I have recently started to catalog my rather large book collection using a USB connected Laser Barcode Scanner to read the bar codes on the books (at least the relatively recent books with barcodes). This saves a lot of typing, since software is available to use the scanned bar
I have recently started to catalog my rather large book collection using a USB connected Laser Barcode Scanner to read the bar codes on the books (at least the relatively recent books with barcodes). This saves a lot of typing, since software is available to use the scanned bar code data to produce a complete database of detailed information for my library. I am also looking into cataloging my fairly large audio CD and movie DVD collections in the same way. A simple to use barcode scanner which can be plugged into a desktop or laptop computer is needed to accomplish this. The TaoTronics TT-BS003 Laser Barcode Scanner fits the "easy" classification very well. The Scanner comes with an attached 6.5 foot (2 meter) cable with a standard USB connector on the end of the cable (I later found that the other end of this cable has an RJ-45 connector which plugs into the Scanner, and can be removed from the scanner). I began by plugging the USB connector into the USB port on my computer. Windows 7 (and Windows 8.1) automatically detected the Scanner and automatically installed the correct driver. That is all that is needed for installation. One of the advantages that the TaoTronics TT-BS003 Laser Barcode Scanner has over most of the other handheld barcode scanners on the market is the included adjustable stand. There are times when I need to use the stand to hold the handheld scanner, so that both hands are free for other uses when scanning. Without the stand, I need to use one hand to hold the scanner, which only leaves one hand free for other tasks. Of course, the scanner is easily removed from the nicely designed stand, and can easily be set back in the stand again when needed. The Scanner is detected as a keyboard type device and shows up under Device Mangager (in Control Panel) as an HID Keyboard (human interface device keyboard). This means that when a barcode is scanned, the characters of the barcode will be entered into the computer exactly as if the characters were typed manually using a keyboard. This makes the scanner a very versatile device. Whenever a text box is open, or whenever a program is expecting keyboard input, a barcode scan will enter the barcode into your application, without any typing on your part. This input might be a specialized program for data input for inventory or cataloging, or your own Excel or Word template for data input. I then opened my word processor (MS Word) and scanned some barcodes from products I had around the house. The scan produced the digits of the barcode on my screen. Each barcode scan would put the digits of the barcode on the next line of my text, just as if the Return key on a keyboard had been pressed. I repeated the same thing with my spreadsheet (MS Excel). It worked the same way, putting the text in each cell of the spreadsheet as barcodes were scanned. The scanner has an Auto mode and a Manual mode. When the Scanner is first plugged into a USB port, it is automatically put into the Auto mode. An 8 second press of the Scanner scan trigger puts the Scanner into the Manual mode. Every 8 second press of the trigger alternates between Auto and Manual. In Manual mode, the trigger must be pressed and held to activate the laser in the Scanner for the barcode scan. In the Auto mode, the laser is activated whenever the Scanner is brought to within about 6 inches of the barcode. The laser will then turn off in about 5 seconds. In Auto mode, the trigger will never have to be pressed, and scans automatically when the Scanner is brought near the barcode. This is very convenient. The Scanner will "beep" when a scan is completed. I next used Google by placing my cursor in the Google search box, and doing a barcode scan of a product box that I had around the house. Google immediately showed me a page of websites it found for the item that I had scanned. I then used UPC Scavenger (upcscavenger.com) and UPC Index (upcindex.com) with the Scanner and immediately found information about the scanned product, as well as prices and where to purchase the product. Other websites are also available to show UPC product information. The manual has 14 pages in English, most of which are barcodes, which are used to place the Scanner into various operating modes. It has a Default mode barcode scan, as well as many other setup modes. I found the Default mode to work for everything I tried. The Scanner is well made, using a high quality durable plastic. The 6.5 foot cable also appears to be durable. I was impressed with the quality of the product, especially for the price of the Scanner. Although I received this Scanner as a sample in exchange for a fair and honest evaluation, I feel that I have done an honest evaluation of the product. I did not receive any money or anything else for the evaluation. I will definitely be using this Scanner to continue cataloging my book, audio CD, and DVD movie collection now.