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




November 2018
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Halloween 2018 Timelapse

We spent most of the evening thinking the trick or treat volume had been much less than last year. But we were WRONG. As it turns out, when I counted on the timelapse, we had 143 visitors last year, and… exactly 143 visitors this year too. How they were distributed through the night was a little different though, and made it SEEM like fewer people. Now, Amy points out that this year we had more repeat visitors, people coming back for seconds or thirds, but I figure if they come twice, they count twice. (And I counted the same way last year.) So whatever. As far I’m concerned, we had 143 both years. :-)

The timelapse includes us setting up, all the trick or treating, and then the dragon flapping its wings for a bit until it started to rain, water got into the power strip we were using, the breaker tripped, and the dragon deflated. Good stuff!

Anyway some stats:

  • This year the first trick or treaters showed up at 0:47 UTC (5:47 PM Pacific)… that is 14 minutes earlier than last year.
  • The peak 20 minute period was 02:00 UTC to 02:20 UTC (7:00 PM to 7:20 PM Pacific) with 41 people. Last year the peak was 20 minutes earlier with 35 people.
  • The last trick or treaters came at 4:37 UTC (9:37 PM Pacific)… An hour and 27 minutes later than the last person last year.

And a histogram comparing 2017 and 2018:

I think the perception of there being fewer people this year was because we had more people before it got dark, and last year we had an hour long plateau where it stayed continuously very busy, where this year we had a sharper peak, and then a more rapid drop off, so it started feeling slow again earlier in the evening with a long tail with more people arriving even after we’d wrapped things up and gone inside, leaving our table with candy for the stragglers.

Anyway, we had fun. It was our first year with dragons in the driveway. Only one is visible in the timelapse. Here they are both:


Halloween 2017 Timelapse

Although I’ve missed a few, most years lately I’ve tried to do a timelapse of the trick-or-treat hours at my house. Here is this year’s. I think it came out pretty well this time!

Some facts:

  • The first trick treaters arrived at 1:01 UTC (6:01 PM Pacific)
  • The peak 20 minute period was 1:40 UTC to 2:00 UTC (6:40 PM to 7:00 PM Pacific).
  • The last visitors came at 3:10 UTC (8:10 PM Pacific).
  • Total for the night was 143 people, including both kids and parents.

And here is the histogram of when people came based on analysis of the timelapse:

You can of course also see my family getting ready, going out ourselves, and cleaning up afterwards. Oh, and the 21 additional hours of November 1st (UTC) after all that was over.

And of course, all this is possible because finally, about a year since it stopped being fully functional and I didn’t have time to fix it because I was swamped with, the AbulCam is back and better than ever. I upgraded both the hardware and software behind it in the last few weeks to be ready for Halloween. So enjoy and check by any time. It will probably usually be mounted in my home office, but at the moment it is still pointed at our driveway. Over time I may move it to other interesting places depending on what I feel like. :-)

Updated AbulCam

The timelapse above is from my home office yesterday.  Since I was working from home due to snow, you actually get to see me in my office some.  The excitement of my crazy gesticulating during conference calls!  The thrills of Alex coming to fetch me and climbing all over me before getting me to carry him back downstairs.  The views of my midsection as I pace back and forth in front of the camera.  All very exciting stuff!

This is all to note that I made some updates to the AbulCam lately. There is now sometimes sound if I don’t have it muted. Also, the way the timelapses are made will slow down even more when there is lots of motion, and speed up more when there is not, leading to more interesting timelapses. At least I think so.  I’ve also matched the sizes of the live shot and the previous day’s timelapse.  They are a little smaller, but that means they will load faster and stream better.  I’ve also emoved some old clunky bits that didn’t work any more.  Finally, at least for the moment, the portable wireless webcam I moved from place to place has died…  a non-waterproof camera doesn’t like being left outside in the rain…  even if it does generate some nice movies before dying…  so the picture is going to be from the webcam on my desktop in my home office for awhile.  But that means more me!  Well, at least a little.  Reality is I’m not in my office anywhere near as much as I would like and sometimes whole days go by without me dropping in at all.  But hey, new and better timelapses!