Friday, March 27, 2009

TBarCode Update! Barcode Software Component V9.1

Just a short notice:

A brand-new TBarCode update is available: Version V9.1 of this barcode generator features automatic check-digit validation. This means, that TBarCode validates check-digits entered by the user. Wrong check-digits are rejected with an error message.

For custom check-digits this behaviour can be disabled by changing the check-digit computation method to "None".
In addition to this improvement some bugs got fixed. For details see the version history or download TBarCode V9.1 now.

Monday, March 23, 2009

Free Barcodes for OpenOffice

Part 2: How to generate barcodes with OpenOffice. Also check out part 1: Using Barcodes in Google Docs


OpenOffice is a free software suite which mimics (more or less) Microsoft Office. In Microsoft Office bar-code creation is possible via various methods (using barcode fonts, pre-created barcode images or by using a barcode add-in like TBarCode). Until now no quality bar-code add-ins are available for OpenOffice and 2D barcode creation using fonts is terrible. So I'll outline a possibility to create bar-codes without any barcode fonts and without any additional barcode software.

How to Create OpenOffice Barcodes for Free

To generate bar codes (ALL barcodes - meaning linear barcodes, 2D barcodes like DataMatrix and GS1 DataBar codes) all you need is an internet connection. The basic idea is to insert an barcode image generated by the online barcode generator of TEC-IT. This barcode generator is customizable via the URL - so it is possible to create each bar-code as required.

Note: Works on Windows only!

1) Create the required barcode using the online barcode generator
2) Scroll down to the section "Free Use of This Barcode Generator". Copy the URL (see screenshot below) into your clipboard:

3) Start OpenOffice Writer
4) Create a new document (File -> New)
5) Insert a Picture from a File (Insert -> Picture -> From File)
6) Copy the URL as created in step 2 into the filename
7) Press Enter, FINISHED

That's all. Steps 5 to 7 are outlined in the screen-shot below.

How Does it Work?

The barcode image is created online at TEC-IT.COM, you do not need to store the image locally on your hard-drive (Windows takes care of this automatically), you do not need to install software - and you can trust the generated bar-code (it will be correct!). You can open this document on each computer, the bar-code will always be visible (and printable). Of course - internet connectivity is required.
Another point of interest: This method works for all programs part of the OpenOffice suite.

Optimizing the Barcode

In order to ensure perfect readability of the bar-codes you may need to play around with the settings (especially barcode resolution and module width). readability depends on barcode symbology, data density - and of course your output device. I recommend you to create the bar-code with at least 300 dpi. Important: Whenever possible DO NOT scale the resulting bar-code image in OpenOffice.


URL used:
Barcode: DataMatrix ECC200


If you like this method for barcode creation with OpenOffice you can use the online barcode generator for free (for non-commercial use only). For commercial users TEC-IT recommends a local barcode server in the companies intranet.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Barcode Studio V9.1 is coming!

In a few days TEC-IT will release the new version of Barcode Studio (V9.1).

The most important new features are:

* Data List for Multiple Bar Codes
* Improved File Import
* Better Serial Number Generator
* Improved Bar Code Export
* Improved Bar Width Reduction
* HP SmartStream Designer Integration (more details are available from HP)

Barcode Studio was released on 03/25/2008! Download Barcode Studio here: Barcode Creator Software.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Pidgin 2.5.5 RPM for Ubuntu 8.10 (x86)

As of today no pre-built binary for the Instant Messaging client Pidgin 2.5.5 for Ubuntu 8.10 was available on the internet.

A colleague of mine just compiled the latest release of Pidgin and published a RPM.

Download it here: pidgin-2.5.5-0.i386.rpm

Install it with rpm -i pidgin-2.5.5-0.i386.rpm


P.S.: No guaranties, no warranties, no support. Download at your own risk only.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Lost Privacy?

Compared to the remaining entries of this blog, this one is completely off-topic: it covers the Google service Web-History, Google's Chrome browser and privacy.

Personally, most of the time I am using the Chrome browser and I am logged on with my Google account. At some time in the past I have decided to try Google's Web-History service (in German it is named Google Webprotokoll).

A few days ago I checked the entries in the web-history service. Surprise, surprise - the service works as expected ;-). Google lists each search term I have entered in Google. Thousand of entries were stored for my account - back till 2007.

Because of this huge amount of search terms I decided to delete them. I also found time to check out Google's privacy policy regarding the Web-History service in detail. Unfortunately the privacy policy of Google provides no details - it is quite unclear:

"You can delete information from Web History using the remove feature, and it will be removed from the service. However, as is common practice in the industry, and as outlined in the Google Privacy Policy, Google maintains a separate logs system for auditing purposes and to help us improve the quality of our services for users."

What does this mean? Is Google able to rebuild my search data from the mentioned log services? Is Google able to assign such a reconstructed search history to my Google account (and thus to my person)?

If the answer is NO: everything is fine because I am in control of the data. But what if the answer is YES?

Now to the second point. Chrome is the name of the superb browser from Google. It was already blamed in the past for sending data home (the data you enter in the address/search field of the browser).

Upon installation Google Chrome gets a unique ID. That means that Google is able to learn that this is your personal Chrome installation (e.g. by using Google Chrome to log on with your Google account).

What is the problem with this? Because of the unique ID Google is able to know that YOU are using the browser. This is possible at any time - even if YOU are not logged on at Google. If this knowledge is used by Google, YOU (and me too) should be quite uncomfortable with this situation.

So my question: Does Google ensure that data entered in Chrome will NOT be assigned to me (better: my personal google account) if I am not logged on?

This entry was not written to blame Google. I am fine with their services. But there are huge possibilities to misuse the logged data. And any inside information is of high interest.

P.S.: You can remove the unique ID of Chrome with the small software utility KillID (use at your own risk, maybe you are violating Chrome's license agreement!).

Monday, March 2, 2009

Free Online Label Printing

Are you working in the automotive industry? Maybe in the area of supply chain logistics? If yes - chances are high that you are in the need for printing barcode labels like VDA 4902 Warenanhänger, Odette, Galia and AIAG labels.

For all other readers I'll describe how to print QR-Code business cards for private use in a future post.

Free Online Application for Barcode Label Printing!

This online label generator provides pre-defined label templates. You are not forced to design a label, start immediately with one of the available templates instead. 

The generated labels are perfectly suitable for production use - no demo restrictions whatsoever are applied.

Especially for low-volume label printing or for testing purposes this free online application is valuable. No additional software is needed, just select the required label and you are finished.

For those looking for custom labels TEC-IT also offers a solution. Download the demo of TFORMer Designer (TEC-IT's barcode label printing software), design your label and upload the templates to Ready.

This online label generator is:
1) free for testing purposes (please contact TEC-IT for production use or high-volume printing)
2) not limited to industry labels
3) available as a web-service for portal integration