View Full Version : feee barcode scanner at local Radioshack (B&M)
08-18-2000, 12:57 AM
for info: http://www.radioshack.com
08-18-2000, 01:33 PM
that is freakin awesome, I am heading over there momentarily. Has anyone actually been to the B&M and picked one up?
08-18-2000, 02:56 PM
Ok, maybe I'm a bonehead, but I don't see a thing about a free barcode scanner -
Is there a direct link to the info or something specific you need to search for?
08-18-2000, 03:06 PM
Hah! I can't <u>WAIT</u> to see what the hackers come up with for this one!
08-18-2000, 03:21 PM
Is the deal still on? I can't find the info anywhere...
08-18-2000, 03:26 PM
is there any good use for home?
08-18-2000, 03:30 PM
Oh, I see it now. It is called the cue cat scanner.
I am not sure why it is good, but something tells me that this could potentially be a pretty nice thing to have.
08-18-2000, 03:30 PM
This is the same type of technology that Digimarc uses, except instead of using your pc's camera, you use this reader.
08-18-2000, 04:34 PM
I called about 6 stores in my area (Philadelphia suburb) and they all told me they won't be available until Aug. 24th when the new catalog is released.
And none would "hold one" for me.
I can imagine the lines on the 24th.......
Glenn (TV Doc)
what are these good for ????????????????
08-18-2000, 04:49 PM
08-18-2000, 06:24 PM
Hee hee, mmm toys. But for those of you who are subscribed to Wired you will probably be getting one of these in the mail free anyways (hey but having two around would be great fun), check out page 129 of the Sept issue for more details.
08-18-2000, 07:21 PM
Eat yer heart out!
Your info about the 8/24 release date is correct, but I have one in my hand. No, it's not my imagination, it's the real thing.
They will be given out (the CC) with the new 2001 catalog starting as early as Aug 24. I expect there will be plenty for everyone.
They are trying to charge $2.95 for the catalog, the CC (Cue Cat) is free.
You may be able to talk the store manager out of the charge if you are a regular customer, or buying something.
Go to http://www.radioshack.com/
and check it out. If you can't find the cat and the info, you don't need it.
08-18-2000, 07:47 PM
Just came back from there, and I've got one in my hand ... My mom was so impressed she went in right after me and picked one up. They didn't ask about the catalog, just gave it to me free ... they said that they don't wanna give em away unless you ask.
08-18-2000, 07:52 PM
I went in and asked for one. They said you get it when you buy a catalog. I told them I already had one, and they gave it to me! They told me it's meant to scan products in the catalog, but I didn't ask them to explain any further.
08-18-2000, 08:08 PM
The new catalog has a bar code printed for almost every item, or group of items that are small, such as "coax cable", or "video connectors" etc.
It's my understanding that it will scan any bar code, including what is on the monitor. That way, you "swipe" and away you go to a new site!
I don't know what it will do when you scan. Maybe it will check stock in your local store, or give specs. We will find out.
I also wonder how much info it will track and report about me. You need to register and get a key number to activate. You also need to install software.
I will be watching Apex.com, as I know this thing will be hacked within a few weeks of it's release.
08-19-2000, 12:57 AM
Yes, I picked up one today too. It's pretty cool, it connects inline with your keyboard. I'm guessing it converts the barcode into characters and uses your keyboard to submit the info. If you want to see what it looks like, just go to www.radioshack.com, (http://www.radioshack.com,) it's the cat-looking device on the main page. http://www.gotapex.com/ubb/smile.gif
[This message has been edited by MaggieOK (edited 08-19-2000).]
08-19-2000, 11:08 AM
Thanks for the pretty good deal. It looks like some crack group might be able to develop other uses for these. I walked right into radio shack, and was given one. My sister was even given a free catalogue, because she said that she did not have one ($2.95 value). Maybe it was because she asked for a "cute cat" scanner. hehehe
It is pretty cool, you can scan products you have and it will give you their websites.
I just checked with the Everett Mall, WA store and they have them in stock. The lady on the phone said they'd even give me a catalog for free. See ya!
08-19-2000, 04:05 PM
Picked mine up yesterday evening, got the bonus catalog (so there are some actual "cue" codes to scan).
The item is a nuisance. I've been lucky to get successful scans, but maybe I'm not "hesitant" enough with the thing. Plus, the lack of a shut-off for those LEDs is a real PITA.
Anyway, lets cover the real joys of this thing -- what it sends, what it doesn't..
First, anytime you scan an item, it sends a request of the following format to o.dcnv.com --
GET /CRQ/1..(activation code).04.(constant).xxxx.yyyyyyyyyyyyy.0
The activation code is the Base64 encoding of the MD5 hash of your email address.. you can make up anything there.
I don't know where the constant comes from yet. Its base64 encoded (common theme here), and appears to be the same every request.
An example xxxx.yyyy is ChCf.enF2dXd0cXa, again, base64 encoded. This is gives UPC 92564723. I'll figure this out later.
Anyway, what this means to you is that every scan is logged at the point of scanning...
(not surprising), with who wants to know (again.. not surprising -- and a good way to target advertisements at buyers of specific products).
Not only that, but *SOMETIMES* (ie, I can't make it to it on demand), it will send information to a.dcnv.com with a PUT request, which includes (again) every item you scanned, when you started and stoped the program, and *possibly* URLs that you visit while the program is running (or URLS that you surf to from pages that the CRQ brings up).
08-19-2000, 06:32 PM
Though I didn't get my
in the package, I dunno if anybody else did, but then again, I'd rather not have tv programs pop up browsers on my comp anyways.
I went and got mine, but I haven't used it yet. When I got home I noticed that the CD was bent! Needless to say I couldn't use it. Fortunately the software is available for download. http://www.crq.com/CRQinst.exe
It's about 3.5 mb.
[This message has been edited by overclocked (edited 08-19-2000).]
08-20-2000, 06:32 AM
Knowing all we know about this thing, I'll be D****d if I'm going to install the software. I think I'll wait to see what the script kiddies come up with for it. And who thought to put it in a cat shaped housing? Ech.
BTW Philly folks, the Andorra Radio Shack just got them in, no catalogue buy required.
I've played with mine for a little while now. I've scanned a BUNCH of barcodes (not from the Radio Shack catalog) and it hasn't found a single one. I get taken to a web page with "Wow! You found a code we have not yet entered!" on it. So for now it looks like it's limited to the RS catalog. Not a bad thing, quite a lot seems to be on sale with really nice discounts. Probably to coincide with the launch of the barcode scanner.
One last thing... If you have a barcode to scan, that's not in the RS catalog, doesn't that probably mean that you've already bought the item you're scanning? :|
08-20-2000, 11:56 AM
the b&m radioshack down in san daygo does not give out until next thursday 8/24..does anyone have any luck of obtain one @ any radioshack in San Daygo???
"Heroes Are Ordinary Men
Who Do Extraordinary Things
In Extraordinary Times"
08-22-2000, 11:46 PM
As I expected, this thing is pretty useless. Unless someone will hack the software and use its scanning capabilities in some other way, I dont see what you can do with it. Most of the stuff I scanned came up as unknown UPC code, good thing I didnt have to pay for it
08-23-2000, 06:35 AM
ok guys, what this bar code reader does is scan the code into your computer. next, the cuecat software links this code to a url stored on the cuecat server, connecting you to the appropriate webpage relevant to the product you scanned. obviously, not every product will work as companies probably have to pay a fee to the cuecat people (i'm drawing a blank on the company's name right now) to allow their barcoded product data on the cuecat server. this is the same general method of the digimarc technology, which apparently hasn't gone over as well as they had hoped. i'm guessing that it is all of you posers out there who got the free cameras from digimarc and have yet to give the software a run-through. if you haven't yet, please do... this is a really cool technology and i hate to see it fall through just because a couple thousand greedy people wanted to take advantage of a company for free stuff without returning the favor.
[This message has been edited by coleslaw (edited 08-23-2000).]
08-23-2000, 07:14 AM
I believe the company's name that is doing this is Digital Convergence. They have alliances with RS (of cource) plus a bunch of otther big corporations like McDonalds, Ford, etc. They plan to have those bar codes in catalogs, magazine ads, and even on tv. The cat scanner is just the first part. They plan on having hardware that hooks your tv to your computer and when you see commercials on tv your computer will automatically display another ad (web page). I think the scanner is kind of neat but the tv computer thing is a little too much for me.
[This message has been edited by SneakyE (edited 08-23-2000).]
The only thing I've been able to scan that got any results, besides the Radio Shack catalog, is a box of Life Cereal. None of my books, magazines, software, or CD's have gotten anything at all. Looks like we're what they call early adopters......
08-23-2000, 01:10 PM
Radio Shack did indeed have the free bar code scanner - it works
wonderfully. All you have to do is make barcodes in MS word (or any program
that makes bar codes) and you can label anything and track them in a database. I now have to resist the urge to barcode everything.
08-23-2000, 01:18 PM
I stopped at my local Radio Shack and asked about it. The guy told me there's no such thing. I told him there is and all he has to do is go to the RS web site and he'll see it. He kind of had the "I work at Radio Shack and I know more than you" attitude.
Maybe I'll go back when someone smarter is working.
08-23-2000, 09:25 PM
gee seems like maybe they are cauterizing us to using scanners soon maybe we can just put one in our forehead or maybe on our right hand....
08-25-2000, 04:10 PM
Got my Cue Cat and catalog today. The clerk at RS asked me if I had a computer, then ISP. He was quick to twist my arm about switching to MSN service and Sprint LD. A real hard sell. Just an FYI for folks.
got mine today. (NY - Palisades Mall) Got both the Catalog and Cat Cue. No problems, in and out.
08-26-2000, 09:57 AM
how does ms word make barcodes??
08-26-2000, 10:15 AM
You can put bar codes on labels, just as you can in any part of a Word document and you don't need an add-on. Just the correct barcode TrueType font to suit your needs. Barcodes are just another font that you can place in a document. Advice, tips and news from author, guru, curmudgeon, and Microsoft software victim Woody Leonhard, and friends
There are 25 different barcode fonts here:
[This message has been edited by Sumgai (edited 08-26-2000).]
[This message has been edited by Sumgai (edited 08-26-2000).]
08-26-2000, 05:25 PM
The PB store in San Diego gave me one this morning.
Can anyone recommend a piece of freeware / shareware that could be used to catalog scans, rather than their big brother software?
08-26-2000, 06:16 PM
Just went to get my little pussy scanner earlier today. They gave it to me no problem with the catalog.
Everybody had to give their name and address, right?
08-26-2000, 07:06 PM
Any software package can be used with barcode data entry. By connecting a "wedge" barcode reader between the computer keyboard and the computer, a scanned barcode will go into the computer as if it were typed on the keyboard. The problem with this approach is you must assure that the cursor is in the proper field before you scan the barcode.
The following programs are application software that have bar code features built into them. That usually means that the program knows when to expect data from a scanned barcode and when to expect keyboard input. The software often validates that the correct data is going into the correct field of the data entry screen.
FREEWARE: BARCODE 97
This software supports many bar code formats, such as EAN, UPC, CodABar, Code 2 of 5, Code 3 of 9; it also supports BMP, TeX, and PostScript files. With a user-friendly interface, it lets you add the bar code text in any desired font, and it can generate the standard layout for EAN bar codes. You can also copy bar codes to the Windows Clipboard and paste them into other programs.
[This message has been edited by Sumgai (edited 08-26-2000).]
08-27-2000, 04:11 PM
i think it would be cool if there was a program where you could assign a barcode to a certain program, so that when you scan that barcode, the program you want loads up.
08-28-2000, 05:53 AM
Barcode fonts out the wazoo.......
08-28-2000, 06:04 AM
Yeah, my intellimouse with optical eye want to pick a fight with the cat with the big LED. Whose gonna win?
09-01-2000, 11:52 PM
Originally posted by overclocked:
I've played with mine for a little while now. I've scanned a BUNCH of barcodes (not from the Radio Shack catalog) and it hasn't found a single one.<hr>
Which model of the CueCat did you use? I haven't installed mine yet, so I have no control response to compare with.
09-02-2000, 01:15 AM
dude, I went to my local radioshack and the bastard told me I had to purchase something to get the barcode scanner..
09-04-2000, 11:37 AM
The Forum fix deleted my longish reply so this is a derived repost of sorts from my post on another board to save time retyping (yah, yeah, how gaśche)<hr>
Am starting to wonder if I can get some kind of diffraction grating to put on the output and see if I can broadcast pulses that can be picked up by a laser speed gun. Hopefully, none of the output from a modified CueCat can be used to confuse a laser speed gun because that would be naughty. Oh well, back to more practical items.
BACKGROUND INFO AND CODE:
You might also be interested in this (http://www.eblong.com/zarf/bookscan/index.html) webpage which discusses and provides some downloadable code for barcode wedges such as in scanning UPC codes.
On Slashdot, someone mentioned this (http://www.xdrive.com/share/967820653139oC2g2Ip88yBN6kY1mb6d).
After you look at the above URLs and download sample snippets of code, you might wonder about what Perl looks like... Then you might run the webpage here (http://www.upcdatabase.com/cuecat.pl) which makes use of a Perl script that can decode a scanned barcode.
ANSWERING THE ORIGINAL ON-TOPIC QUESTION:
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