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Blended Technologies » Blog Archive » Grocist and CueCats

Grocist and CueCats


CueCats and Grocist

So I posted Grocist on the Meta Filter projects page. (Feel free to vote for it if you’re a member ;-) )
And a user commented that he was sad it didn’t support CueCats. Previously I had thought this wouldn’t be a popular feature.

So I’m just taking a poll (comment in this post) to see how many users would be interested in CueCat support? Secondly has anyone tried a CueCat to see if it already worked. How about a “neutered” CueCat?

If a lot users or potential users have CueCats I’m happy to add support for them (assuming they don’t work right now).

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11 Responses to “Grocist and CueCats”

  1. markbnj Says:

    Yes, I think I have a few cuecats left!!!!

    I would like that!

  2. Steve Says:

    Have a modified cuecat model 68-1965. Followed the instructions on the link http://members.aol.com/cuecatguy/ this made the cat work perfect with your program.

  3. Steve Says:

    Note on the comment, the modified cat is a ps/2 keyboard wedge. Have not tried a USB cat as I dont have one.

  4. Greg - CEO/Founder Says:

    Thanks Steve. I’m glad it works. I’ll update the website to say so.

  5. Charlie G. Says:

    Greg, I found your site through Google when I was attempting to use my USB CueCats to scan grocery items. The last time I did this was approx. 4 years ago. Back then, I used a Windows-based CueCat decryption program to decrypt the scans, then passed the data to the Beeline Shopper site.

    Of course, the first thing I found today was that the Beeline Shopper site, while still operating in some respects, no longer allows logins to its database. Plus, I could no longer remember the name of the CueCat decryption software I used back then. Fortunately, I found instructions for a 3-minute hardware hack to remove decryption from the USB CueCat. Simply open the cover and bend back Pin 5 of the PROM. That was easy!

    After that was done, I had to search for a new Grocery UPC database, and found your site. I set up a Grocist account, and a few minutes later, had a complete list of most everything in my refrigerator and pantry.

    A few questions: I wonder why certain non-obscure items (all of which had 8-char bar codes btw) were not in the database, for example, PepsiOne 2 liter, various flavors of Nabisco 100-Calorie packs? Why are most bar codes (and all working bar codes) 12-characters, while some are 8-characters?

    Thanks again for the great site!

  6. Greg - CEO/Founder Says:

    Hi Charlie,

    I’m glad you like Grocist. The 8 character barcodes are UPCE, a shorthand way to depict UPC barcodes. Grocist is supposed to be converting them to UPCA automatically but it sounds like it may not be working correctly. Could you let me know a few of the 8 character barcode numbers that weren’t found?

  7. Charlie G. Says:

    Greg, I tried the Pepsi One and Nabisco Oreo 100 Calorie Packs again, and now see the problem. In both cases, the scan omits the final digit (which is printed in smaller type to the right of the main digits). For example, the Oreo 100 Calorie crisps have the barcode 04461704, but scanning the bar code only produces the first 7 digits. Once I entered the final digit, the item was found in the database. Same goes for the Pepsi One; the barcode is 01281309, but the scan omitted the final digit.

  8. Greg - CEO/Founder Says:

    Charlie, it sounds like your scanner is leaving off the check digit. There’s probably a setting for your scanner related to either check digits or UPCE. Look in the manual for a way to set it right.

  9. Raewyn Says:

    I would snap up Grocist in a second if it supported cuecat (I already have one for entering book UPC’s into LibraryThing). You can buy cuecats for under $10, where-as most other barcode readers cost $40 or more.

  10. Greg - CEO/Founder Says:

    Raewyn, modified cuecats should be supported. Give it a try and let me know how that works.

  11. Alex Ezell Says:

    Greg,
    There are quite a few ways to decode the CueCat input. LibraryThing, mentioned above, recognizes both modified and unmodified CueCats by simply decoding the input if it’s seen as being encoded.

    Here are some resources: http://www.bcgreen.com/~samuel/cuecat/michael.toren.net/mirrors/cuecat/