Barcodes provide a very simple, reliable, machine-readable way to read numbers or addresses into your computer so that information can be looked up online or in a database. There are a number of different standards for barcodes, and the most-commonly used ones are quite easy to use and create with simple free software applications, whether you want to incorporate them directly in your cover art, or make stick-on labels for marking packages. Here, I’ll walk you throught the basics of three popular types of barcodes: UPC, EAN (including ISBN), and QR codes.
Producing the barcode itself is trivial in Inkscape — the leading Free/Open Source Software vector drawing application — ever since the extension became part of the standard distribution, with version 0.46. The current version supports several kinds of barcodes, including the UPC and EAN types. To continue reading the complete howto, visit: http://www.labelsontime.com/barcodes-and-free-sofware
Is free and open source software (FOSS) a way to cut business costs? As concern about recession – even depression – deepens, more and more companies are asking this question. However, many have trouble knowing how to begin to find an answer.
Certainly, many companies have been looking for FOSS solutions in the last six months. Jim Zemlin, executive director of the Linux Foundation, predicted last December that GNU/Linux and other FOSS technologies would become more attractive in hard economic times. “Lower cost, faster time to market, higher profit margins, better branding — these are all things that are in favor of Linux and not in favor of Windows,” he writes, and his comments seem accurate. According to Business Week, FOSS-based companies like SugarCRM, Digium and Zenoss, all reported record quarters last fall, while Red Hat had over $500 million in revenue over the last twelve months.
Rolf Schuster, a diplomat at the German Embassy in Madrid and the former head of IT at the Foreign Ministry, estimated that the German Foreign ministry reduced its costs by two-thirds by switching to GNU/Linux.
However, whether your business will save as much is difficult to estimate in advance. Given the business model of proprietary companies and the idealism of FOSS companies, any estimates tend to be colored by the interests of those who make them. Moreover, although using FOSS means that you no longer have to pay for software or upgrades, you have to realize that you may have costs associated with installation, technical support, and retraining.