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A few steps back

July 23, 2009 15:04

Ok, so I've had a few setbacks. First off, my office cam decided to quit working. It's a Panasonic BL-C111, ip cam, built in pan/tilt. Everything it needs to work pretty much standalone, and has worked pretty much flawlessly since I got it a couple years ago. The last storm that went through here put it into a state of constantly rebooting, and finally it would never boot at all. For the moment, I'm using a Logitech orbit MP, which is a pretty nice cam as it is, but running it off the windows box has been problematic. Webcam XP thinks it has to use about 60% of BOTH cores just to serve webcam images... something most other webcam applications can do with 10% of the cpu or less. It's not well supported on linux, and even if it were, it's not really within a good usb cord reach of one of them. I'm still working on some options with how to deal with this, but ultimately, I'll probably just end up buying another ipcam to replace the one that died. Maybe even the same model.

Although I finally got my cellphone to work as an internet modem on linux, I can't get a distro with a 2.6 kernel to install on the mini-itx computer I have, so I can install the thing in my truck. I'm going to continue searching for a distro that WILL work, AND will support the blackjack connection. If I can't, I have 2 options. Either I buy a new motherboard/cpu/ram for this mini-itx case, something that's a bit more modern, or I spend about the same amount on one of those tiny laptops. Of course, again, money is the ultimate issue, and I'm trying to make this work without spending any. For those who are wondering, I plan to use the in-car computer to provide live webcam images while I'm driving, along with a gps to provide realtime location information, and to also use the computer as a player and storage medium for music, played through the truck's stereo system. This is not a new idea, and others on this site have done it before, but I've been wanting to implement it for myself for a while... money being the ultimate issue. There's always better things to spend money on.

I'm also not as far along on my recoding project as I'd like to be, although I can hopefully step up the progress on that. Xmas is approaching, and I'd really like to have everything finished before thanksgiving... preferably before the first of November. Doing the lighting and interfacing won't be a big deal, but I need to be sure the server(s) can handle the traffic, and I also need to build/install a mailbox and dig a trench for the electrical and data, as well as burrowing under a sidewalk. The server project really is the timeconsuming and critical one though. Everything else just costs money.

On a side note, I played with virtualbox for the first time, as part of an effort to offload the camera onto another box. I've used vmware before, years ago, so I'm familiar with the virtualization process. Virtualbox seems like a nice little program, although something crashed my linux box that was the host computer. Not sure what to make of that yet. Since I wasn't terribly successful getting the cam working through it anyway, I'm probably not going to pursue it for that purpose, but I still found it to be a nifty little program. I just really have no idea what I would do with it. Just nice to know that it's there, I guess.

And while I'm dreaming of spending money I don't have, I'm thinking ahead toward the next upgrade. Usuallly I upgrade my windows box, which is usually the beefiest computer in the house, by buying a new box for the windows, and moving the old one to become a new linux box. The next upgrade will likely not result in a fresh linux box becoming available as I have need for another windows box in here, but I might also build a new box specifically for linux with multiple cores and LOTS of storage space. Thinking multiple terabytes here. If I get one of the motherboards that has 4 pci-e slots, I can have 4 simultanious videos playing, and therefore have 4 tv stations in the house, even though there's hardly use for more than 3... still.. just thinking ahead here. I'll probably want at least one channel for security cam purposes.. Have a realtime video displaying the cams and other information.

There, enough rambling for one day.