keyboard wedgeA hardware device or software program that interfaces with a computer to translate data read by a device other than a keyboard, such as a magnetic strip or bar code reader or other such scanning device, into keyboard data. For example, data entered into a database via a bar code reader must first be translated into alphanumeric characters in order to be understood by the person interfacing with the database since humans do not read bar codes. The term wedge comes from the fact that the hardware device typically sits, or wedges, between the keyboard and the system unit. The keyboard is attached to the scanner, which is attached to processing component of the computer. Software wedges are programs that reroute the data once it has been input into a computer, typically through a COM port. The input data is routed to the keyboard buffer by the software, making it appear as if it entered the system through the keyboard. Keyboard wedges can be used simultaneously with keyboards.
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