October 19, 2017

The PorchCam Lived!

Filed under: Main — Tags: — admin @ 12:01 am

I can’t believe that the hardware survived the horrid winter of 2016/17. It was brutal. Yet, of all the PorchCam hardware I’ve owned over the years, this model held up beautifully. As of last week, it’s still working.

The geek in me wanted to run a webcam way back in the 1990s. My pal Wally Wang wrote Webcams For Dummies (if I recall correctly). I popped a cheap Intel webcam up in my office, pointing it at the driveway. Because I had only dialup Internet back in those days (I was too far away from town for anything else), the software snapped an image only a few times a day. It was dorky, but fun.

When I moved into town, I wanted to keep the driveway cam tradition alive, but the driveway is on the other side of the house. So I poked a hole in my office wall right through to the front porch. The original webcam died, so I tried to buy a replacement. Then I struggled with webcam software. Eventually, the PorchCam was born.

The difference between the PorchCam and old Driveway Cam was that the PorchCam is always outside. It must suffer the harsh winter weather conditions, and the hardware isn’t designed for that stress. I don’t recall how many webcams I’ve gone through. With that in mind, it’s surprising to me that the current camera has survived — at least a year!

Toward the end of December, I’ll write my annual PorchCam In Review post. The forecast for this coming winter is rather mild. Indeed, the Mountain Ash has only one tiny bunch of berries on it. That’s the locals’ indicator that the winter will be mild. Last year the tree was burdened with berries and it was truly the Winter From Hell. So who knows? More power to the PorchCam!

Current PorchCam image

1 Comment

  1. Now it may seem as though the PorchCam is down as this post is published. That’s because I’m out-of-town for a spell. The PorchCam’s script runs on a computer and when that computer is off, the PorchCam image doesn’t update. It’s still alive, however!

    Comment by admin — October 19, 2017 @ 8:47 am

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