[DWJ] Another question for the brain trust

Melissa Proffitt Melissa at Proffitt.com
Wed May 2 13:58:50 EDT 2007

That's just it; the first one I saw was connected to a PDA, and the other
two weren't connected to anything near that big.  It's definitely not a
CueCat, which I got to know from my earlier days of shopping for cataloguing
software.  It's a lot smaller and slimmer and looks like it has a skinny
long flat interface (or possibly the world's biggest USB port).

So I can mock their pretensions to book collecting safely, eh?  Because I
was going to do it anyway just for fun.  :)

Melissa Proffitt

On Tue, 01 May 2007 20:20:42 -0500, Mark Allums wrote:

>Was the scanner attached to anything, like a laptop computer?  There is 
>a device called a CueCat that is available in the US from a marketing 
>idea that flopped, and it can be bought from various outlets cheap and 
>used for reading UPCs and ISBNs.  I can't answer about the database the 
>guy was using, but I expect there exists one or several that price out 
>books, since at every college and university, they know exactly how much 
>to give when they buy back used textbooks.  It's probably a wholesaler's 
>"guild" thing.
>--Mark Allums
>Melissa Proffitt wrote:
>> So I was in the thrift store buying books for my friend's library and I saw,
>> again, a couple of boys (fine, yes, they were early twenties, I'm just old)
>> with a bitty hand-held scanner going over the ISBN bar codes.  This is not
>> the first time I've seen this, and I asked one of the kids before (they've
>> all been early-twenties males, what's up with that) what he was doing.  He
>> said that he was a "book collector" and he was determining which books were
>> worth buying.  The scan returns some minimal data on resale price or
>> something.
>> I'm too lazy to figure out how to even start looking this up online (also I
>> have a meeting in about forty minutes), so I thought I'd let all y'all do
>> the work for me.  What exactly is going on here?  Where does the data come
>> from?  Are they trying to build personal libraries that their heirs will
>> someday come to blows over, or just make a killing on eBay?  It looks like
>> they're trying to use technology as a substitute for actual knowledge, but
>> for all I know this is some semi-secret boys' club where they collect
>> obscure juvenile biographies like twelve-year-olds collect Pokemon cards.
>> Or, you know, whatever kids collect these days.
>> Melissa Proffitt
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