Copyright ©2006 by T. Pavlidis

Abstract: When bar codes were first introduced thirty five years ago some consumer advocates objected to the use of labels that could be read by computers bur not be humans. I explain why it is impossible to have labels that are easily read by both computers and humans and then describe how information is encoded in bar codes. I will cover both the linear bar codes used in grocery and department stores and the various kinds of two-dimensional barcodes used in UPS labels, postage meters, NY State driver licenses, and other official documents.

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