Off Topic, Electronica

Above, a screen shot from my iPhone. Recently, on the Picture Framers Grumble, there was a discussion about QR codes, which I've talked of previously.

I'm a fan of QR codes; there's one with my contact info to the right, so I thought a little history. I'm not an early adopter, waiting in lines for the latest gadget, but I was pretty quick to move from a paper "Day Runner" type organizer to an electronic one, in the form of a Palm gadget. I think I went through two of them before going to an even better gadget, the smart phone. The Palms were searchable, had their own "shorthand", Graffiti, which was intuitive and fairly easy to pick up, and they could sync with a desktop computer. Later models also had an infrared port, which allowed for electronic information exchange between Palms. No typing or shorthand data entry, which until recently is missing on smart phones.

Now, finally, we have the QR code, and simple generators and readers for the codes, which allow for electronic information exchange between devices, with out the need for data entry.

A screen shot of the reader and code generator on my phone, Qrafter. Codes can be any bits of information, but the real value is they put the information where it belongs, and they are not platform specific, though a smart phone is needed. Once scanned, the info can be used to create a contact entry, link to a website, sent as an email, text message, or tweet, or just to offer a "special". By eliminating data entry, errors are eliminated, and the need for business cards could be eliminated, though there will always be some hold outs.

I'm seeing them more often, on shop windows, magazine advertisements., etc.. They offer both information and specials, such as links to special offers, but any information that one wants to pass on can be made into a code.

I recently scanned one from a guitar magazine, "waiting for the kid's lesson to be over", that linked to a website for Gretsch guitars, and specific to Duane Eddy, The King of Twang, with videos of some of his songs. Those of a certain age will know what I'm talking about, though he is still very active. The QR code: