A sample barcode with the number 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 0 on it and the text www.waspbardcode.com above it.
Between the library, grocery store, and various rewards programs, I've got several cards with bar codes. Since I use a money clip instead of a wallet, I keep all these various cards in my car and only grab the one that I need whenever I need it.
A great idea I heard a while back is to scan all these various bar codes and print them out on one piece of paper which you then laminate. The goal being to have one card instead of several. Since I don't have a scanner hooked up right now, I decided to see if there was a free online tool to generate the bar code graphics for me that I could use to make my single bar code card.
I never really thought about the fact that there's more than one bar code standard which apparently are called "Symbologies". If I would have started with the Wikipedia page I would have quickly discovered there are several.
My library and apparently lots of others use Codebar. The way I figured this out was by punching my library id number into the waspbarcode generator and just going though all the possible symbologies till I saw one that matched.
One interesting part of this was that I found another barcode generator at barcodesoft.com which is the one I tried first. Everything lined up on theirs except the last few bars which were off which means the number would be incorrect. So, props to the wasp folks for getting it right.
Now I just need to figure out the symbology for each of my other cards. Now that I know that what I'm looking for is a "symbology", I'll start with a search. I'm guessing someone else already lists what I need to know on the great wide internet.