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Direct input methods.
In this report I am going to explain the different direct input
methods starting off with bar codes.
A single barcode number is actually seven units. A unit is either
black or white. A unit that is black would display as a "bar". A unit
that is white would display as a "space". Another way of writing a
barcode unit is "1" for a single unit "black bar" and "0" for a single
unit "white space". For instance, the number "1" is composed of the
seven units, "0011001" or "space-space-bar-bar-space-space-bar".
Remember, a single barcode number requires seven units.
Also, on a UPC barcode the same numbers on the left-hand side (the
Manufacturer Code) is coded different than the numbers on the
right-hand side (Product Code). The left side numbers are actually the
"inverted" or "mirrored" codes of the right side numbers, for instance
what is a "bar" on the right-side, is a "space" on the left-side. The
right-side codes are called "even parity" codes because there is an
even number of "black bar" units. For instance the right-side "6" is
"101000" - 2 even-numbered "black bar" units. The left-side is called
"odd-parity" because there is an odd number of "black bar" units. For
instance, the left-side "6" is "0101111" - 5 odd-numbered "black bar"
units. Having different coded numbers for each side allows the barcode
to be scanned in either direction.
Direct input methods.
In the second part of my report on direct input methods I am going to
be talking about magnetic stripe readers.
A magnetic stripe reader, also called a magstripe reader, is a
hardware device that reads the information encoded in the magnetic
stripe located on the back of a plastic badge. Magnetic stripe readers
can be read by a computer program through a serial port, USB
connection, or keyboard wedge, and are generally categorized by the
way they read a badge. For instance, insertion readers require that
the badge be inserted into the reader and then pulled out. Swipe
readers require that the badge pass completely through the reader.
The magnetic stripe on the back of a badge is composed of iron-based
magnetic particles encased in plastic-like tape. Each magnetic
particle in the stripe is a tiny bar magnet about 20-millionths of an
inch long. When all the bar magnets are polarized in the same
direction, the magnetic stripe is blank. Information is written on the
stripe by magnetizing the tiny bars in either a north or south pole
direction with a special electromagnetic writer, called an encoder.
The writing process, called flux reversal, causes a change in the
magnetic field that can be detected by the magnetic stripe reader.
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Since there can be two different flux reversals, N-N or S-S, there can
be two different information states, much like the binary system used
by computers. The magnetic stripe reader reads the information by
detecting the changes in the magnetic field caused by the flux
reversals on the badge's magnetic stripe.
Direct input methods.
In the third part of my report on direct input methods is about
magnetic ink character recognition (MICR).
In computing, a technique that enables special characters printed in
magnetic ink to be read and input rapidly to a computer. MICR is used
extensively in banking because magnetic-ink characters are difficult
to forge and are therefore ideal for marking and identifying cheques.
For the final part of my report I am going to talk about optical
character recognition (OCR).
Optical Character Recognition (OCR) is a process of scanning printed
pages as images on a flatbed scanner and then using OCR software to
recognize the letters as ASCII text. The OCR software has tools for
both acquiring the image from a scanner and recognizing the text.
OCR works best with originals or very clear copies and mono-spaced
fonts like Courier. If you have choices, use the following source
* 12 point or greater font size.
* Black text on a white background.
* A clean copy; not a fuzzy multi-generation copy from a copy
* Standard type font (Times, New Roman, etc.) Fancy fonts may not be
* Single column layout.
Using text from a source with font size less than 12 points or from a
fuzzy copy will result in more errors.
Except for tab stops and paragraphs marks, most document formatting is
lost during text scanning, (Bold, Italic & Underline are sometimes