:Cue Cat

Do you remember the :Cue Cat?  It was made in the late 90’s by a company called Digital Convergence and was given away for free at Radio Shack in the early 2000’s.  When they first came out with them I got one and installed the software that came with it and had a jolly good time scanning boxes of cereal and cans of Chef Boyardee and my soda.  But that became boring after 5 minutes and it sat there plugged in for months until I decided it wasn’t doing me any good at all.  I unplugged it, removed the software and put it in a drawer never to be seen again.

Today I was sitting here and I saw it sitting on a shelf and I thought, I wonder what good that thing is anymore, should I just toss it or what?  Then I got to thinking, I kept it all these years because it scans bar codes, I wonder if it still does that but for other things like placing things on eBay or adding books to my Anobii account.

I did a little Google search and I actually found more information than I thought I would about it.  Apparently people were upset that the Cue Cat was sending information to Digital Convergence every time you used it and someone hacked it and made it impossible for them to get any information.  They found out and tried to sue that person but ended up going out of business instead which is why the software doesn’t work anymore.  You can’t use the software on the cd because it doesn’t have a website to connect to anymore.

But it still works, if you have a Cue Cat plug it in and try scanning something into Notepad.  You will get some long numbers because it’s made to send encrypted code to the Digital Convergence software to bring up a website.  You can’t use the software but the scanner works and there is a website at LibraryThing.com that can read that encrypted code to add your book to their website.  Although I tried it and only 5 out of 32 books would scan properly.  So my search continued.

I found the CED Magic website which gave me a bit more help with a program called CatNip which will remove that encryption from the bar code information so you can get the proper numbers to scan.  I tried it and it works.  I went to Anobii and scanned a book and it automatically added it to my bookshelf.  I removed it of course because that book was already there.

What I want to use it for is so that I can add things to eBay without going through the hassle of having to type everything in.  Even the bar code itself, I’d rather just swipe the bar code, since I already own a Cue Cat, then just go from there.  Darrin owns hundreds of LP’s and wants to sell them on eBay but figured it’s such a hassle typing in all that information.  Now it’s easier.

I don’t buy physical books anymore since I own a Nook so I really don’t have a need to scan book bar codes for Anobii but you never know what might happen in the future.  I might get a bug up my ass and want to scan all of my books, dvd’s, cd’s, and pc software bar codes for a catalog program lol.  Crazier things have happened.

Well at least if you have an old Cue Cat that you got for free 10 or 11 years ago, you can take it out of moth balls and hook it up again and scan to your hearts content lol.

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