This is the website of Abulsme Noibatno Itramne (also known as Sam Minter). Posts here are rare these days. For current stuff, follow me on Mastodon



July 2010

Updated AbulCam

So, last week I got a new external wireless network camera to play with. It has been set up for awhile now, but I’ve been tweaking various things, so I hadn’t posted about it now. But you should all of course take a look. The image above should be updating live, but go to the full AbulCam to see the timelapse of the previous day, send messages to me, etc. Because it is wireless, and because it has the whole night vision thing going on, it isn’t limited to pointing at things near my computer. I’ve pointed it at various things in our front or back yard, in a few different rooms of the house, etc. Fun stuff. As I write this it is once again pointing at me sitting at my computer, but I’ve been moving it around and will probably continue to move it around. Brandy made me promise not to put it anyplace inside the house other than my office without her advance knowledge and her ability to veto, but still, there will probably be fun stuff to see sometimes, and more fun exciting daily timelapses. So peek in often!

While setting it up I spent a bunch of time improving various aspects of the AbulCam since I was messing around anyway.

  • The main live image now uses server push instead of a cranky Java applet, so it works more reliably and in more places. (For instance, now you can see it update live on an iPhone.)
  • I’ve also improved the reliability of the push of the daily timelapse. In the past it would not always actually have the previous day’s timelapse because the pushing of the file up to the server would fail. That should work much more reliably now.
  • If you are using Safari, the timelapse is HTML5 instead of a Quicktime plugin. Other browsers will still use Quicktime.
  • The mini view of the camera on the front page of also now updates live for most browsers. (The current version of Firefox has a glitch in how it deals with server push, so I have Firefox use the older thumbnails which update once a minute or so.)
  • The “make my iMac say something out loud” feature, which had been broken for awhile, is now fixed and fully operational again.
  • Since the new camera is a network camera and not sharing USB with the internal camera, I don’t have to turn it off to have a video chat using the internal camera.

The new camera also lets me pan and tilt it from a password protected control page served by the camera itself inside my network. Aside from exposing that control page publicly and publishing the UID/PW for the camera, I haven’t figured out a way to just put the appropriate control knobs on my public webpage to let anybody pan and tilt the camera. I’d already spent enough time on other aspects of the camera, so I had to cut things off somewhere. But if anybody out there knows how to do that with a TrendNet camera, let me know. I think it would be fun to let the internet control where the camera was pointing. :-)

Anyway, updated camera. Peek in and enjoy.