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A barcode is a visual pattern that uses a combination of alternating black and white bars of various widths and sizes (commonly called ?elements?) to represent specific strings of text. Changing the sequence of elements translates the pattern into different strings of text, and vice versa. A barcode scanner can then read this pattern and convert it into plain text that can be displayed on a screen and read by humans as normal.

A 1D (linear) code is the most common type of barcode and resembles a series of black and white vertical stripes. The information in the code is organized from left to right and can be read by most barcode scanners. Several variations of 1D barcodes exist, with some able to encode only numbers while others can encode letters or special keyboard characters.

2D barcodes are more complex, as the information within them is represented by both vertical and horizontal patterns, the most common example being rectangular QR codes that can be read by the cameras on most smart phones and mobile devices. 2D barcodes are capable of containing more information than a 1D code while using less space, but require a 2D barcode scanner with imaging capabilities to be read properly.

The amount of characters that can be contained within a barcode depends on the specific barcode type being used. That said, 1D barcodes can contain up to two dozen or so characters, while 2D barcodes can contain hundreds or thousands. However, it is important to remember that as the amount of information in the barcode increases, the bigger it will become. This is especially true of 1D barcodes because the information can only be read in a straight horizontal line.

Barcodes can come in a wide range of sizes, with some 2D codes going as small as a 1/8th inch square. Generally speaking, however, the smaller a code becomes, the more difficult it is to read. Smaller barcodes limit the amount of characters you can use and are required to be printed at high resolutions to ensure that they will be readable by a scanner or imager.

Direct thermal (DT) is a printing process through which a series of heated pins is applied to a label coated in a heat-sensitive layer, burning images and text onto the surface of the label. As such, DT labeling does not require the use of ribbons or ink to print. With thermal transfer, ink from the ribbon is transferred to the label using heat. Direct thermal printing is an easier, lower-cost method of creating labels for temporary applications, but will fade over time and is not very effective in high-temperature environments due to its sensitivity to heat. Thermal transfer printing is a slightly more technical process, but provides a more permanent solution that does not easily fade.

DPI stands for ?dots per inch? and is used as a measure of a printer’s resolution. A higher DPI means that the print will contain a higher density of printed dots, and will therefore result in a finer, cleaner print. Prints that are small in size will be readable at smaller resolutions, while larger prints require a higher DPI to retain their clarity and readability.

Once you have acquired the right barcode label printer and media for your needs, you will need barcode label design software to create and print a label. You will then be able to arrange your barcodes, images, and text and send the resulting design to your label printer.

RACO also offers a web-based Barcode Generator tool that you can use to create barcodes free of charge, which can be used for your labels.

The distinction between desktop and tabletop printers lies in their size, as well as their ability to print at high volumes and in harsh environments. Desktop-style printers are the cheaper and smaller of the two and are better suited for low-volume printing applications, whereas tabletop-style printers are designed to produce up to thousands of labels per day and are physically durable enough to operate in more rugged environments.

A barcode scanner projects a laser light onto the barcode, which reads the alternating black and white elements and interprets them into a string of text using algorithms specific to that barcode type. The information then appears on your computer screen as though it were typed manually with a keyboard.

2D barcodes require a specific type of scanner called a 2D Imager in order to be read. The standard 1D scanner is only capable of reading horizontally across the barcode, whereas a 2D imager analyzes the entire barcode as a whole, allowing it to read and decode both horizontally and vertically organized information at the same time.

2D imaging scanners are capable of reading barcodes from a screen, but standard 1D scanners cannot. Technically, the lasers used in standard 1D barcode scanners read the light reflected off a barcode label to process its information, and are therefore unable to read anything from a computer screen. 2D imaging scanners, however, work by capturing and analyzing a picture of the barcode to decode its information. Because of this, they are capable of reading barcodes from a screen.

No. At their core, barcode scanners are just another general text input method, and are therefore treated the same as a traditional keyboard when plugged into your computer. In addition, many scanners are offered with a Human Interface Device (HID), enabling it to act like a keyboard. As a result, they do not need any additional software or drivers to function normally.

Much like a normal computer, a mobile computer comes with an operating system pre-installed, but does not have any additional software out of the box. However, RACO can install additional software onto your mobile computers depending on the desired function ? such as Route Accounting or Inventory Management, among many others ? as part of a special business solution package.

802.11a/b/g/n is a wireless communication protocol more commonly known as Wi-Fi. Devices with wi-fi capability have the ability connect to the Internet via an available access point on a wireless network, in the same way you would with a smartphone or laptop.

Similar to a smartphone, mobile computers usually provide two ways to access the Internet: either through a wi-fi connection via an available access point, or through a wide area network offered by a cellular data carrier. Internet access is possible through either of these options as long as the user has permission to access the network and is within the proper range.

?Batch? refers to the process of collecting data that is stored on the memory of the mobile device itself, rather than immediately being transmitted over a wireless network in real-time. In these cases, the stored information is uploaded all at once as a single ?batch? of data.