CueCat Hacking


The CueCat will always hold a place in hardware hacking history. Actually, anything that makes C&D letters start the to fly will guarantee memory. The CueCat is a simple barcode scanner that was a magazine throw-in. Most people got their’s from Wired, but you could get them from Radio Shack for free. The idea was to scan barcodes embedded in magazine ads and the included software would take you directly to the related website. The problem was that each of these devices transmitted its unique serial number to the software so the parent company could track what you were interested in. Well techies weren’t having any of that and soon began stripping off the serial number. The device also didn’t work as a regular barcode scanner because of some built-in obfuscation. People were able to change the device to read regular UPC codes and then cataloging software was developed so you could keep track of your movies, books, and CDs. Needless to say the company was not happy with this development. Here is one site’s story.

[carpespasm] had sent this in last week and I had brushed it off thinking “yeah I’ve seen it before, and it is interesting, but the old specialized hardware gives it limited appeal”. In a bit of zen BoingBoing recently posted about a liquidator selling two million of these things. You don’t have to buy that many though. I bumped over to eBay and found that for a couple of bucks you can get one of these. So, if you’re curious the hardware is out there.

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Hackaday Links


i say it’ll be another 3 or 4 days until my teeth become somewhat normal again. i’m so sick of ice cream and biting things like a gopher. but yes! this morning after a long binge of donuts, madonna, and photography, i’m on a mission to find some public hacking to do today. it should be an interesting endeavor.

now before these tasty links that smell like chicken, there is apparently an interest in meeting up. therefore, for the philadelphians/peoplenearphilly, check tomorrow’s monday sipping for the final word. a live hack will be done, stories told, hacks exchanged, and other fun stuff. so, stay tuned or else. as for people in other cities, leave where you’re at in the comments. we’ll see what the deal is with that!

pretty nifty usb-drive in a cellphone. that nokia wasn’t a bad phone though! nooo! [kyle]
(warning, above is geocities. get there while you can)
another great wallpaper! matrix-style! [ryan]
yet another pocket amplifier. i like it a lot. penguin pride! [rob]
apparently you can fix dead psp pixels. worth a shot i suppose. [jon]
some guy on IRC keeps hacking himself. hilarious. [hackadayrdr99]

from the creator of XXL shampoo, we have goth torches. [chewie]

and wowee. apparently, the x86 version of tiger has already been leaked. gimme gimme.

i can’t resist an aussie hack! someone sent this in:
on the foxtell didital settop boxes in australia, go to the system setings
screen, hiltght picture setings. then type the code 0611on the remote, then
press select. this gives you modem setings and other stuff.

sounds cool. always good to get a workaround on a box of some sort. keep hacking!

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