Re: OCR/barcode reliability

From: Karl Auerbach <karl_at_cavebear_dot_com>
Date: Thu Jun 03 2004 - 22:27:29 CDT

> Barcodes can do this. bank checks which are pretty simple can do this. ...

Well, it's been a while (nearly 20 years) since I last wandered through
the backroom at a large bank (Wells Fargo).

But I do remember the check reading machines - they were very long things
that reminded me of giant card sorters, except that they didn't sort.
There was a photo station on the input that photographed every check - not
only because of the Federal requirements but also because of the cloud of
paper shards that surrounded the machine from when it occassionally
reduced a check to paper atoms (related to, but not as fun as beer atoms).

One of my first computer jobs was feeding huge decks of 300,000 cards into
a card reader. Every now and then, typically more often than we liked, a
rpunch card would have to be removed from the reader by brute force - with
a card saw - reducing the card to paper atoms.

It's been a long time and technology has undoubtedly improved, but I would
suspect that the lesson of experience then remains the lesson of
experience today:

  Fast readers are not necessarily paper friendly. The results are not
  always reconstructable back into an original.

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Received on Wed Jun 30 23:17:05 2004

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