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Operating Systems

Operating Systems and Programming Languages

PDTs generally have proprietary operating systems installed even though some manufacturers now support DOS or DOS like operating systems primarily to allow programmers to develop in languages such as BASIC, C, or PASCAL. At first glance, this may seem the best choice, but for most data collection applications this can be an overkill. Granted, the user must become familiar with the manufacturer's programming language, however, this is usually not very difficult and can often be performed by a nontechnical individual. Proprietary operating systems are designed specifically for data collection applications and are generally quite efficient when it comes to developing bar code applications.

The other alternative is to program the hand held unit using a Resident Operating Program (ROP), if it is supported by the manufacturer. The ROP is built-in to the reader and allows the users to easily define the data fields, the number of fields, the width of each field, prompting messages, and record delimiters of a file. The ROP is ordinarily flexible enough to support most data collection applications.