Yesterday we issued a barcode challenge in honor of the Barcode’s birthday. Congratulations to [The Moogle] for winning this challenge. His submission offers a very detailed explanation of how he solved the puzzle using Photoshop, OpenOffice Calc, and some web resources. We’ve got a detailed writeup on it after the break.
Honorable mentions go to [nex] for putting up a Java solution and to [jwmaag] for showing a Python solution. Finally, kudos to all who used a CueCat in one way or another to decode the string. Just having one of those still around is pretty hack-it-y.
Because of the ubiquity of Barcode scanners and online image translation programs the challenge might have been a bit too easy. Do you think you’re up for a greater challenge? Download the new barcode and get to work. This one should be quite a bit harder to decipher. Once again, leave a comment that includes the message stored in the Barcode. Please remember, only entries that solve the puzzle and include a full description of the process will be considered. Good luck, and let the games begin.
Update: It only took [JP] 19 minutes to post a correct solution to the new Barcode. Great work!
[The Moogle’s] winning solution:
First, [The Moogle] opened up the barcode in Photoshop, zoomed in, and added a grid of lines below to help in reading out the binary code. The red markers were used to help delineate between data chunks.
The image was then put into a spreadsheet program (OpenOffice Calc in this case) and the binary for each chunk was read out by hand.
He formatted the binary in order to make sure he hadn’t made errors, then used a lookup table for code 128 to generate the characters from each data chunk.
Nice work! This solution was executed with tools that everyone has and knows how to use.