My new 'business card'

Ahoy everyone,

hope you are doing well. ❤

2-dimensional codes. I think I have to explain this one to you… Over the last few days, I’ve been thinking about this thing a bit. The Nintendo E-Reader. Most of you will probably think… What the heck is this thing? In a nutshell, it was one of Nintendo’s failed experiments for the Gameboy Advance. It’s a device that scans barcode-like stripes on business card-sized cardboard cards.

In theory, this was a really cool and exciting idea. But, as usual, it had its shortcomings, like its usability and the extra game content it provided. So naturally, it failed.

Why did I think of this then? I don’t know… Honestly. YouTube recommendations are one hell of a drug and I am an absolute nerd. as if you didn’t notice that by now… Nevertheless, it got me thinking since at its core it’s a really interesting idea. I mean. Think about it. This looking thing is the actual game/program. Isn’t that crazy? It makes you think about programs and how they work as well as what is actually needed to run one on a low level. That could also be my strange brain… 😅

Well… In this case, the explanation is pretty simple. Binary. Those black and white squares represent binary values, which can be read in a special way, using a scanner, to reconstruct a computer program in a binary format.

The cool thing is… That’s also basically how s and similar codes work. They encode their information/data, whether it’s basic text or program code, into a binary format and display it in this black-and-white square manner. Okay… It’s not that easy, since s also do other shenanigans. But you get the idea. It would be a tad too long to explain that…

Okay. What do we do now? I’ve only written about three paragraphs, it’s only 10 PM right now, and I don’t feel like going too technical today.

Well… What are you then talking about strange mystery man? Maybe let’s do some interesting uses for those types of codes.

Of course, there’s the possibility of storing plain text inside. If you ever felt like reading a blog post by scanning QR codes. Ehrm… You’ve got some weird taste but here ya go.

A QR-Code containing the entirety of this blog post

And you’ve probably encountered those types of QR codes where you get sent off to a far corner of the world wide web. Most likely to view the restaurant menu, only to realize that the cellular network connection is pretty bad and the technology fails. But we’re sidetracking a bit. again

Also, you can make a “digital business card” with the help of a QR code. Here’s mine. ;)

A QR-Code containing some personal contact data.

Okay. But that isn’t the thing I meant with the title. ;)

Well… Besides those pretty rudimentary ideas, there are some other neat ideas.

First, you can put an entire program or even a game inside a QR code. I saw this video from MattKC about making a game fit inside a QR code. Link to the video It works by converting the Windows executable into a binary format and then optimizing it so much, that it can fit inside the restricted space of a QR code.

But of course, it wouldn’t be fun if I didn’t try this by myself. Okay… Not exactly like this since I don’t wanna waste multiple days, but you get the idea…

So there we go… But not here, later my friend…

An even more extreme example would be the Nintendo E-Reader I mentioned in the beginning. They used these little dot matrix codes on the sides of these cards. These also contain the binary “executable” on one or multiple cards in this specialized data format. With this, they managed to expand the scope of these little dot matrix codes to even make NES games playable.

An example of a Nintendo E-Reader card.

This inspired me to make my own little card in this type of format. One which is a bit more of a classic “business card” and one which is a bit more creative. 😉

Well. Here’s the first one… As I already said. This has a pretty classic look and features a QR code with the V-Card feature.

The second one uses this E-Reader style of format and data matrix codes to give you a special little surprise which I’m going to leave up to you. 😉

A personal take on an 'E-Reader' card containing the game Snake.

But yeah… I think I’ve talked enough without mentioning anything substantial. Hope it inspired you to think of the smaller things in a different way to make something cool as well.

Have a nice day.

And see ya.