Ueber-Geek Christmas Tree With QR Code Decorations




Introduction: Ueber-Geek Christmas Tree With QR Code Decorations

About: At heart an engineer, musician, polyglot, cook, computer programmer, wood worker, brewer and hacker.
Über-Geek Christmas Tree with QR Code decorations

Show off your geekyness with Christmas Tree decorations of QR Codes that have lame Christmas Cracker Jokes on them. Of course, you need a scanner to fully appreciate the lame jokes, but then what geek does not have at least 3 different QR Code scanning apps on his/her smartphone - or worse, walk around with an actual bar code scanner in his geek-bag?

This Instructable provides 100 lame jokes in paper cut-outs that you can glue into cubes, hang onto a tree, scan them with a smartphone scanner, and...er, well, chortle about with your fellow geeks. The source code is also included so you can create your own QR Cubes and vary the content.

Inspired by this Instructable: https://www.instructables.com/id/QR-Code-Bad-Jokes/, this is the outcome of my nocturnal deliberations and programming.

What you will need:
  • An A4 or A3 printer
  • A PDF viewer (Okular, GhostView, Acrobat Reader)
  • Scissors. It also helps having a guillotine to save on cutting
  • Paper Glue
  • Dexterity
If you plan to generate your own QR Cubes, you will also need:
  • A Linux PC
  • Perl, ImageMagick and PDFTK (PDF Tool Kit) need to be installed if not already on your Linux variant

Step 1: Print the QRCode Cubes

Print the attached PDF file to either an A4 or an A3 printer. The PDF pages scale on most printers without you having to make any adjustments.

Step 2: Cut Out, Fold and Glue Into a Cube

Cut out the shape on each page, fold on the fold lines, and glue into a cube. Some finger dexterity is required here. Get your colleagues to help - even if they don't believe in Santa!

Then raid the stationary cupboard and get some rubber bands and clear sticky tape, and stick a rubber band on each cube.

Attach to tree.

Repeat ad nauseum.

Step 3: Scan the Christmas Tree Decorations

Use your Android phone or other smart phone that has a camera to scan the QRCodes on the Christmas tree.
Observe the returned message.
Gasp at the lameness of the joke.

Step 4: Provide a Barcode Scanner

The tree looked pretty cool but no-one was scanning the QR codes to appreciate my abject humour. Eventually I succumbed and provided a barcode scanner attached to the USB port on a Linux computer. Run up an X-terminal (Konsole, XTerm, or any of the many others) and select a large font.

Enter this command in the X-terminal:

cat <<! 

Yes, really, this is the command. This will make every scan from the barcode scanner appear in a new line, preceded by a '>'.

At last, the world can now appreciate my rubbish jokes!

Step 5: Produce Your Own QRCube Content

The Perl script that I used to create this is attached here. It took a few hours to hack and is not perfect, but it works sufficiently well. The libraries required are on most standard Linux distro's or obtainable through the distro's standard installation tool set.

In all likelyhood you will need to install Perl's Imager::QRCode library like so:
$ sudo cpan -i Imager::QRCode
This worked 100% on Gentoo and Sabayon Linux, but I had to manually "push it along" on Mint Linux and Ubuntu Linux.

You may also need to install the ImageMagick library:
$ sudo equo install imagemagick (for Sabayon)
$ sudo apt-get install imagemagick (for Mint and Ubuntu)

The content is in text form below the __DATA__ section. Each line of text corresponds to a separate QR Code. The content can be web URL's, adverts, slogans, insults, event dates. Me, I prefer silly, childish jokes. It's Christmas after all!

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