Programming the Falcon PT40


This is extraordinary. In just one day, I appear to have been able to learn to program the PSC Falcon PT40 barcode scanner and write a program that gathers barcodes in the very peculiar format required by Horizon.

They’ve got a very good tutorial file, but I’m still surprised I caught on so quickly because I’ve never programmed like this before. It was all done in a GUI that looked like Visio, only every object had a properties sheet with various tabs.

I take it that what I did was some sort of object-oriented programming, only I’m used to having to learn a syntax and then type stuff in order to create a program. If anyone knows common terminology for this sort of programming, I’d like to learn what it is.

Anyway, tomorrow (if possible), I’m going out to a library to actually test this with real barcodes and real call numbers, and see if it can handle various peculiarities of input.

The best thing about this is that I can release my code under the GPL, once it’s working well enough to not disgrace me, and other Horizon libraries will then be able to buy these scanners cheaply and load my program. They won’t have to shell out for the official software package.

UPDATE: Since I wrote this, I’ve announced the software’s availability at http://www.tblc.org/sunline/tblcInventory.zip.


  1. Hello, sorry to bother you but I guess I’m quite desperate. I’m trying to find any information I can get about this “very peculiar format required by Horizon” Inventory. Is there any description of the file anywhere?

    I work at the IT support department of a Greek university (www.auth.gr).

    I’d be very grateful if you could help in any way you can.

    Thank you very much,

  2. Yes, but it’s proprietary. You’ll have to ask SirsiDynix.

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