This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Comments here or emails to me at abulsme@abulsme.com are encouraged... or follow me on Twitter as @abulsme.

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Death of an iSight

My external iSight seems to have died. On Monday at 2:18 UTC my webcam spontaneously flipped from the external iSight to the internal. At 7:40 UTC I switched it back to the external after unplugging it and plugging it back in. At 11:01 UTC it started showing video artifacts. It got worse and worse until at 12:56 UTC the video signal died completely. I found it and switched it to the internal iSight at 15:19 UTC, where it has stayed ever since.

The video above is the timelapse of that fateful day.

I didn’t get a chance to see if I could get the external working again until just now. No luck at all.

This blows, as even though I don’t do it often, I like to keep the internal iSight free for video iChat and such. Plus the external camera is more flexible as to where I can point it, and I like to change it up for the AbulCam.

So I go looking for what a new iSight costs these days. Can’t find any in the online Apple store. None directly from Amazon either, although some third parties have them at way high prices. There are rumors of an iSight HD coming soon, but nothing out yet. I’ve also wanted a 802.11 wireless webcam for awhile, so that I could put the thing further from my computer, but those still cost too much to be worth it really. Plus since my usecase is non-standard, I never feel like I know for sure if it will work for the way I want to use it until I try it.

I suppose I could go buy a cheap $25 external webcam. Dunno.

For now, I guess the AbulCam stays on the internal iSight. But I won’t want that to be a long term solution.

6 comments to Death of an iSight

  • chris

    My recollection from trying to find an isight in August/July last was that:
    1) they were discontinued by apple (because they have some bits in them that are apparently on a ‘harmful to you’ list in europe… like lead or asbestos, but not either of those)
    2) they were hard to find on Ebay
    3) I ended up purchasing one for 100$ from a work friend

    -Chris
    (yea, apple really ought to have kept selling them, or fixed their problem with them and kept selling them)

  • Abulsme

    Yeah, I remember that now. I figured they would have new versions out in a few weeks. They never did.

    Now I have to decide if I’ll get a new external webcam, and if I do which one. I really liked the iSight though. It lasted almost five years.

  • chris

    We have the ‘QuickCam Fusion’ which seems to do decently well on my MacPro at work. Reb won’t/doesn’t use her isight :(

  • Abulsme

    What I’d really like is this sucker but I’m not sure I can actually justify anything other than a cheap wired webcam.

  • chris

    That does look pretty sweet, but 270 bucks for a webcam seems ‘excessive’…

  • Abulsme

    Yeah, well… Whenever anything is over the $200 mark we try to make sure that when we get something it really is the most important thing we could get in that price range at the moment. I have a feeling it will take awhile before the most important think I could be spending money on over $200 is that webcam. Oh well!

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