I am still tweaking things behind the scenes, and trying to map out the best way to switch the daylight-only videos to 1280×720 with as little interruption as possible. But being restless means I am always looking for ways to break improve things.
Behind the scenes I am testing upping the resolution from 640 pixels x 360 to 1280×720. The image has been the same size since 2015, when the last camera upgrade occurred. Prior to that, the image was a paltry 320×240, but I didn’t have digital equipment, and had metered satellite Internet as well.
This project is more of an obsessive hobby than anything. I have played with an online webcam of some sort or another since at least 1995 when I had a Logitech webcam on my desktop at work.
In 1996, I became enamored with sharing my point of view with others, and installed a VHS-C camcorder in the western-pointing window of the 8th floor apartment I shared in the Dupont Circle neighborhood of Washington, D.C.
However, it wasn’t until my wife and I moved to our little farmstead in Tunbridge, Vermont that things really took shape.
While this domain is new as of July 2020, this FarmCam has been running on my personal site and our small business site since 2006. I have moved it to its own domain in order to better organize the project and the various tools that help automate much of the process.
Whether you are interested in a hummingbird’s eye view of a half billion monarch butterflies waking from their naps (see video above) or a Komodo dragon destroying a (robotic) spy pig for muscling in on his mating rituals, these spy animal videos have you covered.
Ten years ago I made a video titled One Year, which showed the founding of our farm; from the building of the barn, the digging of the well that provides water to the barn, the erecting of the fencing, and the arrival of the llamas and the sheep. However, that film was with the old analog camera pointing out a window, and — while I love it — entirely too long at over 16 minutes.
Almost immediately after I posted my last entry on the trials and tribulations of an EvoCam on life support, the software crashed again. Fresh start, minimal other applications running, and poof. I cleaned up the mess, and then instructed my iMac to restart itself every Sunday at 1am.
If all goes as planned (stop laughing!), this will be enough to help keep EvoCam running between restarts. If not? Then the next step is increase the frequency of the reboots until I can set up the Mac Mini, and start all over on that machine.
Because, I am all out of options as far as out-of-the-box software after giving SecuritySpy a close look this weekend. The results, as always, were mixed.
As you may recall there has been a lot of effort (by me) put into trying to make EvoCam as efficient as it can be in regard to its resources usage. I figured if the software has been abandoned I have two choices: learn to program and roll my own EvoCam clone or do what I can to keep it alive, and hope that I find a replacement. Long time readers (LOL) know that I chose the latter, because the former would take too long, and probably drive me mad. Read More →
Look, I have never claimed to be an expert on anything. I hunt and peck my way around the keyboard, and do the same when it comes to figuring shit out.
I like to pretend that what I am creating with the FarmCam Project is like software development; each tweak or improvement a new version. Sometimes it feels that way as I wrestle with EvoCam to get the most out of the abandoned software, that has gone dark without explanation. I can’t just make a support request or post to a support forum. If there are diehard EvoCam enthusiasts, I have no idea where to find them.
These instructional entries are here for two reasons. One, I hope to help others who may have similar interests — or needs — to my own. Secondly, if I don’t write this stuff down somewhere, I am likely to break something and forget WTF I did. These are my own manuals in some sense. Hence, many entries with lots of guess work and promises to report back later. Most of the time I forget to do some things in advance, and I am left wondering if a change will make any difference at all. Other times, I’m not patient enough to test things before I write about them here. [This is another of those times!] Read More →
I turned to cron/crontab in order to run an Automator application and Transmit to (sometimes) smoothly synchronise the daily movies on my iMac with those on the remote server. Then I learned much of the hard work I was scripting could be done from within my beloved EvoCam. However, EvoCam does not appear to be able to handle the archiving part of the operation. At least not to my specifications.