LISNews has a little post pointing to a CNet “power of 10” list (one of many being generated for CNet’s 10th anniversary), this one “Top 10 worst products.”

Second on the list is “CueCat” (actually :CueCat, but the article gets it wrong both times), of which the writer, Tom Merritt, actually says “I liked this idea when I first saw it.” Setting aside issues of how much attention I should pay to a list generated by someone who liked the idea of sitting tethered to a computer while reading so you could scan bar codes from magazines to get More Advertising…well, here’s the second sentence:

“I also should note that it’s still used for some library applications and comes in handy.”

Anybody know of any libraries using :CueCat?

A little web searching shows some old freeware/cheapware “personal library” applications that did use hacked versions of :CueCat as freebie barcode scanners, but if any library relies on this long-defunct device, I’ve never heard of them.

But maybe some of you have.

(#3 is DigiScent iSmell, one of several “scent peripherals” that have come and gone, mostly gone. #6 is Windows ME; hard to argue with that. And #10, one variant on something I’ve seen at least one library blogger drool over, at least in theory: VKP’s “virtual keyboard,” the concept of projecting a keyboard as a light pattern onto any flat surface. Did anybody ever get one of these devices to work? CNet didn’t, apparently.)

2 Responses to “:CueCat?”

  1. Jenny Levine says:

    I think he means home library inventory applications, not library institution apps. There’s a million and one hacks out there to turn the CueCat into a scanner that lets you scan the UPC codes on your DVDs, books, etc. in order to speed data entry and grab metadata.

  2. Steve Oberg says:

    I actually used to have one of these :CueCat readers to use in association with a home library application called ReaderWare (www.readerware.com). It came, free, with the install CD and lasted about six months as a barcode reader. Then one of my toddlers decided it was a toy and broke it. I wanded in my entire library of circa 1,000 books with it over the course of one day.