Ultimate QR Code Guide

Ultimate QR Codes Guide Overview

QR codes (Quick Response code) are quickly becoming a legitimate way of sending information quickly and easily. They are starting to pop up in advertisements, but there is a wide range of options to make brilliant uses of these two dimensional bar codes.

This ultimate QR guide will help you understand and maximize your use of QR codes by covering these topics:

History of QR Codes – and a little glimpse into the future

The QR code was born in the automotive industry. In the early 1990′s Toyota first started using this new form of bar code within its manufacturing processes. It was a more efficient way to store simple information about their parts and products than the standard bar codes. Since that point, there have been international standards set for encoding information (data, numbers, text, etc…) into QR codes.

In the early 2000′s, marketing firms decided to take advantage of this media. They often ran into conversion issues; where they would advertise a website to consumers, but the consumer wouldn’t go to the site because they would forget to do it later. With QR codes, and the rise of the smartphone industry, it was much more effective to get targeted consumers to take action.

In the 2010′s, as early adopters continue to spread the word about this relatively new bar code option, people are finding additional uses for it. Individuals can take advantage of it to market themselves. Artists and freelancers can easily create and distribute links to their online portfolio; business owners can provide promotions and advertisements to their patrons; you can even just use it to send a different style of text, or sms, message to friends. The future holds even more promise as people continue to find ways to creatively and effectively use this marketing medium.

How They Work – and why they’re better

The amount of data that can be stored is determined by what level or version is used. The level can be anywhere from 1 to 40. This essentially relates to how big or how small the blocks are. QR codes are also designed to be able to work even if part of the code is damaged or covered up. This is possible due to error correction. There are four levels that can be chosen (Low, Medium, Quality, or High). Which of these is chosen, also affects how much data you can store in the code.

When encoding data into a QR code, three corners are set with position data, and the fourth corner is set indented with a smaller block to be the alignment data. This allows the code to be read from any direction. Between the position data corners, the immediate rows of data record information about how to read the rest of the code. They store information about the version, data type, and the level of error correction. On the inside of the code is where the actual message, website, or phone number information resides. All of this information is generally stored like binary data; where the options are either on or off. Each area of the code is either shaded (on) or not (off).

QR codes work amazingly well (over traditional bar codes) to not only store numbers, but also text and web links. They store this information in a smaller more compact space; and they can be damaged/covered to some extent and still work. The biggest advancement of them however, is that they are so accessible via smart phones that almost anyone has access to them.

Create Your Own – it is easier than you think

There are several ways to create your own QR codes. They can be the basic black on white square structure to the very creative end where they are multi-colored, engrained into different shapes, and some even look like they are three dimensional. The best news is though, that almost all of the options are FREE.

The basic steps involved with creating QR codes are:

selecting what type of content you want to create
entering in the content (actual web address, phone number, text message, etc…)
creating the QR code; usually by clicking a ‘Generate’ button
saving that QR code image to your computer or immediately sending it out

For more advanced options, you can change the color from black to anything you want. If you want to put a personal touch on your QR code, you can edit them in Photoshop. This is where people get creative with designs.

The following websites include FREE QR code generators from the very basic to one with several options. Also included at the bottom are links to some other sites that discuss in more detail creating and designing your own QR code.

QR Code Generators

Qurify – This is the most basic QR generator. It just allows you to create a QR code that has text in it.

Kaywa QR Code – This generator allows you to create QR codes that contain links, phone numbers, text or sms messages. You can also save the image, or generate html code.

QR stuff – This generator has lots of options. You can point to URLs, YouTube videos, Google maps, social media profiles; as well as send email, text/sms, VCARD, VEVENT, and several other options. You can also change the color that shows up. If you are really into this, you can also order products with QR codes on them.

QR Code Design – Tutorial

Design QR Codes in Photoshop – This is a great site that details how to design the creative and more advanced QR codes, through Photoshop.

Creative Uses of QR codes

These easy to create and display codes, offer up a near endless potential of how to use them. After all they essentially direct people to websites or phone numbers. From there you can advertise products, share knowledge, obtain information, create awareness or any number of other activities. The key is to think how the use of a QR code can benefit you. Below is a list of creative ways other people and business have used or displayed QR codes. Read through and see if these can work for your situation or hopefully they can at least help you brainstorm other unique uses.

Museums and libraries place QR codes under art to point to information sites
Stores can offer e-coupons to customers that scan a specific code
You can create a note to yourself of a product / location that you enjoyed
Transportation services can link to real time websites for delays, weather, news, etc…
You can add a personal touch to gifts and point the recipient to an online voice message
You can share online music playlists with friends

Effective Uses of QR Codes – smart ways to use them to grow a business

If you are a small business owner or self promoter using QR codes realize this very IMPORTANT first rule. People that will scan the codes will be using their smart phones, so take them to a version of your website that is friendly to mobile devices. It should be a streamlined page that offers the basic essentials of your business/service/portfolio/etc… And don’t have Flash video on the site; because that eliminates all iPhone users. In general the size, links, images, etc.. should be designed with the smart phone user in mind.

The next very effective (and smart) way to use QR codes is to collect data about who scans the code. One example would be to have location specific codes. If you put one code in NY and one in LA, have them point to unique sites that automatically redirect the user to your main mobile homepage. Then you can tell how effective codes are in each city. You can also use QR code management software, although this area is still in the early stages of growth and there isn’t a consensus and developed standards yet.

Building Your Gaming PC!

Want to build your own personalized gaming PC? Here some great tips and guides to get you started!

If you’re looking to build your own or upgrade an existing PC, then look no further! I’ll be showing you the latest and up to date hardware for you to get started on building your beautiful works of art, known as Computers!

You’ll learn what is compatible with what, and which components will best suit your needs!
Know your hardware!
Before you even buy the components to build your computer, do your research first!
Like everything in life when it comes to building something, you must know what goes with what.

For example: Motherboards.

Motherboards come in two types of Processor Sockets. Intel, or AMD.

If you buy a Motherboard with an AMD socket, it will ONLY work with AMD Processors. Same with Intel.

BE AWARE of this, because Motherboards and Processors are usually the most pricey of all the computer components when building your rig!

Make sure you read the specifications of each piece of hardware you look at BEFORE you buy!

Barebones Kit or Separate Components?

Barebones are an easy way to buy what you need for your PC in a bundle, but they might not be exactly what you’re looking for.
For the common person just looking to build an up to date PC for the buck, a Barebones kit would be the best option to about for building a PC. Keep in mind you STILL need to assemble it, though. A barebones kit only gives you the hardware listen in it’s kit, but it is YOUR job to assemble the components in the case!

For the more “hardcore” or determined individual (myself included) personally selected separate PC parts are the better option. With this option you have more freedom of what you want for your PC to be running with. Keep in mind though that this can also be the more costly method, since what you are buying will NOT be a bundle that maybe the website you are buying from, has together.

Picking a Computer Case!

This is what people will see on top (or under) your desk! Why not make it look nice!?
Want to buy this case? Check it out by clicking the picture!! When you are building a computer, you of course need to put it inside something, right?

Most cases are typically a Medium size Tower.

There are 2 types of cases for most typical Gaming rigs. Medium and Full Size.

Full Size cases are more expensive, but usually have much better features in terms of, cable management, more space to work with when adding or upgrading, and room for bigger fans which means better cooler and overall performance of your machine.

Medium Tower cases are the default form factor for Computer cases, and can also give you a great deal or room for cable management and room for upgrading, as well. Medium Towers are also in the cheaper price range than Full Size Towers.

Need a hands on visual view to help you? No problem!

This video series from Newegg can help you get started on what you need when looking for the perfect set of components for your custom build PC!!

Technology Inclined or Declined?

We have seen a vast array of technology and how it has for the most part emerged and advanced from past eras and centuries up through now. The doesn’t seem to be any ending in sight and there shouldn’t be. Technology is what really drives us and allows us to communicate within the world we live in. Without technology, what are we left with? How can we accomplish and get any work done? What would the world be if we could not communicate for just 1 week? In the society that we live in today, the only reasonable answer would be” Utter Chaos”

However, with how fast technology continues to grow, most consumers might wonder how realistic it is to actually keep up. Before if you were a particular occupation , then you wouldn’t really have to worry about anything else but your job duties. However, now in just about any occupation you are in , you have to almost always be technically inclined in some fashion. Whether knowing the basics of internet, office applications,navigation, to sending emails is almost always included in job functions and not knowing these tasks may not land you the job you are applying for.

In my opinion, technology has become its very own environment and learning to adapt to it has become almost mandatory for most. Those who choose to keep it simple and not engage in the internet highways and social media frenzy have found themselves “caught out in the cold” so to speak. Technology has made it literally impossible to carry out the day-to-day tasks that we were so accustomed to in the earlier days. So you decide just how technically incline or decline you choose to be. One thing is for certain though, “With technology, nothing ever changes unless technology changes it for us, then at that point we have no choice”(Angel Murillo).