Barcode challenge

barcode_challenge

This morning we logged into Google to find a Barcode instead of the normal logo (how strange that Google would change their graphic!). Apparently today is the anniversary of the Barcode. This method of easily labeling items for computer scanning is used for every type of commodity in our society. But do you know how to get the cryptic information back out of the Barcode?

Here’s the challenge:  The image at the top of the post was created by the devious writers here at Hack a Day. Leave us a comment that tells us what the message says and explains how you deciphered it. There are programs that will do this for you and some smartphones can do this from a picture of the code, but we’re looking for the most creative solutions.

The winner will be decided in a totally unfair and biased way and gets their name plastered all over Hack a Day (and possibly slandered a bit).  So get out there and start decoding that machine-readable image.

Update: We’ve announced a winner for this challenge.

Farewell, Hack a Day

eliotvissbw

Now, on the eve of Hack a Day’s fifth anniversary, seems like an appropriate time to announce my resignation. Site founder [Phillip Torrone] published the first post, a red box, on September 5th, 2004. On May 7th, 2005 I took over editorial duties at Hack a Day by publishing one of my favorite projects: [Jonathan Westhues]‘ proximity card spoofer. Since then, I’ve run Hack a Day with a number of great contributors over the last four years: [Fabienne Serriere], [Will O’Brien], [Ian Lesnet], and current senior editor [Caleb Kraft] just to name a few. I’ve enjoyed watching the site grow, powered by the constant stream of tips from readers. Whether we were turning hard drives into molten goo or putting our hardware designs into production, it’s been a lot of fun. With all the new talent we’ve brought on recently, I have confidence that Hack a Day will continue to be a great resource in the future.

You’ll be able to find me online running my personal blog RobotSkirts.com and on Twitter as @sweetums. In real life, I’ll still be attending hacker conferences, like the upcoming ToorCon in San Diego, and local Los Angeles tech events like Mindshare and the weekly Hacker Drinkup.

In closing, I’d like to thank you, the readers, for all the support you’ve given us over the years. If it weren’t for all the tips, personal projects, and ideas you’ve sent us, we’d never have made it this far. Thank you.

[photo: Viss]

PCjr 25 years later

pcjr

[Trixter], connoisseur of old hardware, is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the PCjr. IBM’s PCjr was killed only 18th months after being revealed and [Trixter] lays out exactly why. Overall, it was designed to be cheap to produce and sell, but many of the choices made it difficult to use. They used the CPU instead of DMA for floppy access; cheaper to make, but you couldn’t do much during disk reads because of it. The video memory scheme left little room for programs that could take advantage of it. It also had compatibility issues that made IBM clones a more attractive choice. [Trixter] ends by pointing out that some good came of it when the Tandy 1000 copyied the good ideas while leaving out the restrictive memory issues. He recommends Mike’s PCjr Page for more information on this classic machine.

Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories turns 2


Evil Mad Scientist Laboratories is celebrating their second anniversary. They say they’re now 20 millicenturies old. To celebrate, they put together their greatest hits from the last year. We enjoyed their bristlebots, candyfabbing, and AVR business cards and hope to see their work for many more years to come.