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NewsForge: Review: CueCat barcode scanner

Dec 30, 2000, 14:00 (0 Talkback[s])

"Several weeks ago I received a package in the mail from Wired . It contained a curious little catshaped device meant to be used with the included Windows software to scan a barcodes from a magazine or newspaper and open a corresponding sponsor's Web site. Of course, before most of the people this thing was targeted at even figured out what it was, Open Source developers began writing drivers and software to make the Cue:Cat useful for other purposes."

"The problem is that the Cue:Cat's creator, Digital Convergence, doesn't like people using their hardware without their software present. (There are many articles dealing with the subject.) But that is not why I am writing today. I am writing to review the unit itself and the Open Source software available for it."

"The device itself is simple, as it consists of a PS/2 pass-through that you connect between your computer and your keyboard, and the cat-shaped reader itself. The reader is about the length of a mouse but roughly half as wide. The only external working part is the "eye" that reads the barcodes. As far as the physical operation of the unit goes, there isn't much to say. How the CueCat works with your computer is another story."

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