Dr. Gerald Stinger Guala stinger at FAIRCHILDGARDEN.ORG
Thu Jul 25 10:59:39 CDT 2002

Actually we buy rolls of 10,000 prenumbered barcodes at a time. They are
much cheaper than printing them ourselves and they make sure that we don't
have duplicates. Our OCR software actually reads them as a part of our data
entry process so they work as an error checking device and a separate
numbering system that is much more reliable than Accession numbers for us.
Most of our accession numbers are hand written so the software can read the
barcode both as a zebra stripe and as text but it can't read the accession
number usually.

Gerald "Stinger" Guala, Ph.D.
Keeper of the Herbarium
Fairchild Tropical Garden Research Center
11935 Old Cutler Rd.
Coral Gables, FL 33156-4299

-----Original Message-----
From: Taxacom Discussion List [mailto:TAXACOM at USOBI.ORG]On Behalf Of
Panza, Robin
Sent: Thursday, July 25, 2002 10:41 AM
Subject: Re: barcodes

>>>>You wouldn't believe how quickly and efficiently I can now get a bunch
of data into the computer. Reading codes off labels and typing them by hand
is horribly inefficient (and error prone), <<<<

I don't understand.  Doesn't somebody have to read data and type it into
whatever machine creates the barcode label?  Why is typing into a barcode
generator any faster or more accurate than typing into a computer that
generates a human-readable label?  I keep hearing error reduction and rapid
data entry as a big issue in favor of bar codes, but never understood it.
You still have to get the data into a machine that will associate them with
an identifier code (catalogue number, bar code, whatever).  If all you're
getting from the barcode label is a number, where/how do you match that
number up to collection and preparation data?  If you're getting those data
from the barcode reader, somebody had to enter them at some point, didn't

Robin K Panza
Section of Birds, Carnegie Museum of Natural History
4400 Forbes Ave.
Pittsburgh  PA  15213  USA
phone:  412-622-3255
fax:  412-622-8837
panzar at

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