This site is here for mostly archival purposes.
There's not a lot of cuecat action these days. I make occasional updates to this page though, so do check back.

Dallas Morning News, June 19, 2001: "Digital Convergence Takes Dirt Nap"

SiliconValley.Com, Feb. 24, 2001: "CueCat scanner is not catching on with consumers as quickly as predicted"

Guardian (U.K.), Jan. 21, 2001: "Fur flies as geeks neuter the CueCat shopping spy"

Tulane Hullabaloo, Oct, 27, 2000: "What the heck is a CueCat?"

CNet, Oct 26, 2000: "The CueCat: When Free Isn't Worth the Price"

DDJ, Nov, 2000 Editorial: "Cat and Mouse Games"

PCPlus Magazine, Nov. 2000: "Beware Greeks bearing gifts"

San Francisco Gate, Oct. 10, 2000: "The Clause of the CueCat - Legal Language Could Shut Down Hardware Tinkerers"

ZDNet, Oct 9, 2000: "Why the world needs reverse engineers"

User Friendly, Oct 8, 2000 : "Unfortunate Design"

San Jose Mercury News, Oct 5, 2000 : "Re-engineering the CueCat" Unfortunately, this is one of those stupid newspapers that charges for back-issues via the web -- which more or less insures that no one will read their paper for old information. They won't show up in search engines, links like mine go dead, and news sites like SJM become irrelevant. They charge $1.95 to view an old story, and "Full stories do not include graphics, sidebars, illustrations or photos." Read a better paper.

Wired, Oct 3, 2000 : "Turning CueCat Into a Cool Cat", Oct 3, 2000: "Digital Convergence's CueCat Crackdown"

AP Business, Oct 2, 2000: "CueCat Rollout Proceeds Amid Debate"

LA Weekly, Sept. 29: "Can Digital Convergence stop hackers from making the CueCat useful?"

On Your Side Radio, Sept 29, 2000. Warning: Windows Media

Slashdot, Sept 28, 2000: "CueCat Goes After Online Barcode Database"

ZDNet Commentary, Sept. 27, 2000: "CueCat and corporate cluelessness"

Slashdot, Sept 26, 2000: "CueCat At It Again"

Byte, Sept 25, 2000: "The Cat Is Out Of The Bag"

Balitmore Sun, Sept 25, 2000. "CueCat scanner simplifies Web surfing, but raises privacy concerns"

ZDnet, Sept 22, 2000: "Will privacy kill the CueCat?"

Slashdot, Sept 21, 2000: "Privacy Concerns and The CueCat"

Dallas Observer, Sept 20, 2000 : "Here's a Digit For You"

Internet News Radio interview, Sept. 18, 2000 (mp3 format). Redistributed with permission from Internet News Radio.

Slashdot, Sept 18, 2000: "Digital Convergence Changes EULA, and Gets Cracked"

C|Net News.Com, Sept. 18, 2000: "CueCat users' information let out of the bag"

Salon, Sept 15, 2000 : "A scanner darkly -- Can Wired's CueCat giveaway turn us into a nation of bar-code-reading clerks?"

Linux Weekly News, Sept 14, 2000 Includes Larry Walls' "tattooable" decoder in Perl.

Linux Weekly News, Sept 7, 2000

Slashdot, Sept 5, 2000: "Barcode Maker Responds After Forcing Drivers Offline"

Slashdot, Sept 1, 2000: "Linux Drivers For Free Barcode Scanner Cease-And-Decist" -- not actually a C&D;, BTW.

Washington Post, August 31, 2000: "Surfing Off the Page"

Looking for CueCat hardware? Judging from my email, you might be. People are selling cuecats on Ebay. The link is a search for cuecat auctions.
ReaderWare is giving away cuecats, apparently. "Supplies are limited."

"No, hold on, I am dead."
Well, it looks like Digital Convergence has converged with the void. They're still looking for people "who share the dream," and their website says, "If you have a Cue Cat, save it. The patents and technology created by DigitalConvergence will again be available for business and consumer use." Yeah. What they said.

"I'm Not dead yet!"
Apparently Digital Covergence isn't dead, just on a severe diet. And you can apparently make "plugins" for their "CRQ" software. The plugins turn out to be little text files. Download the "plugin developer's guide". (local mirror)

Wouldn't zoom if you put 4,000 volts through it
Note that, according to the Dallas Morning News, (as of June 19, 2001), Digital Convergence is taking the Dirt Nap. Perhaps they'll give me a "license" as a parting gift. Doug?

Kenyon and Kenyon
Information on the letters from Digital Convergence, which allege some vague 'infringement' on some apparently invisible 'intellectual property'.
The short story is this: I got the first letter from them in august: page 1 and page 2
I posted my reply, asking what they want and who they're addressing.
I got another letter, which doesn't answer any of the questions that I asked, and therefore cannot be considered a reply.
My site stays up for now.

Pierre Coupard and Lineo also got some letters:
One on August 30, 2000: page 1, page 2
And one on Sept 22, 2000: page 1
Lineo's site is back up.

Another letter of questionable, but somewhat plausible, origin...

Friendly Comrades
An email from a helpful citizen who is mistaken about whom it is that needs to get a clue. I obscured his identity to be nice...

CueCat message board at CueCatastrophe.

Hardware Hacking!
Robert Miller figured out which trace to cut to enable the USB CueCat to output unencrypted scan data. Instructions are here.

Eddit painted his cuecat... :). And added a switch.

The insides! Also, what wires to cut to get rid of the serial number.

How to disable the encoding and turn a CueCat into a regular barcode scanner. Pro: no stupid encoding. Con: no symbology information. Short version: tie R29 to +5v.

Reprogram your serial number. The link above describes how to disable the serial number by cutting a wire. This guy figured out how you can just reprogram it (site appears to be offline).

Executing the CueCat for treason, machine-gunning the cuecat, and other fun weekend stuff from the fine people at, ":Killing your :Cat -- Your :Guide to :Catricide".

Patents, SEC filings, etc.

U.S. Patent #5443036: "Method of exercising a cat". Perhaps this is Digital Convergence's Intellectual Property? If so, I promise not to shine the scanner at my cat.

Okay, haha. Turns out they actually do have a patent, #06098106: "Method for controlling a computer with an audio signal"

SEC Filing, 04/28/2000

SEC Filing, 09/26/2000


Here is Digital Convergence's clickwrap license

Here is the PaperClick clickwrap license


BarCode links (dmoz open directory)

Intellectual Property Protection and Reverse Engineering of Computer Programs in the United States and the European Community, by Charles R. MCManis

Reverse Engineering: Open Source vs. Intellectual Property Rights -- a student study at Pepperdine focusing on the CueCat scenario

Linux/Unix Software
Foocat Barcode, version Decodes CueCat scans, returns tab-delimited data containing author, title, image, and url for books, cds and dvds. Inventory your stuff! Use the .c/.h files in your software!

CueJack. CueJack is a software application that lets you scan a product with a :CueCat scanner, then displays a web page with "alternative information" about the product's company "As of 3/02, when the DC database went offline, CueJack has been rewritten to work independently of Digital Convergence's database!"

There was once a linux driver for the CueCat, by Pierre Coupard. Version 0.2.1 is the latest I know of. I don't, however, know where to find it.

A PAM module for the CueCat. PAM is "Pluggable Authentication Modules." This lets you log into your PAM-aware unix (Linux, Solaris, maybe others) by swiping a barcode.

GNU Barcode, free software for making barcodes. had a CueCat decoder in their set of examples. They're apparently defunct.

Windows Software
CueDog and CatNip.DLL, A Windows based decoding application and a Windows based decoding DLL for VB/Office Developers, respectively. CueDog by Minion and CatNip.Dll by Mike/Bob. (Link is to google cache).

Delphi software -- also Kylix, I think.

CueJack. CueJack is a software application that lets you scan a product with a :CueCat scanner, then displays a web page with "alternative information" about the product's company "As of 3/02, when the DC database went offline, CueJack has been rewritten to work independently of Digital Convergence's database!"

Using the CueCat Scanner to Catalog CED Titles, a how-to for windows-using CED-owning people with cuecats.

Palm Pilot Software
CueCat barcode decode for Palm: pccatDA. This uses the Happy Hacking Cradle.

Macintosh Software
MacBarCat, a Macintosh program to decode the cuecat scans and place the data on the clipboard.

Scripting & Other Languages
Javascript decoder. And, another javascript decoder.

A Java version.

A Perl version.

A PHP version.

Search Freshmeat for CueCat software. There's quite a bit of it these days.

Services and Ideas
Cataloging with the CueCat

CueJack, a way to look up info about the maker of a product by scanning its barcode. Available in Windows and Linux versions. From the fine folks at RTMark, an anti-corporation corporation. -- the title says it all.

Commercial Software and Services offers to make any barcode you want, and deliver it in PNG or GIF format. Uses their ActiveX control for generating them. You can, of course, buy barcode stuff from this company.

Azalea Software offers QTools. If you want windows software to make barcodes, visit these guys. They do PDF417 (2-D) barcodes as well, which the cuecat will not read, but are cool and useful anyway.

PaperClick, from NeoMedia Technologies. Apparently DC has licensed these guys' patents. They offer free tools for Windows and do not require a specific scanner, or any scanner at all. Here is their 'clickwrap' license

SNX, makers of barcode software. Can produce "slant128" CueCat barcodes.

ReaderWare -- a commercial product. Added support for the CueCat on Aug 23, 2000.

Qode has a barcode-shopping thing -- a keychain fob that's a barcode scanner, and a matching shopping service. The spelling leaves a little to be desired, but it's better than sticking in a bunch of colons. I'm trying out a "Qoder". Also working on a Linux driver for it.

Beeline Shopper has a barcode-shopping thing, too. You get a wireless laser scanner (by Symbol) for $29 deposit plus $25 a year. It makes grocery lists, and gets you coupons from ValuPage.

You can Email me, but I'm really out of the cuecat business.
(c) 2000 Michael Rothwell. Two-martini legal counsel provided by Michael Zappe
All trademarks are property of their repective owners.
This site will remain available until a specific, valid complaint is made against its existance. All rights reserved. I'm waiting for the non-vague letter with patent numbers or something else with some actual legal backing.