Re: Not your ordinary barcode, Bank coding

From: Ed Kennedy <ekennedyx_at_yahoo_dot_com>
Date: Wed Apr 21 2004 - 20:42:58 CDT


    Perhaps the technology of reading routing, account and check numbers
have moved on, but I believe that this used to be done starting in the late
1950's using magnetic ink and something like a tape recorder read head.
That's one of the reason the font is so stylized. I would think that OCR
would be a bit challenging when one considers all the different colors and
printed backgrounds on checks. However, as one can now print checks from
one's ink jet printer OCR must be used, perhaps in tandem with magnetic

Thanks, Ed Kennedy

----- Original Message -----
From: "David Mertz" <>
To: <>
Sent: Wednesday, April 21, 2004 5:05 PM
Subject: Re: [voting-project] Not your ordinary barcode

> On Apr 21, 2004, at 7:01 PM, Popkin, Laird (WMG Corp) wrote:
> > I believe that these days OCR is implemented in the readers' firmware,
> > so that it looks like text to the computer.
> I'm sure no fully-general OCR is implemented in scanner firmware. As
> in, the sort of program where you can put any old magazine or book on
> top of a scanner, and get a formatted RTF or PDF file with the pixels
> converted to letters.
> However, for the limited character sets that Doug mentions (though I
> seem to have missed his original post), it's more likely. For example,
> while I don't know any details for sure, I imagine the scanners at
> banks that read that funny font across the bottom of checks (routing
> and account number stuff) could well be implemented in firmware.
> I agree with Doug that if OVC decides to scan whole pages and eliminate
> the Code128 barcode, we both can and should restrict the voter choices
> to being printed in something like that bankcode font. If that code is
> an open specification and existing reader libraries are out there, we
> might choose that very font--I certainly would rather not invent our
> own font and OCR library.
> Yours, David...
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Received on Fri Apr 30 23:17:15 2004

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