"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
"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
"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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