How good are handheld scanners ?

Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

Just wondering if a cheap little handheld would accommodate something I
would like to do at work...

I have orders at work that have a handwritten five digit number in the
top right hand corner of an A4 page. I'd like be able to automatically
scan that number and possibly output it in a format that I can integrate
into my own program, so that they can be tracked from department to
department.

I've never used a handheld before tho, and know nothing about them. Are
they easy to use ? Basically I just want to be able to wave it over
the top of the page and it read the number.

Any suggestions / recommendations ?


--
Phil W.
9 answers Last reply
More about good handheld scanners
  1. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

    fOn Thu, 05 May 2005 19:43:09 GMT in alt.comp.periphs.scanner, Phil
    <spam@recycle.com> wrote:

    >Just wondering if a cheap little handheld would accommodate something I
    >would like to do at work...
    >
    >I have orders at work that have a handwritten five digit number in the
    >top right hand corner of an A4 page. I'd like be able to automatically
    >scan that number and possibly output it in a format that I can integrate
    >into my own program, so that they can be tracked from department to
    >department.
    >
    >I've never used a handheld before tho, and know nothing about them. Are
    >they easy to use ? Basically I just want to be able to wave it over
    >the top of the page and it read the number.
    >
    >Any suggestions / recommendations ?

    Hand printed five digit numbers might be recognizable by a specialized
    OCR program; hand *written* unlikely. Interfacing the scanned input to
    your program is likely to be difficult, unless you purchase an OCR
    SDK, which will probably cost a lot. Why not just use the numeric
    keypad to type the number into the program? That would take about the
    same time as swiping the writing with an OCR wand.

    --
    Thanks. Take care, Brian Inglis Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    Brian.Inglis@CSi.com (Brian[dot]Inglis{at}SystematicSW[dot]ab[dot]ca)
    fake address use address above to reply
  2. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

    > Hand printed five digit numbers might be recognizable by a
    > specialized OCR program; hand *written* unlikely.

    Arse :(

    > Interfacing the scanned input to your program is likely to
    > be difficult, unless you purchase an OCR SDK, which will
    > probably cost a lot.

    Double arse :(

    (I was talking about my own program here btw, not a commercial package).

    > Why not just use the numeric keypad to type the number into
    > the program?

    Because it's hundreds of numbers that would get repeatedly scanned
    across several departments (to track progress).

    > That would take about the same time as swiping the writing with
    > an OCR wand.

    Are they that slow ?


    --
    Phil W.
  3. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

    On Fri, 06 May 2005 21:00:08 GMT in alt.comp.periphs.scanner, Phil
    <spam@recycle.com> wrote:

    >> Hand printed five digit numbers might be recognizable by a
    >> specialized OCR program; hand *written* unlikely.
    >
    >Arse :(
    >
    >> Interfacing the scanned input to your program is likely to
    >> be difficult, unless you purchase an OCR SDK, which will
    >> probably cost a lot.
    >
    >Double arse :(
    >
    >(I was talking about my own program here btw, not a commercial package).
    >
    >> Why not just use the numeric keypad to type the number into
    >> the program?
    >
    >Because it's hundreds of numbers that would get repeatedly scanned
    >across several departments (to track progress).
    >
    >> That would take about the same time as swiping the writing with
    >> an OCR wand.
    >
    >Are they that slow ?

    They used to require a steady hand for scanning: perhaps better now?

    Alternate suggestion: preprint a barcode number on the form, which can
    be scanned quickly and correctly?

    --
    Thanks. Take care, Brian Inglis Calgary, Alberta, Canada

    Brian.Inglis@CSi.com (Brian[dot]Inglis{at}SystematicSW[dot]ab[dot]ca)
    fake address use address above to reply
  4. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

    > >> That would take about the same time as swiping the writing with
    > >> an OCR wand.
    > >
    > >Are they that slow ?
    >
    > They used to require a steady hand for scanning: perhaps better now?

    That was sort of my question :)

    > Alternate suggestion: preprint a barcode number on the form,
    > which can be scanned quickly and correctly?

    That idea had actually crossed my mind, but again I have no experience
    on it and wouldn't know where to start...


    --
    Phil W.
  5. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

    "Phil" <spam@recycle.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1ce70ec0516dfb7e98977a@news.ntlworld.com...
    >> >> That would take about the same time as swiping the writing with
    >> >> an OCR wand.
    >> >
    >> >Are they that slow ?
    >>
    >> They used to require a steady hand for scanning: perhaps better now?
    >
    > That was sort of my question :)
    >
    >> Alternate suggestion: preprint a barcode number on the form,
    >> which can be scanned quickly and correctly?
    >
    > That idea had actually crossed my mind, but again I have no experience
    > on it and wouldn't know where to start...
    >
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Phil W.

    Start here. There are lots of barcode software available.
    http://www.google.com/search?hl=en&q=barcode+printing&btnG=Google+Search

    --
    CSM1
    http://www.carlmcmillan.com
    --
  6. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

    Phil wrote:
    > Just wondering if a cheap little handheld would accommodate something
    I
    > would like to do at work...
    >
    > I have orders at work that have a handwritten five digit number in
    the
    > top right hand corner of an A4 page. I'd like be able to
    automatically
    > scan that number and possibly output it in a format that I can
    integrate
    > into my own program, so that they can be tracked from department to
    > department.
    >
    > I've never used a handheld before tho, and know nothing about them.
    Are
    > they easy to use ? Basically I just want to be able to wave it over

    > the top of the page and it read the number.
    >
    > Any suggestions / recommendations ?

    I've just tried my Topscan single-line scanner pen which is pretty good
    on printed text. It's hopeless on my scrawled digits, no matter how
    carefully I print. You might make some printed sticky labels, but if
    you're going to do that you may as well use barcode labels. With any
    kind of OCR, you have to weigh the consequences of errors, and I would
    guess barcodes are more reliable. But finding and sticking a label is
    bound to be slower than writing.

    If the result only has to be human-readable, an alternative possibility
    is that your software could include as graphics the little picture the
    TopScan saves. But from your posts it doesn't sound as if that would be
    acceptable.

    Chris
  7. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

    > I've just tried my Topscan single-line scanner pen which is pretty good
    > on printed text. It's hopeless on my scrawled digits, no matter how
    > carefully I print.

    I guess that's that plan out of the window then :/

    > you're going to do that you may as well use barcode labels.

    Looks fairly expensive tho, and I have no idea whether I could easily
    program the hardware into a department tracking program of my own design
    (Visual C++). Unfortunately it would be out of my own pocket to setup
    and test it...

    Cheers for the info anyway.


    --
    Phil
  8. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

    "Phil" <spam@recycle.com> wrote in message
    news:MPG.1ceb1306e05dacad989784@news.ntlworld.com...
    >> I've just tried my Topscan single-line scanner pen which is pretty good
    >> on printed text. It's hopeless on my scrawled digits, no matter how
    >> carefully I print.
    >
    > I guess that's that plan out of the window then :/
    >
    >> you're going to do that you may as well use barcode labels.
    >
    > Looks fairly expensive tho, and I have no idea whether I could easily
    > program the hardware into a department tracking program of my own design
    > (Visual C++). Unfortunately it would be out of my own pocket to setup
    > and test it...
    >
    > Cheers for the info anyway.
    >
    >
    >
    > --
    > Phil
    Printing Bar Codes in C/C++
    http://www.azalea.com/C/

    There is Barcode label Printing Software. Not too expensive.
    http://idautomation.com/idlabel/

    Barcodes in .NET-centric Apps
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/03/03/NewStuff/default.aspx

    Barcode Source Code for Visual Basic.
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/01/04/stuff/default.aspx


    Barcodes for the .NET Framework
    http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/03/05/NewStuff/default.aspx

    --
    CSM1
    http://www.carlmcmillan.com
    --
  9. Archived from groups: alt.comp.periphs.scanner (More info?)

    > >> you're going to do that you may as well use barcode labels.
    > >
    > > Looks fairly expensive tho
    >
    > There is Barcode label Printing Software. Not too expensive.
    > http://idautomation.com/idlabel/

    $129 is pretty expensive when it's coming out of my own pocket :)

    > Barcodes for the .NET Framework
    > http://msdn.microsoft.com/msdnmag/issues/03/05/NewStuff/default.aspx

    Cheers.


    --
    Phil
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