Last night on G4's Attack of the Show Sarah's Damn Good Download was MediaMan 2.1. It looked good so I downloaded it and took it for a spin. Sarah was excited about the ability to enter data by "scanning" the barcodes using a webcam. Looked nice but I had a better idea.

I searched through the old electronic junk box in the closet (the one my wife always wants to throw away) and pulled out an old CueCat®. Do you remember CueCat? The CueCat was a barcode scanner that was handed out for free (I got mine with my wired subscription) where the idea was that users can scan barcodes into the CueCat software to jump to websites related to that product. It was an obvious cheap ploy to collect marketing data. But anyway, the CueCat actually plugged in-between your keyboard and computer and when a barcode was scanned a garbled string of characters was sent to the computer as keystrokes. Well it wasn't long before people learned how to decrypt the garbled text into a real barcode.

I had a plan. I was going to write a simple VB code that would decrypt the CueCat code into a normal barcode for input into MediaMan. Well to my surprise the brilliant makers of MediaMan have actually included the CueCat decoder into MediaMan. I hooked up the CueCat scanned a book into the barcode entry form and pow. There was the book; title, price, and even an image of the front cover. Within a few miniutes I had scanned an entire book shelf. So sweet! Thank you Sarah... that was the best damn download ever.