paper.

And you thought we didn't have enough stuff to fill a blog named "Bar Code Nerds". Shame on you for not having faith in us!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

NJ Company Offers "Cost-Saving" Alternative to RFID

Secure Symbology wants to keep your food, your pharmaceuticals , nay your very Homeland Security™ safe! Using barcodes, natch, and "proprietary machines" which run only a quarter million dollars. Each.

"Secure Symbology's proprietary machines -- at a cost of $250,000 each -- imprint individual serial numbers on each package and shipping carton, allowing the manufacturer to follow the product on its journey along the distribution and sales trail."

Call me crazy but that sounds like any old barcode process. You know: buy reasonably-priced barcode software, dump your data in, get barcodes back, print with the hardware you've got.

'Course, if you want to spend 250K, more power to ya, hotshot.

Friday, October 19, 2007

UK Standards Body Does Musicians a Solid

GS1 UK, in conjunction with AIM and the BPI, will now distribute single GTINs to UK musicians and labels.

This is great news for indie bands and DIY music labels who previously couldn't afford the zillion dollar price tag on a full GS1 membership. For £25 (fiddy American dollars) a year, the little guys can now produce and sell their songs in the same channels as the big guys.

The question now is if/when it will become a global standard. We love GS1 US (Seriously. We love them) and trust that they'll do the right thing.

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Putting the fun(k) in function

MagCulture takes a peek at Wallpaper mag's barcode whimsy, and Esquire UK's fun barcode designs.

Jetcityorange has a whole gallery devoted to DIY barcode art.

Yes it's true, barcodes (and barcode nerds) are hipper than you ever imagined.

Friday, October 12, 2007

The Idea That Never Dies

There will be a practical use for barcodes and cellphones. There will there will there will!

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Charming Dutch Treehuggers Mangle English, Utilize Barcode

You may not be aware of this, but our daily shoppings contribute to the worldwide disappearance of our ancient forests. If you don't want this, let your government know by sending the text message 'FORESTFREE" to 4411.

From Greenpeace Netherlands

Friday, October 05, 2007

Barcode Clubs

Whether you're in Munich or Melbourne, Dublin, Sacramento or Richmond, VA, there's a place for you to shake your moneymaker like a true barcode nerd.

Also Greenville, NC, Edinburg, Texas, Bulgaria, Wales and London. Chances are you're within 50 miles of a barcode nightclub, cafe, bar, restaurant or lounge at this very moment. What are you waiting for?

Happy Friday!

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

666 in barcodes. NOT!

OK. It used to be funny. Now it just underlines how ignorant you are. Every time I see some knave repeating the "666 the Mark of the Beast is in UPC barcodes" urban myth I just want to gag.

Now repeat after me: 666 isn't part of UPC barcodes. Never was, never will be. There is no plot by Satan, the Devil, the Pope, or your ex- to use barcodes to a.) steal your soul, b.) further The Dark One's agenda or c.) activate the metal plate in your head. And no, UPC barcodes have nothing to do with the metal probe the aliens stuck up your ass that night.

So stop misquoting Revelation 13:16-18 you nitwits. I know where you live.

RFID hacking

Some of us here at Bar Code Nerds aren't exactly big fans of RFID. Self-interest and all, you know.

That said, one school of thought believes if you can't beat 'em, join 'em. To that end I pass this link on. DIY kids!

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Support the Burmese Protesters!

we support Reporters Without Borderswe support Burma Media Association

Azalea Software is proud to support the protesters in Burma (Myanmar). You should too.

The monks are the moral voice of the citizens. The military leaders are repressive and need to step down. The violence must end. Lend your support!

Friday, September 28, 2007

100% Barcode-Free Blogging

Yet another reason you wish you lived in Seattle

and so freakishly cute you can't stand it.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Holidays Are Coming

Don't forget the barcode nerdlets this year.

Waiting Impatiently for HCCB

I was promised an amazing technicolor dreamcoat, man.

I am shocked, shocked I tell you, that something from our Redmond neighbor would be slow to roll.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Will RFID Replace Beloved Old PDF417?

Has PDF417 been supplanted by RFID?

Pish and tosh, says I. In no small part because it resembles the coolest arcade game ever.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Barcode rings, barcode jewelry

If I did wear jewelry, I might be tempted to wear a barcode ring.

As it is, all I can deal with is a dogtag with a Buddhist mantra on it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Barcode CD rack

Oh Santa... I've been a pretty good boy so far this year. Haven't gotten caught doing anything terribly bad. So here's something you might instruct the elves to build for me this year: a barcode CD rack.

I'm pretty sure I'll be the only kid in my neighborhood with one.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

RFID implants in one's worker bees

As an employer part of me thinks that California's ban on mandatory RFID implants in workers limits my ability to monitor and manage my staff members.

Then I remember, "Oh yeah. I believe in personal freedom and the right to privacy." Compounded by the fact that Azalea Software supports the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

What a toss up. Draconian management techniques with a hint of sci-fi evil or preserving personal liberties and fighting techno-totalitarianism. Heads or tails, call it in the air.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Bark Codes

Aunt Paula swung by the office this week and mad artist that she is, she couldn't help but leave her mark on our white board.

And we're glad she did.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

Human Beings Barcoded: World Doesn't End

This one I can get behind.

Of course now our Faceless Evil Overlords can track our every move but it's worth it if it means getting the correct meds, doncha' think?

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Barcode Art Contest Winners

Because I run an online gallery of barcode-inspired artwork I see a lot of barcodes incorporated into larger pieces. It's my belief that barcodes have become a visual meme and are infused with connotations and implied meanings (

I was unprepared for and pleasantly surprised by the entrants in barcode competition. Fine art, thoughtful work within the theme, and pieces that made me sit up and take notice.

All entrants will receive Azalea Software's 4th annual calendar when printed. All feature photographs centered around a particular theme. This year's is a surprise but not flowers or stencil graffiti as in the past.

First prize goes to IDentification by dabdi56. Layers of meaning in a well put together piece. Sophisticated and emotional.

Second prize is to Sliver's Stop Violence! I'm a big fan of Adbusters and while I've been in the barcode business for 18 years, that doesn't mean I've comprised my politics or beliefs.

Third prize is to Phase [GIF] EDITED by Granulated. I've always wanted to see barcodes animated and loved seeing multiple entries do so. The grace and finesse in this effort is refreshing and complete.

A special shout out goes to two other entries: Fore! and T'E(r)R0R' in CAP1TAL15M. The former made me look twice and put a smile on my face. The latter is almost too good to be true.

Azalea Software t-shirts and goodie bags go out to the three winners. Again, all entrants will receive 2008 calendars when printed. Thanks to all who participated. The work is wonderful!

Jerry Whiting
Azalea Software, Inc.

They're heeeere...

No, the Whole Foods cash register couldn't scan it. Yet.

Thursday, July 26, 2007

RFID Still Crap, Says Dublin Firm

So maybe they're a little more diplomatic than that but Heavey RF knows what time it is.

RFID is still just a whizbang technology that may mutate into a practical product some day. Perhaps. Possibly. At some point. Maybe. (I'm in for $50 on March 12, 2016, if anyone's starting a pool).

Until every kitchen-table home business can afford to produce them, and every corner bodega can afford to read them, it's just another shiny whatsit.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Barcoding critters

Taxonomists are considering barcodes as a tool in the struggle to create names for newly discovered plants and animals. Can a number encompass a being's beingness? Is 123,452,677 qualitatively worse than Brad, Thad, Tiffany or Chuck?

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Now even cabs have barcodes

Riding a cab in New York is exciting enough. Riding a cab from the East Side to Union Square during the day during the week is an added thrill. Getting one of the new cabs with a video screen showing TV, ads, and a a moving map is pretty cool too. But nothing, and I mean nothing beats getting in a cab and finding a barcode staring at you. Know what I mean?

Saturday, July 14, 2007

Nothing to do with barcodes

This probably has nothing to do with barcodes but here in Seattle one of the 7-Elevens has been transformed into a Kwik E Mart. This is a promotion for the upcoming Simpsons movie.

They're selling Simpsons tie-in merchandise so I guess there's a good chance that these items will have their own barcode. I wonder what company prefix they'll use?

Friday, July 06, 2007

Wait. There's more bad news!

EAN in the USA?

Yesterday I recounted the story of a fugly barcode on a poor child's birthday present. Today I present another insult at said birthday soiree: an EAN in the USA. Yes, a foreign barcode on these here 'merican shores. I certainly hope WalMart isn't behind this. Gray market bastards...

Thursday, July 05, 2007

Am I the only one who notices these things?

bad barcode bad

Little Audrey turned 4, had a party, and found this horrible barcode on one of her presents. The shame, and in front of all her little friends no less. What parent would knowingly foist this off on an unsuspecting pre-schooler? Why??

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Believe it or not, Azalea Software is sponsoring golf. Yes, "golf".

Azalea Software Sponsors Hope Heart Classic Golf Tournament

SEATTLE - Azalea Software is sponsoring a hole at this year’s 10th Annual Hope Heart Classic, July 30, 2007. While this is consistent with Azalea’s ongoing commitment to tithing and giving back to the community it’s noteworthy in that no one at Azalea has any interest in golf whatsoever.

Hope Heart Classic
The Hope Heart Classic has raised over $1 million over the years and has provided support for the Hope Heart Institute’s research and education programs. Founded in 1959 by Dr. Lester R. Sauvage, Hope Heart’s mission is preventing and treating heart and blood vessel disease, and improving the physical, emotional, and spiritual quality of life for millions.

In addition to sponsoring one of the holes at this year’s tournament, Azalea is providing golf tees to all participants.

Azalea Software publishes barcode software and is located in West Seattle. Azalea is dedicated to supporting efforts like Doctors Without Borders, the Tibetan Technology Center, the Eliza Bryant Village, Stephen Shames Foundation, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation, among other causes.

For further information please visit this web page.

Monday, July 02, 2007

UPCTools gets the nod

We know our Mom's are proud of us and what we do. It's always nice when someone else notices and speaks out too.

UPCTools, our UPC barcode software, just got good marks from Top 10 Reviews.

Wait til I tell Mom!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Busted by the barcode

Hey, we've all thought of this scam before. It was the first joke my friends made when I started writing barcode software years ago. "Yeah, I'm gonna go shopping with you. You can make new barcodes and get everything for free!"

Let's set aside the moral, ethical, and spiritual issues for a moment. I can make more money selling barcode software than I can steal using barcodes to rip stores off. Big Fat Duh.

Friday, June 22, 2007

Another questionable barcode "innovation"

Like we need this barcode gadget in our kitchens. Read the freakin' label and then push the freakin' buttons. Sheesh...

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

barcodes & cell phones

I've been more than a little skeptical about cell phones being used to scan barcodes. I just don't see the usefullness of it beyond the gee-whiz geek factor. Besides, if it was such a great idea the market would have matured to the point where there'd be one or two dominent players by now.

Well, I'm rethinking it all. For one, I don't think that there's any one implementation. In fact, it may evolve into something as varied as the different ways people use the camera in their cell phone. And most of those uses are different than what folks do with their stand-alone cameras. So assumption #1 is that cell phones as barcode scanners won't be one-for-one equivalents to barcode scanners as barcode scanners.

Secondly, and perhaps more importantly, I think that cell phones as barcode scanners will be different in Japan than in Europe. And the US will be different than either. No duh; this mimics the cutural differences between cell phone useage in each country.

Lastly, I'm starting to hear uses that even I might embrace. Like scanning a barcode at a subway stop or landmark and getting a map pushed to me. Not an ad but a tidbit of localized information.

Like I said, I'm rethinking the whole thing. Film at 11...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Barcode Tattoo

The police in Northern Ireland are looking for a man with a barcode tattoo. Have they checked my gallery of barcode tattoos yet?

The arm is atypical. The back of the neck seems to be the de facto standard location. Me? I'm decidedly un-inked.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

Netflix, POSTNET barcodes, and I don't know what all.

Netflix & POSTNET barcodes
Odd. I noticed that two Netflix envelopes ready to go back had different addressing and FIM bars. POSTNET barcodes are in two different places as well. Anyone else out there seeing this too?

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Dear Santa...

I confess to sporting a "Got beer?" doormat myself. Indicative of what will find within. But Santa, please oh please, bring me this barcode doormat.

I promise to be a good boy this year. And not like last year's "good boy" either. We all agreed certain bounds and protocols were broken. But this year, I'm gonna shine!

No, really.

OK, OK. Some what if I'm sorta good this year? Can I have a barcode rug instead?

Friday, April 13, 2007

Barcode, the game!

Well barcodes are everywhere, from tattoos to street art, but a barcode game???

Things get weirder every day, now don't they?

Thursday, April 05, 2007

The Easter Bunny does barcodes. Honest.

My how things have changed since I was a kid. Now the damn Easter Bunny is doing barcodes too. When will it stop? Will it ever end??

Thursday, March 22, 2007

Barcodes? It's not just me. YouTube too!

I know, I know. All y'all think I'm singularly obsessed with barcodes. Well, what if I am? At least I'm not alone.

A quick cruise through YouTube turned up multiple barcode-related videos. Don't believe me? Check it out:

video 1

video 2

video 3

video 4

See? It's not just me. Others too.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

Barcodes Turn Up Everywhere

I'm not a big fan of consumer barcode applications but the RecyleBank seems to have a truly useful use.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Search Amazon by ISBN Number

ISBN-13 barcodes are the current standard for book barcodes, replacing the older Bookland barcodes. The big deal? ISBN numbers are now 13-digits making ISBN-13 barcodes GTIN-compliant. Yea!

If you need to convert the older 10-digit ISBN numbers to 13-digit ISBNs you can do so online.

Speaking of doing things ISBN-like online, how about searching Amazon by ISBN number? Pretty kewl, ehhh?

Monday, March 12, 2007

Barcode tattoos, GooglePigs, and zonkdogfology

barcode tatttoo
Congrats to JetCityOrange for collecting and displaying no less than 40 photos of barcode tattoos in an online photo gallery.

This is consistent with our thesis that barcodes have become cultural memes, part of our collective visual vocabulary.

BTW, the word of the day is "zonkdogfology", as in "GooglePig. Funny.

Monday, March 05, 2007

Azalea Software unveils new barcode web site

Azalea Software, those barcode software folks in Seattle, have a new barcode web site. Taking advantage of Google hosting, this growing bar code resource is available in multiple languages and highlights Azalea's barcode printing and bar code fonts.

The company FAQ alone is worth the visit. Compliments Azalea's about us page.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

RFID, the home version

It should be no surprise that I'm no fan of RFID. Sounds like Walmart is learning the same lesson (the hard way).

Now you too can play with RFID in the privacy of your own home. Amaze your friends, win the school's science fair, harass your sleeping roommates. All with the RFID home kit. So strange I couldn't possibly be making this up.

And if that ain't weird enough for you, how about a RFID stapler?

See? That's why I stick to barcodes myself.

Barcodes, as in "opera"

Regular readers are probably familiar with this gallery of barcode-inspired artwork.

Whilst trolling for new material, imagine my surprise when I came across barcodes in an opera costume. Not just any opera but "The Queen of Spades".

Additional proof that life is stranger than fiction.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Another barcode web site

Never one to leave well enough alone, Azalea Software has launched yet-another barcode web site. UPC, ISBN-13, Code 128, Code 39, and all the rest.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Here we go...

It will come as no surprise to regular readers that I ain't no fan of cell phones as barcode scanners. Methinks it's a "solution" chasing a non-problem. I always ask myself "does my mother need [fill in the blank]?" 9 times outta 10 the answer is no.

So things get interesting when one thinks through the potential implications of patents & licensing being thrown into the mix.

I still say if this is a legitimate niche (as in profitable) there'd be two, maybe three dominent players by now. It would resemble a mature market instead of nerds playing with their toys.

In other words, tell my why I'm gonna give up my new Sidekick 3 for a barcode scanning cellie. Heck, I've been selling barcode software for almost 18 years and I still don't have a scanner in my own home.

Do you???

Monday, January 22, 2007

Old wine in new bottles

Now call me crazy but doesn't the IntelliScanner look an awful lot like the Symbol CS1504??

Didn't Symbol all but shutter their consumer barcode scanner division years ago? Cuz no one bought into it? Cuz no one cared??

Now honestly. How many of you feel like your life is empty and meaningless because you don't a.) carry a barcode scanner on your keychain and b.) scan and catalog everything you own?

That's what I thought.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

RFID tattoos for cows

All I can say after reading this article is THANK GOD I DON'T EAT MEAT.

Regular readers all know that I'm no fan of RFID. I do however love barcode tattoos.

I'm going to file this little tidbit under technology chasing a non-issue or a solution in search of a problem or simply misguided nerds.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Those new RFID-enabled passports

If you have a newly issued US passport, you have an RFID-enabled passport. Wanna kill the RFID chip? Here's how.

Reminds me of the old saying, "Every problem is a nail if the only tool you have is a hammer."

Me? My passport application is sitting here on the table in front of me. Looks like I missed the cutoff and my soon-to-be-issued passport will have hammer bait in it.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

UPC barcode thievery

Now this is the way not to use a barcode to commit crime. When I first started writing barcode software several friends suggested we go shopping together with home-made barcodes.

I quickly realized that I could make more money selling barcode software than I could using barcodes to steal. Plus I get to sleep better at night.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

And the winner is... RFID!!!!

If I had a dollar for every time I read an article about how RFID is going to take over the world, I wouldn't have to sell barcode software.

Tongue in cheek humor acknowledged.