Remember CueCats? They were the nifty personal barcode device that advertisers were going to use to taylor market to your personal habits and tastes. It was the hardware version of spyware. Well, it failed miserably 1.
But lucky us, they offered them for free and you can still find them on eBay. Since I use a Mac, I got the USB model. (click on the images for a larger view)
The only problem is that CueCats use a proprietary scanning encryption. Hence, the need for a mod that lets them work as generic barcode scanners 2, for use with any cataloging software like Delicious Monster’s Library, for instance.
Open up your Cat.
The USB models have a 16 pin SMD microcontroller. This IC will have a part number on it similar to the following sequence: K130A033 HMS91C7316 0027. The reference designator for this IC is “R2”. (I disconnected that cable for clarity, but it’s unnecessary)
Simply lift pin 5 on this device. The Cat is now functioning as a commercial barcode scanner.