Looking for WebCams in all the Wrong Places

Nope, not a foray into net.smut, merely an attempt to find a viable as-zero-as-possible administration webcam for a couple of remote offices. I recalled a nice standalone webcam that we had on the net back at the workplace in the mid-90's and assumed the technology would have gotten faster, cheaper, and more useful since. Hah. Searching for phrases like "standalone webcam" and "webcam howto" was even more disappointing. NetGuide: Webcams special Axis webcams come in various flavors, including several standalone webcams that you just put on the net and query for pages. Naturally, given the short memory (or willful ignorance) of the e-commerce side of "the net" in general, they claim theirs is the first. Heh. I found them while looking for the standalone cam that we had at Synopsys in 1996, sigh. Their Axis 2100+ goes for $469 - $544 online and is a standalone model. They also have an outdoor-hardened one that goes for about $800 - $1100 online (yeesh!). Video Blaster WebCam $41 - $75 online Various options from Intel, list prices from $79 - $149 I like their "PC Camera Pack", especially the privacy shutter and the tilt/swivel base, which lets you turn the thing easily to capture the whiteboard. We did set out to capture the whiteboard, remember? Kodak DVC325, $81 - $99 online Note that there are earlier, discontinued versions, a DVC 323 and a DVC 300 Never heard of Winnov, but they have some cameras, boards, and PCMCIA cards that claim to be optimized for videoconferencing. Some good info on setting up a webcam in general, from the author of a book called "The Little Web Cam Book". Also a pointer to yet another webcam, Logitech QuickCam and related products. One of, if not THE most poorly designed website I have ever encountered-- perhaps my mistake was having JavaScript on, and triggering the "idiot" setting thereby. You have to mouse over the camera pictures to see the descriptions-- UGH. One of their cams seems to use a 3rd party service to publish (?!) data. A somewhat more useful (less useless?) page details the OS versions supported by each of their cameras, and has a link to each camera's product page, a better format. We have Eddy's Live Webcam HOWTO, a friendly but terse summary: "The image is captured at my home using a Creative Videoblaster Webcam and ISpy WebCam Software on a 486dx40 PC running Windows95. The ISpy program captures the WebCam image, converts it to JPEG (adjustable compression) and writes the file directly on my home Linux box's filesystem, via an NFS mount." Etc. This is becoming rather disappointing. There were quite a number of nice standalone webcams out there in 1996/1997, but they seem to have gone the way of the dinosaur. Cheers, _SRC


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