: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.

Box of Buttons

When I was 19 years old I asked my mom for a button and she went into her sewing kit and pulled out a little clear box with a pink lid filled with many different types of buttons that she has collected over her lifetime and she handed it to me. I dumped it out onto the table and looked for the button I needed and put it all back and she told me to keep it because you never know when you are going to need a button. So I took it and I had it for many years.

When we lived in Hollywood we had this neighbor named Meg and one day between 1994 and 1999 I don’t remember when, Darrin gave this box to her without my permission. He didn’t realize that this box of buttons, as insignificant as it may seem, meant a lot to me because it was my moms box of buttons. I felt like I couldn’t ask for it back because I don’t ask for a gift back after it was given. So basically, I lost it forever. Meg passed away in 2000 soon after we moved to Bakersfield and when we went to her house it had been ransacked and I never saw the box again.

Today we left Butch and June’s house (we came to visit early before Thanksgiving and came home today) and just before we left I went upstairs to see their tenant’s room that they are renting and as I was going down the stairs after looking at it I noticed this little box sitting on a shelf by the door. I went over to Darrin and asked him if he gave my box of buttons to June and he said no and I said I just saw my box and so I walked over to the door and opened it and grabbed the box and opened it to find it was filled with buttons. Darrin asked June where she got it and she said that she got it from the motel (they own some motels in San Diego as well as all over the United States). What that means to me is that the “friends” of Meg’s who ransacked her house when she died took my box of buttons and one day they were in San Diego and just so happened to have stayed at Butch and June’s motel and accidentally left the box and it ended up in the lost and found and June just so happened to take it home.

The box found me! After all these years it found me. I firmly believe it too. What are the chances that I would ever see this box again? Here is a picture of the box. By the way, before Darrin gave it to Meg I was bored one day and I had this sticky foil paper that you put over a book, it’s book covers in the mid 90’s and it is the type that when you look at the silver part it has colors and they printed it black with the silver flower outlines.  The top piece didn’t stick so I glued it on and the sides didn’t stick so I used clear packing tape and sure enough this has all that on it.  It is in fact my box that Darrin gave to Meg.