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The universal product code (UPC) is the official name for the pattern of black lines on the side of almost everything you can possibly purchase. Simply put, the bar code.

What makes the bar code interesting is that the lines as well as the 12-digit code have meaning. The white spaces between the black lines are also meaningful. The bars are for machines to “read,” the numbers for us unsophisticated humans. We’ll get to the bars in a bit.

The first six numbers are related to the manufacturer and the type of transaction, the next five describe the product or item number. The last number is the checkdigit, which is used to validate that all of the other numbers have been read correctly by a scanner.
The first number, set off from the rest on the left, designates the general nature of the purchase; coupons, pharmaceuticals, or special pricing arrangements made within the store among other possibilities. The next five numbers, grouped together, are the specific manufacturer ID. The next three are called the family code, and the two digits before the checkdigit are the value code. The family code describes a family of products, while the value code designates the value or nature of a coupon.
Now, the bars. Notice that there are four different widths of bar in any UPC code. Each of the four sizes corresponds to a value of one to four. So a black line followed by a white line followed by another black line is three “ones.” This is how all UPC codes begin. After this “start code,” every sequence of 4 line widths corresponds to binary code for one of the numbers that appear beneath the bars. The last three digits are once again three “ones.”
In mathematics and digital electronics, a binary number is a number expressed in the binary numeral system or base-2 numeral system which represents numeric values using two different symbols: typically 0 (zero) and 1 (one).

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13 comments on “Day 257~366

  1. beetleypete says:

    Great barcode shot, FR. You nailed this one!
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Jay says:

    Ubiquitous yet normally unsung.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I feel like I learn something new every day when I visit your blog. It’s awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Haha me too, some of it even sticks! Cheers Sarah 😊

      Liked by 1 person

  4. vinnieh says:

    I love the slightly blurred parts of the shot.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks! ( the technical term is shallow depth of field in case you ever need that! 😊)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. vinnieh says:

        I did study photography in college a few years back, but the technical terms are a tad rusty.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. You gotta use it or lose it 😊

          Liked by 1 person

          1. vinnieh says:

            I need to get back to taking photos again.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. You have a busy life!

            Liked by 1 person

          3. vinnieh says:

            Well I really should get back to it.

            Liked by 1 person

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