Using Wand to scan Barcodes from PDF


I think Les had enquired about if the barcodes on the HPMuseum PDF's could actualy be read from the scanned images.

Sorry, Les, but I was unable to read with my wand the barcodes from the High Level Math PDF. I am using a HP-990CSe. I tried at several printer settings, but only receive checksum errors when scaned with the wand. I also tried some printouts from the "TOS" which are in MAX format - but no success.

I just tried Dan MacDonald's Excel spread sheet at DRAFT setting of the printer and the resulting bardcode reads fine. So you could just key in the programs, and use his spreadsheet to create the barcodes. Not sure if it's any quicker than just keying directly into the HP-41.

See following article:

HP-41C "Decompiler" and "BarCode Maker"


Edited: 2 Jan 2007, 8:45 p.m.


Bill, someone emailed me directly and reminded me of a better solution.

Pretty well all the code I would like to get into my HP41's quickly andonto magnetic cards is found on this site in RAW format. (To start I am interested in this code here, though I must note that the program listing is actually somewhat different from the original in the High Level Math Book--Tony Duell, help!!!).

Rather than torment myself with trying to produce decent quality barcode from the DVD scans, I had totally forgetten that I could use Leo Duran's hp41uc utility to make my own barcode, which I just did in a matter of 3 seconds. The quality of the barcode when printed looks just as good as anything in the couple of original User Library Solutions books I already own.

I had totally forgotten about the barcode creation ability of hp41uc, since I didn't plan to get a wand prior to this. No I await deliver of my wand from the website that dare not say its name, and I can test it out.

Many thanks!



Here is a funky suggestion, and when I get the wand I am eager to try--

Instead of printing the barcode out, is it feasible to scan the displayed barcode right up there on the TFT screen, or would the light from the computer monitor confound the scanner?

Worth a shot!



Some time ago I played with the thought of implementing a sofwtare barcode scanner, meaning that any bitmap (from a flatbed scanner or PDF) could be analyzed by software for the proper bacodes and converted to RAW format. I have never attempted to wrote this though .....



I tried Les. I couldn't get it to work.


Hi Les,

Thanks for the reminder - I had forgotten that the HP41UC had a bar code output. Just loaded it up and it works great. Scans in perfectly.

When I first got my Wand several years ago, I spent several days scanning in the User's Lirary programs that I had and then saving them to Cards so that I could read them from the card in the future.

Have fun with your new Wand.




Since your wand works with the Excel produced bar codes, maybe what is wrong with the printed out scans is that they are at slightly the wrong size? Try printing a page (from Acrobat Reader) at 98% or 102% etc of normal (and turn off resize to page) and then scanning with the wand again. If you compare the bar code widths from a resized print with that produced from Excel you may be able to find the right percentage that brings the scanned version back to normal, so to speak.


I will have to keep this in mind when I convert the Postcript files generated by the Duran utility to PDF, my preferred format. When printing out PDF documents, the text and images can be shrunken slightly to fit within printing margins. I think this feature can be turned off--otherwise, I may have unreadable barcode because it is slightly too small.

I suspect the issue with the DVD scans is not just one of size. It is also a matter of quality--lot of artifact in some of those scans, fuzziness in the bars, etc.

I think I am better off using a utility to make my own barcode. I will let the Forum know how I fare.




I did some playing around with the HP41UC utility and with converting the resulting PS output to PDF. The PS or PCL output scans great - no problems.

But I could not creat a PDF that would scan. No matter what I did, the resulting PDF was slightly smaller than the original printouts and would not scan in. I'll play some more with it this weekend and see if I can find out what the problem is.

But the 41UC utility is so easy to use, I'm thinking there's little reason to create PDF's. If I needed to send someone the Barcode I could just send the PCL or PS file and they could then print that out.



I just like PDF better because I like working in Adobe Reader. The freeware Ghostscript Postscropt reader I have is just so primitive!!!

I find that if I convert the PS file to PDF with the freeware PDFCreator utility and then print the PDF in Adobe Reader 8 with Page Scaling set to None I get barcode that looks to be the exact same size as original HP barcode I have in the two old User Library Solutions books I happen to own. The only difference is the spacing between the rows of barcode, but the wand won't care about that. But when I overlap barcode, they seem to be exactly the same width.

Can't wait to get the wand to test it out.

Since I have your attention, what do you make of my observation in another thread that some of the User Library routines posted to the website are actually quite different at times from the original listings? Since you did all that scanning and writing to mag cards in the past, I thought you may have noticed....




Since I have your attention, what do you make of my observation in another thread that some of the User Library routines posted to the website are actually quite different at times from the original listings? Since you did all that scanning and writing to mag cards in the past, I thought you may have noticed....

Can't help much here. I didn't notice any differences, but then I never compared the scanned code to the raw or listings in the book. I just would test the samples in the book out to make sure they seemed to work. Then write the card set.



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