Re: [OVC-demo-team] Cue Cat Scanners

From: Alan Dechert <alan_at_openvotingconsortium_dot_org>
Date: Wed Feb 25 2004 - 15:44:18 CST


> Would you post the link about how to mod the Cue Cat?
Here's a link for the 68-1965 and 68-1965-A

The ones I got are 68-1965. It was pretty simple to cut pin 16 (needed
sharp exacto knife and magnifying glass). I don't know about the
68-1965-A... Looks like you have to solder a wire.

> I also think it's funny that people are selling these on e-bay since Radio
> Shack was giving them away for free - they were a marketing promotional
> item.
It's a funny story, I'll grant you that. Digital Convergence made 100s of
thousands of these before they figured out it was a poor business model, and
threw in the towel. I think I read somewhere that Digital Convergence had
paid something like 10 bucks each to have them made. For a short time,
there were some print ads that had the "Cue" (barcode) whereby the reader
was supposed to scan the Cue while online and be sent to the desired web
page. Other info like scanner serial no was passed along to the advertiser.
Hackers said, "screw this" and defeated the lame scheme they had devised.
For a while, Digital Convergence tried to play cool and work with hackers to
make the Cue Cat useful for other things. Eventually, they realized they
just had an idea that sucked and the world wound up with piles of "free"
barcode scanners.

When I was looking into buying a bunch of these, I talked to one of the guys
selling on eBay. He said he had 20,000 of them. I don't know how he wound
up with 20,000 of these but it's not hard to imagine he got them real cheap.
If he makes a buck or two each, then that's a nice piece of change (hope
he's reporting this correctly on his taxes!) Actually, he makes at least 3
dollars alone on shipping selling them one at a time. I mailed these out for
$1.37 ea. He's charging anywhere from $4 to $6 S&H.

Alan D.
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Received on Thu Apr 1 02:40:22 2004

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