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Showing posts with label GUI. Show all posts
Showing posts with label GUI. Show all posts

Sunday, March 29, 2015

Windows Portable Handheld Commercial Scanners

On 3/23/2015, 1:04 AM, Central Daylight Time, I published the following article on my Windows Laptop blog ( It has occurred to me that it is pretty much better off if it was here. So today, 3/29/2015, at nearly 5:00pm Central Daylight Time, I am copying the whole post (which I am allowed to do only because I hold the Copyright) and posting it here...

Retailers are often using a handheld PC they use to scan UPC bar codes.  The ones I use all seem to be Windows CE based.  We use the scanners to check prices, availability, product information, back stock stockroom location, and connected to a portable printer we may print out new price tickets or mark them down with clearance tickets.

Now, I know that this is old technology.  We have been using these slow-ass time wasting devices for at least the 4 years I have worked the store.  So why the hell even use them?  Once a ticket is scanned it will usually take a second or more to spit out a printed ticket.  Obviously, these are not multiple processor machines.

But why doesn't business recognize what a piece of crap this system is and replace it immediately?

Think about it.  In one night we might have anywhere from 6,000 to 17,000 pieces to mark down, but we literally have to scan many times more.  Even if no ticket is required, the devices are still pathetically slow as you wait on what to do next.

6,000 peices to mark down means that I am wasting at least 12,000 seconds scanning everything if I am scanning all the clearance products for further additional markdowns.  12,000 seconds is 200 minutes wasted, every single night that we do mark downs.  Now, times 1,000 stores and the corporate entity has just wasted over 200,000 minutes, at bare minimum,  3,333 hours where its employees could be getting more done, or doing other things.

3,333 x 8.50 (min wage) = $28,330.50 of wasted labor every night there are price changes.  And we usually have price changes every couple of weeks or so.  Sometimes, there are so many products to scan, it takes 2 nights.

And our corporate leadership fails to see how pathetic this system is, anyway?

But, that's not the half of it.  There is an official ignorance about product life.  Batteries go dead and no one replaces them.  I put a sign on a battery saying "Dead Battery" and someone takes the sticky note off and puts it in the charger, but it won't charge because the battery is completely dead and useless.  I change the sign to "Useless Battery" and they rip the sign off and put it in the charger, still.

Because of this ignorance, batteries don't get recycled and we wind-up with more dead batteries than we have good ones.  This means we spend up to an hour trying to find a battery that works with our handheld PC scanner.  Of course, it is more complicated than that.  Some batteries will work in certain PCs.  So nothing gets thrown out or recycled, and no one knows how to combat this.

Then, when you connect a printer, the PC has to be able to work with the printer.  Sometimes they don't work together and you have to trade out printers once you have a PC and printer comination that works.

We tell management about all these issues and more (scanning a QR code by accident freezes-up many of the PCs, and the QR codes are placed right next to the UPC codes), and yet no one does anything.  This is a pathetic set of circumstances, and I am quite honestly convinced that my corporate retailer loves frustrating its employees with poor pay, poor equipment, unreal expectations, no real benefits and complete ignorance.

Ignorance is not bliss.  It is stupid when it is preventable.  Especially in a corporate environment.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

New Identity

We are switching gears, tonight.

After selling the domain name,, I used the blog's sub domain ( for this blog's home web address.  But last week I acquired a new domain name, www.Handheld.Tools, and I feel that this blog will be perfect for it.  

I have already been reviewing and discussing business applications here, so now it is high time to recommend my favorite handheld devices, and apps on a grand scale.  

I plan to review smart phones, tablets, PDAs, their installed and available applications, as well as possibly hit on some of the handheld device programming tools while I venture down that road and learn them myself.

I will readily admit that I am an elder blogger, my father and brother laughed and scoffed at me when I told them that one day we would all own more than one computer (even carry them around).  That was back when computers required a dedicated climate controlled space the size of a large room.  But I knew what was coming.

My advanced age, and the fact that I have been a GUI designer, aficionado and critic of OSes and all UI systems for nearly 20 years now (Amiga, Linux, Macintosh, Unix, Windows), which makes me somewhat of a skeptic over the learned touch user interface, but I have been using it with smart phones, tablets and other devices for over 4 years, now.

My seniority does offer its own unique look through an experienced eye trained to spot the details many others have missed.  My outlook is unique and I am picky.  

I currently have experience with (own or have access to) the following handheld devices:

  • Samsung Galaxy Note II (Android Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Samsung Galaxy S IV (Android Ice Cream Sandwich)
  • Samsung TrakFone (TrakFone's proprietary OS)
  • Motorola Droid X (Android)
  • PDA (Dead Palm PDA)
  • iPad (iOS, version 1 tablet)
  • Asus Transformer TF301 (Dead Android tablet)
  • Polaroid T10 (worthless Android 10" tablet)
  • Polaroid T7 (useless Android 7" internet tablet)
  • Chromebook (small Chrome OS laptop unit)

The one device I do not any experience with is the BlueBerry, so I would like to see one of those and get a feel for it.  I do have experience with the old Amiga computer platform OS, so I would love to see its incarnation and implementation with the new mobile device and gaming platforms.  I also have experience on many computer platforms, as well [with the Amiga (versions 1.x/2.x/3.x/4), as mentioned, with the Commodore (64/128), Linux (RedHat), Macintosh System 7/8 and MacOS X, Unix (AIX) and Windows (3.1/95/98/2000/XP/Vista/7)].

If you would dare to allow your handheld device or application reviewed by myself (I will not hold back - I expect a lot - lots more than I have seen to this date with most devices and apps, especially with cameras), you can contact me via or through my Google+ profile and submit it for review.

I will also accept suggestions on reviewing free apps.

Thanks for understanding the branding switch.   It seems that the new domain will be much easier to remember and have great brand staying power.  I hope you find it as easy to remember and visit (time and time again).