Posted in Uncategorized at 1:52 am by Toby

I have recently discovered QRCode (stands for Quick Response Codes  but thats not really relevant).  These are two dimensional barcodes that can store a reasonable amount of data – up to several thousand characters, enough for a URL, Contact Info, a bit of text etc.  Recognition with a smartphone camera is trivial (taking a fraction of a second) and with Iphones and Android apps all sorts of cool things can be done.  I have now discovered that the quickest way by far to get contact details of a client onto my phone from our computer system is to scan a QRCode.  I now declare that I am going to use QRCodes for everything.

Here are two really good ways to generate QRCodes.

Zebra Crossing Barcode Generator (Using Googles Charts API)

PHP QRCode Generator (Pure PHP)

Both are really good, although for volume use the zxing / google one is probably better.  I chose to use the php library as I am using client data to generate contact cards in an internal app and wasnt completely happy about sending that info to Google over the web, even though they do say they only store it in Logs for a couple of weeks.  For non-sensitive data the google chart api is a brilliant way to generate qrcodes.  Just embed the details you need into the src attribute of an img tag on your page.

There are some very good QRCode Scanners for phones, the best I’ve found for the Iphone is Barcodes from the zxing people.


Opening up to the world

Posted in Programming, Sites at 12:28 pm by Toby

We have an internal php app that we use everyday. I wanted to make it available to our staff when they are out and about, but wanted to add a little extra security.  We now run on Apache after having run on IIS for years, so I reckoned a .htaccess file was the way to go, but I only wanted the user to be asked for an extra password if they were accessing it externally.

I asked a question on stackoverflow.com (which is for programming questions what google is for search), which lead me to the my answer on this site.