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Tuesday December 14, 2004
06:32 AM

Business::ISBN::Data updated to 1.09

[ #22302 ]

The latest version of the ISBN data is available in Business::ISBN::Data. The ISBN folks added several country prefixes and adjusted a lot of publisher ranges. I had to adjust Business::ISBN too since its set of tests used invalid ISBNs to test failures, but with the new data, those numbers are now valid. The changes only affect the tests, though.

The coolest bit is that the range data is now available in a PDF (although a text file is more appropriate) and it's a lot easier to parse than the fugly HTML they had before. I included in the new distro a script to parse that and recreate the data structure. This should make data updates much easier. :)

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  • Thanks for Business::ISBN, Brian. Envious of a friend of mine with Delicious Library and a $174 laser Bluetooth barcode scanner, I bought a modified Cuecat on eBay for $8.50, and, about twenty lines of code later (not counting converting X's interpretation of the Cuecat's output) could scan a book and look up its info on Amazon.

    Much more credit is due the CPAN than me, and Business::ISBN::ean_to_isbn was one of the essential ingredients.

    • I've always wanted to get one of the CueCat scanners, but for some reason I thought they were really expensive. I never even bothered to check on eBay.

      How did you modified your CueCat? Is it wireless now? Any chance you could show some code, or write about it for The Perl Review? :)
      • I can't speak for Zed, but I used these instructions [] when I modified mine. I got three on ebay for pretty cheap, modified all of them, then gave two away as gifts.

        Once upon a time, I gather cuecats were given away for free. You were supposed to use them with some proprietary software to scan random UPCs and be given some info about the associated items. Now folks modify the device so that it sends input that your PC can treat just like keystrokes. This lets you use the cuecat to simply scan in barcodes.

        • The modification is as wickline says. And I didn't do it myself; I bought it that way. (By the way, the $8.50 eBay price I cited was after shipping & handling and insurance... these things are dirt cheap.)

          The Windows and Linux keyboard drivers do the right thing with the Cuecat's output, but X's interpretation of it is gobbledygook, so I had to decode it.

          I'd be happy to write up a short tour-of-the-CPAN "how to scan books with your Cuecat, look up their info on Amazon, and load it in a database" artic
          • I wasn't imagining any particular article: just something with the CueCat and Business::ISBN and whatever you're doing with it. :)