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Setup Your Web Cam

Setup Your Web Cam

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Published by chepimanca

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Published by: chepimanca on Apr 11, 2010
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07/19/2010

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 JUNE TUTOR
s
 WEB CAM SETUP
90
June 2000
www.
DITnet
.co.ae
s
www.
pcmag
-mideast.
com
n 1991, at Cambridge Universi-ty in England, re s e a rchers in theTrojan Room of the computerlaboratory attached a camera toa video-capture device and trained it onthe lab’s lone coffee pot. Researchers couldthen run a program to check whether therewas coffee in the pot, rather than walk down the hall or up the stairs to find thepot empty (as was often the case). The cof-fee pot images made their way to the World Wide Web a few years later, and the con-cept of the Webcam was born .A simple concept underlies We b c a m s :run a video camera continually, get a pro-gram to capture an image to a file everyfew seconds or minutes, and upload theimage file to a Web server for display ona Web page. The whole point of a We b-cam is that the picture available to We bvisitors changes frequently. As a result, aWebcam can show everything from a cor-porate headquarters to some fish swim-ming around in a tank. Or how much cof-fee is currently in the coffee pot.Those applications are fun, of course,but if you are running a business, you’renot likely to keep a Net connection open just so your customers can have 24x7 vi-sual access to the aquarium in your foy-e r. What might your business use a We b-cam for? You could, to begin with, pro-duce informational videos for downloadover the Internet (much smaller video filesthan you would get from high qualityvideo production systems).You could also use it to store images of a meeting in pro g ress—a meeting, for ex-ample, during which the members of ateam brainstorm on a design they’resketching as they work. Webcams arecheap and they capture pictures easily,so you could train the camera on the de-sign itself and thus photographicallyre c o rd its pro g ress. This setup would al-low the designers and the client to seevarious stages of the design. Having are c o rd of the design’s evolution also helpsif you want to restart the process at a spe-cific point. It also could allow remote usersto see the pro g ress of the meeting.You may also want to use a Webcam toc a p t u re images of your booth during atrade show, so that people unable to phys-ically attend the show could make a vir-tual visit. Webcams can also be used fora host of nefarious purposes (“spycams”a re a classic example), but we wont con-c e rn ourselves with those. We’ll be tak-ing a look at what you need to set up yourfirst Webcam.
F I R ST YOU NEED A CA M E R A
First, hard w a re. Specifically, a camera.But not just any camera, of course. For aWebcam, you want a digital video cam-era of the type that attaches to your com-puter and lets you re c o rd video for send-ing over the Internet. Typical examplesa re the Intel Create and Share CameraPack, the Logitech QuickCam series, andthe 3Com HomeConnect system (see thephotograph); there are many others. Yo ucan also use any camcorder by passing itssignal through a video capture peripher-al card or a video card that includes videoc a p t u re, such as an ATI A l l - i n - Wo n d e rc a rd. As long as your setup can captureimages in JPEG or GIF f o rmat and uploadthem to a Web server (as discussed below),it is suitable for Web use.
Web cameras have become something of a phenomenon, allowing the Internet’s inhabitants fro ma round the world to step into someone else’s world, mere ly at the cl i ck of a hy p e r t ext link. In thisguide we detail how you can become part of this growing population by setting up a virtual eye into your own world. And, just think, it all started from an innocuous coffee pot . . .
setup
your webcam
I
 
 WEB CAM SETUP
s
 JUNE TUTOR
www.
DITnet
.co.ae
s
www.
pcmag
-mideast.
com
June 2000
91
STEP1. Install an inexpensive digital videocamera, and make sure it works on your PC. STEP2. Get access to a Web server that lets youupload files through FTP; your ISP usually allowsthis. STEP3. Create an HTML document that will serve as the Webcam’s home page.STEP4. Install Webcam software on your PC. Conigure the software to FTP the image files to  your Web server at intervals of 5 minutes or so.STEP5. Connect to the Internet, run your brows- er and point it to the address of the page youcreated in step 3.
 SET UP A
 WEB CAM
23451

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