Saturday, July 4, 2009

The Webcam's Back: A Window on Small Town America Reopened

My webcam is back online, posting two new pictures a second, at "Small Town America: Central Minnesota."

It had been doing quite well, from December 27, 2007, to April 26, 2009. That was when my computer got a rather serious malware infestation, and had to be de-wormed. After that, I could monitor the webcam from my computer, but the software I was using to post to the Internet was not working. At all.

After quite a few hours of frustration, spread over several days, I decided that, much as I liked traffic generated by the webcam, I was spending too much time trying to make it work.

Fast forward to this week, when my son-in-law-to-be was visiting for a few days. He told me about USTREAM, a service which provides pretty-good video feeds. He talked me through the setup - which was quite easy - and I had a 23 frames per second live streaming video for a few hours. Then I had to reboot my computer, and couldn't get the webcam and my computer to get along. As far as the computer was concerned, the webcam wasn't there.

No clue why.

Today, around noon, I did what I'd done before - physically disconnected the webcam and rebooted the computer. This time, it worked: and I've got a video feed again.

It's slower, now: by intention. Two frames per second lets people see the cars, cyclists, pedestrians and hummingbirds: and doesn't put quite so much strain on my system's resources.

It's not an ideal situation, but it'll do for now.

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