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Hoots Reader

November 26th, 2004

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The Magnetic card reader writer – from Data History to Flexible Modern Device

The Magnetic card reader writer is one of the most historic methods of data storage. Originally. Magnetic cards were used to store programs, which were then transported between installations and entered into their host computers via the magnetic card reader.

These days, the Magnetic card reader writer is most commonly used as access control, or to verify information about a card holder’s personal details (for example bank details). The simplest form of magnetic card programming and action is a simple yes or no: the card is programmed with a condition, which must be met in order for the system to deliver a “yes” and allow a specified action to occur.

So in the case of a simple access control system, the Magnetic card reader writer might program the magnetic stripe on the back of the card with a pair of dates – the “from” and “to” dates between which the card is valid for entry. This is most commonly seen in the electronic door keys used by modern hotels.

When the card is inserted into the Magnetic card reader writer (in our hotel example, there is a reader writer embedded in the door lock itself), the device reads the “from” and “to” dates encoded in the strip, and sends that information to the computer at the heart of the system. The computer (or in standalone cases, a single Magnetic card reader writer device) is programmed with a set of conditions that the information on the magnetic strip must meet.

In the case of a simply programmed entry and exit card, the computer program matches the actual date with the “from” and “to” dates encoded in the strip. If the actual date falls on or between the “from” and “to” dates, the lock opens. If it doesn’t, it doesn’t.

Clearly on the last day of occupancy, the guest must be able to get in using the Magnetic card reader writer for a short period in the morning (up until checkout). So the computer will probably be programmed with a condition that expresses the following in code: if today’s date matches the “to” date programmed on the card, then only open the door if it is before 1100 hours.

Of course, a magnetic card can theoretically be programmed with as much information as the end user deems necessary. And the conditions for activating a “yes” or “no” response in the system can be concomitantly complicated.

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