I'm no longer a Kaiser Permanente client, and I'm pretty pleased about that.
I've got on-line queries working in my CueCat book scanning stuff. So you can scan a book and have the LOC database queried immediately. In principle, I could easily do asynchronous (background) queries; in that case, there should be lockfile support so that scanning a particular book twice doesn't result in two simultaneous queries writing into the same file.
The main thing that's missing is the ability to start a new session if the LOC query session expires in the middle. Right now, I can't even detect that condition -- it was pretty much impossible for batch queries, but for real-time queries it could easily happen if you just leave the program running for a while and then come back and try to scan something else.
My friend in Teach for America in Mississippi writes
how can I expect these children to be able to analyze the effect of enzyme concentration on the rate of the reation it catalyzes if they don't even know how to calculate an average?
The phone line thing didn't work out that well. Say you're building an apartment complex in the South of Market in San Francisco in the late 1990s. On one side of you is Pac Bell; on another side of you is Best Internet; on another side is Pac Bell again. In a two-bedroom apartment, do you
(a) have two pairs of Cat 3 copper, encased in concrete, with no conduit (and a policy against exterior wiring), or
(b) have eight or ten pairs of Cat 5 in a conduit with easy access to pull more copper or fiber?
Guess which one my apartment complex chose?
So I got a pager instead of a phone line.