Not Your Average Bar Code Tattoo – It Scans


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Back in July, I upgraded my single parallel port tattoo to add on Fire Wire ports and a bar code. Underneath the bar code was my name in binary code and for those who don’t know binary, I wanted the bar code to scan properly to display my name, just in case. Below is the picture I posted online of my new ink.

Bar code and ports tattoos

When I told Jordan at Americana Tattoo that I had put off the bar code for years because it seemed everyone was doing one, I added that I finally decided to do it because I found a way to make mine unique. He told me how a surprising number of people ask for a bar code and just give him any random bar code to copy. Apparently, there’s a lot of people out there who, if thrown on a checkout line scanner at the supermarket, would likely come up as a $0.99 bottle of filtered water. Hearing that made mine seem so much better, but I never got around to scanning it until Friday, when a friend told me he scanned the picture of my tattoo with his T-Mobile G1 and it worked. Of course, I immediately headed to Jared’s office to borrow his G1 and try it myself. I took my video camera:

In case you’re wondering what got me thinking (and talking) about my tattoos again, take a look at some of the recent blog posts that I noticed popping up that were talking about it. I love that it inspires people to write about it.

http://snigit.blogspot.com/2008/08/techtoo-bar-code-and-ports.html

http://www.geekytattoos.com/joe-tech-is-versatile/

http://www.tattooblog.org/entry/joe-is-geeky-and-his-tattoo-too/

http://www.tattoo42.com/joe-is-geeky-and-his-tattoo-too.html

http://tystips.com/archives/39/techtoos-technology-related-tattoos/

There was another link in Spanish that I can’t find at the moment.

With all this tattoo action buzzing, it also got me thinking about what’s next. I know I want more ports, but I also want to move forward with the beginnings of what will be a whole cyborg theme. The ports are just a start. What’s the best geeky tattoo you’ve seen? Any suggestions on what I should do next?

Geek Ink : Geeky Tattoos


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We all know what a tattoo is. They’ve been around for centuries and surely will continue to decorate the skin for centuries to come. Time only enhances them by adding vibrant colors and ink that shows up best under black light. While mothers have always cringed at the thought of their baby getting a tattoo, most of us know someone with a tattoo or two and some of us have our own. Recently, I had a couple more done, so I thought I would post them and some that other people have that are equally as geeky.

I’ll go first
Bar code and ports tattoos

Above is a photo showing all my ink. Almost 3 years ago, I got a parallel port tattooed on my back. That’s the port in the middle that is a little lighter than the rest. I have been in love with computers since the first time I was on one in the early 80’s and it’s something I am very passionate about. Years ago, I wanted to get a bar code, but by time I got around to it, everyone else had one, so I opted for a parallel port instead. It was my first and when it was done, I immediately started thinking about what else I wanted done. Life kept me busy and I eventually started thinking about it again and worked out what I would want next. Last weekend, I headed to Americana Tattoo and added to my collection. The bottom row is a FireWire logo, followed by two FireWire ports. At the top, I finally got my bar code. I figured I shouldn’t care what everyone else has and did it anyway. However, I did make it a little more original. I used an online bar code image generator to generate a Code 128 barcode. I chose this standard because it’s easy to scan. The bar code should actually scan as “Joe” and the numbers underneath it spell out “Joe” in binary. These tattoos are just a small part of a much bigger plan.

Other geeky and nerdy tattoos
There’s a ton of geeky tattoo photos out there on the net, but I just grabbed all these from the Geeky Tattoos pool on Flickr. I had been planning a Matrix port tattoo to go with all my other ports, but I think it needs to be just a bit lower than the one below. I love the Tank Girl tat, because I’m a big Tank Girl fan. Of course, there’s the binary and the HTML-like tags (which are also on my list). Finally, there’s a bigger version of the FireWire logo, proving I’m not the only one crazy enough to ink that into my skin, and the “OMG LOL” tattoo, which has me thinking, well, “OMG! LOL!”.

Now I have questions for you.
1. Do you have any ink? If so, how many, what are they, and where on your body? (picture links are welcome)
2. What’s the geekiest (or your favorite) tattoo you’ve seen?
3. Any plans for geeky tattoos?