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Monthly Archives: July 2018

Barcode Scanners

Barcode Scanner, also known as Barcode Reader, is an input device which is used to capture and retrieve information about the product which is being scanned. This helps in automation of the process thereby increasing the speed, accuracy, and efficiency of the business process.

Barcode Scanners may be hand-held, hands-free, fixed mount, or portable data terminals. Another way of categorization can be into image scanners and laser scanners. But they utilize a connection with a computer through a serial port, a keyboard port and a wedge, which is an infrared device. Some major brands in the field of POS automation are Nexa, Epson, Zebra etc.

A Barcode Scanner uses a beam of light which falls on the barcode printed on the product. When this beam of light is deflected from the product, it is measured on the basis of the fact that the dark bars on the barcode reflect less light in comparison to the light spaces between the dark bars. The scanner, then, converts the light energy into electrical energy. This is further converted by the decoder in the form of data as output. This final output is then displayed on the computer screen.

This barcode scanning involves scanning of a particular barcode and then searching through the database of hundreds and thousands of products to match it with the exact one and display relevant details of that product.

Every business has its unique requirements and hence the features and functionality while choosing the automation tools make a difference in the way they alter the environment. While choosing a scanner, it is very important to understand your type of usage, whether it requires indoor scanning at a particular point or it requires scanning products outdoor or both ways. Further, there are different types of bar code symbols which are into existence. Between the standard 1D and 2D symbols used in barcoding, different scanners have different decoding capabilities. The right one depends upon the requirements of your business.

If the environment is exposed to extreme heat, dust, chemicals, debris or moisture, then it is essential to select a scanner which is highly durable and rugged. In case of mobility is one important characteristic, then a wireless scanner is the best choice with which the staff can navigate across the entire premises towards accomplishing the objective of barcode scanner.

Telerobotics Vs Telepresence

Telerobotics is often confused with the idea of Telepresence (TP). Both have a role to play in shaping the way that future security systems will act. So, what is the difference between telepresence and telerobotics?

Telepresence allows you to feel like you are in a remote location without actually being in a remote location. Currently, it’s about pumping the highest resolution video and audio to the remote viewer in order to simulate the environment in which the sensing/recording equipment have been placed. This type of solution is going to be focused on improving what the camera and microphone can detect as well as bandwidth utilization. Some common examples of consumer tools include Skype, FaceTime and Google Hangouts.

These are all essentially telepresence applications that can be used from your computer or cell phone. Other than the focus on real-time interaction, this is effectively the current state of the surveillance industry. The video and audio feeds are as real time as possible and an individual can theoretically monitor those feeds from anywhere. This likely means that future applications in security for telepresence may be more about access control or real-time interactions in areas too dangerous/sensitive to host humans.

Telerobotics takes the idea from telepresence one step further. If TP is a remote set of eye and ears, TR is eyes, ears, hands and feet. It allows you to not only see/hear the location and interact via 2-way audio but also to interact physically with objects in the remote location and to navigate the TR hardware around the remote space. This capability could radically alter the way surveillance and security are done.

A telerobotics system could be set up to open doors, physically interact with people or even pull a fire alarm if the situation calls for it. It could also be used to greet guests to the facility or any of a very wide set of tasks that would normally require a human being to be in a specific location. No more having views locked to the focal points of a set of cameras and wondering what is happening just out of shot. With TR, the operator can navigate the hardware anywhere in the facility providing exactly the view needed on any desired location without the need for a bank of cameras. For now, the physical limitations of these systems would be the same as most ‘remote’ technologies. Bandwidth between controller and TR setup, the need to maintain the remote hardware/software and considerations tied to getting a TR setup back in operation should it encounter a significant problem while remote are all considerations that will impact anyone using TR for security.

So now that you have a better idea of the difference between the two ideas/terms, let’s get to the big questions. Is this technology poised to radically change the face of corporate security? How might it do that? When could we possibly expect to see the effects?

Use Google Maps Offline on Android

The process is identical on both iOS and Android. Before we dive into the process, take a moment to visit the App Store on your iOS device, or the Play store on your Android device and check for any available updates for Google Maps.

After verifying you have the latest version, launch Google Maps on your respective device and search for the area you’d like to save for offline access.

Google Maps will then show the area you find, with the name being displayed along the bottom of the screen. You will need to download the area of interest before being able to take advantage of Google Maps offline. This is what we mean when we say things must be done “proactively.” The map area must be downloaded before leaving the safety of your city’s secure connection.

You’ll then be tasked to adjust the area to be saved via panning and zooming around, making sure to pay attention to the size limit alert along the top of the screen. Of course, there is a massive amount of information when downloading nearly two cities and everything in between them. Be ready to sacrifice plenty of storage space for your maps. These can take up to 1GB, depending on the area. Additionally, you will get a glimpse of the local weather conditions, pictures, hotels, shops, restaurants and navigation options. You will even get a travel estimate to that spot based on your current location.

Tap on the name. Next, tap on the three-dot icon in the top-right corner of your screen. Select and then save an offline map. There is a way to download this data to an SD card, though, which is a relief. Simply go to Menu > Offline Areas > Settings > Storage Preferences and switch “Device” to “SD card.”

If the mapped area is deemed too large, you’ll need to zoom in and repeat the process for the area left out. Once you’re happy, tap on Save and give the offline map a name. To access your saved maps, slide you the menu draw and select My Places from the list of options. Scroll to the bottom of the page, where you should find any offline maps still stored on your device.

Keep in mind that any saved maps will only remain on your device for 30 days. This is mostly because the world changes nearly daily. Maps are dynamic and require updating. What happens when a new street is added, or an old one is closed? Maybe a new restaurant opened up in town. Google wants you to have an updated version of your maps when offline. Presumably, after that, the app will purge a saved map to clear up space on your device.

You can also do the automatic updating with the Google map nowadays. Just go to the Offline Maps settings and activate automatic updates. This will ensure your offline maps are regularly updated when expired. You can even choose only to be updated when using Wi-Fi, ensuring your precious gigabytes don’t go to waste.

Things to Consider when Using Offline Google Maps

There are drawbacks to offline Google Maps. Here are some things missing from offline maps that are available in live Google Maps:
• Public transit routes are not available in Offline maps.
• Bike and walking routes are not available.
• Live traffic will not be employed.
• Travel estimates will not be as accurate.
• Routes can’t be modified (avoidance is not an option).

Chrome Keeps Crashing

Step 1 – Re-Install Google Chrome

The most common reason why Chrome crashes is because it has a series of issues with its integration with Windows.

As mentioned, it is highly extensible which means it has a large number files which all need to work correctly. If just one of these files becomes damaged, Chrome will stop working.

To resolve this, the most effective way to fix the error is to simple re-install Chrome. This not only replaces any potentially damaged files, but updates the various Windows settings that are often the silent cause of errors/crashes.

To do this, you need to follow the steps here:

  • In Windows 7, click onto “Start > Control Panel > Add/Remove Programs”
  • In Windows 10, right-click “Start” > select “Apps and Features”
  • When either application management interface appears, scroll through and locate Google Chrome
  • Right-click and select “Uninstall”
  • This will process the uninstallation, after which you should restart your PC

Upon restart, your system will not have Chrome, so you’ll need to use Internet Explorer – or Edge if you’re using W10 – to download a new copy.

To do this, you should just load up the other browser, search for Google Chrome and let it download. Once downloaded, install it and then sign in with your Google account (if you have one).

Once you’ve signed in, all your old plugins / settings etc will load up. This should work, although if you have a faulty plugin, the crash may occur again.

If it does, you should continue to step 2.

Step 2 – Replace Missing Files

Another problem with Chrome is that it will often have a large number of files which simply become missing in Windows.

These missing files are lost because of incompatibility problems with other applications in the system, from the likes of Photoshop to Visual Studio often causing problems.

If you’re experiencing crashes with Chrome, and especially if an error appears, you will likely need to replace a number of files which may be causing problems on your system.

To do this, you can follow the steps outlined here:

  • Click onto “Start”
  • Select “Computer” (Windows 7), “File Explorer” (Windows 8/10)
  • Browse to C:/Program Files (x86)/Google/Chrome
  • Look at any DLL files and search for them online
  • If there are any missing ones, you need to download them from the Internet and then place them into that folder
  • After doing this, restart your system and see if Chrome works again

This process might seem a little far-fetched but it’s very important.

One of the major problems for Chrome is that your system will basically be unable to load particular files that are required to get it working. If this is the case, you need to ensure that your system has all the files necessary.

Step 3 – Close Antivirus

The next, and actually somewhat successful, step is to close any antivirus applications running on your system.

One of the most common causes of problems for Windows is over-zealous antivirus tools blocking access to other apps.This happens particularly badly with Chrome because it is constantly connected to the Internet.

To resolve this, you may wish to close any antivirus application that you have running on your PC. As a warning, this will leave your system temporarily exposed to viruses – but this should not be a problem for a short duration:

  • Move the mouse down to the bottom right hand side of the taskbar
  • In the “icon tray” select the antivirus icon
  • Right-click on the icon with your mouse
  • Select an option which says “Pause” (or the equivalent)
  • Select the shortest duration

One the system has been paused, you should then try loading up Chrome.

If there are no errors, it means that your antivirus is conflicting with the system, and thus will be leading to a number of potential conflicts inside Windows. If it still crashes, it means your computer has a deeper problem with the app, and you should re-enable your antivirus using the steps above.

Step 4 – Restart Your PC

Finally, you should try restarting your system.

You’ll be surprised at how often you can fix computing problems through a simple restart. This not only shuts down Windows correctly, but also makes sure that any applications you’re running get the ability to start up correctly when the system boots again.

One of the main problems for Windows is that it is often the case that the longer the system is left running, the slower it becomes as it corrupts all its files. This is one of the major causes of problems for Chrome.