All it took me was a printer, a sheet of paper, some laminating film and a hole-punch.
We’ve been using Fellowship One for about five months now and the check-in system for our kids church is great. This weekend we introduce another change, we’re starting self check-in using two of our kiosks. Self check-in is great, the parents have been issued with barcode tags (like the ones you get from the video library) and just walk up to a kiosk, scan, select their kids on the touch-screen and collect their labels. When it’s pack-up time you just hit the escape key, enter the code and shutdown the PC and… wait a minute how do you hit the escape key when you’re scanning and using a touch-screen (therefore: no keyboard)? Sorry to say this Fellowship Technology, but FAIL.
I started thinking about this a few months ago. I was sure there must be a way of having an escape barcode. I tried printing several using different barcode formats, but nothing worked. In frustration I tweeted my church IT peeps on twitter (#citrt). To my dismay I discovered that the way most churches were “escaping” from self check-in was to cold-boot the PC. Only Justin Moore (at GCC) seemed to be thinking along the same lines, but still he didn’t have an solution either.
So now in a world first, I have the solution thanks to a little bit of MacGyvering. Turns out the problem was the scanners themselves. They will only scan barcodes of a minimum length (4 characters, in the case of the Metrologic). So the solution was simple, create a barcode that reads: ESC+NUL+NUL+NUL. And here it is:
It’s encoded in CODE128, (1) because it supports control code characters, (2) it’s enabled by default on the Metrologic scanners (and probably most others), and (3) I have software that produces them.
So there you have it. Leave your comments, thanks, adoration, praise etc in the comments below. Cheques can be mailed to me here at Crossway.
Special thanks to Steve Fogg for the title of this post.