10.07.2009

Translating Google's Barcode Doodle


The Google Doodle for today is a barcode. When translated, it reads "Google (ding!)" That's right - it ends with the sound of a little bell, like the typewriters and teletypes of days gone by. Here's how to decipher the barcode:

1) Examine both the bars and the whitespaces.
2) Define the smallest width as a one, the next widest as a two, etc.
3) Widths range from 1 to 4.
4) Write your sequence of numbers in groups of six.
5) Decode the meaning of each group with the Code 128 barcode symbology character set.
6) Note that some codes have two different meanings, depending on the context.

Examining the above barcode, we determine the width series of bars and white spaces as:
2-1-1-2-1-4-2-1-1-3-1-3-1-3-4-1-1-1-1-3-4-1-1-1-1-2-2-1-1-4-2-2-1-1-1-4-1-1-2-2-1-4-1-2-2-1-1-4-2-3-3-1-1-1-2

Break these up into groups of 6 (the last is actually 7 numbers) and apply our Code 128 conversion:
2-1-1-2-1-4   Start code B (the start of the barcode)
2-1-1-3-1-3   = G
1-3-4-1-1-1   = o
1-3-4-1-1-1   = o
1-2-2-1-1-4   = g
2-2-1-1-1-4   = l
1-1-2-2-1-4   = e
1-2-2-1-1-4   = (the BEL character)
2-3-3-1-1-1-2   = Stop

And that's all there is to it!

(Update - The Google Operating System blog has a faster way to decode by uploading the barcode image to OnlineBarcodeReader.com - but the output doesn't let you know about the bell).

4 comments:

Rob said...

Wouldn't the BEL character more likely be representative of the BEEP you get at grocery store when a barcode is scanned?

The skepTick said...

Rob, I think you're right. But I gather the code for the BEL character is historically related to the actual bell of the teletype.

Anonymous said...

Looks like something dreampt up by Life Insurance actuaries.

levitra cialis said...

Excellent thanks a lot, i never believed that this were so complicated... anyway XP