Camera Details


The camera is mounted due west from the job site, the the middle window of the house in the upper right corner.

Big thanks to Alex and Alison who are hosting the camera & associated equipment smack dab in the middle of their living room (OK, not really, but off to the side under the window, but obnoxious none the less). They're also generous enough to give me net access.

Equipment and Software

The camera is a generic video camera mounted on a tripod & attached to an SiliconGraphics box running IRIX 6.5. Every minute from 6:00 a.m. through 6:00 p.m. the computer grabs the picture. Here's the process and software involved:

That's easy enough. Once on casadeyork

Every night the movies are made using mpeg_encode. Three movies are made (small, medium, and large) which takes about 45 minutes.

Once all of the mpegs are created, the medium one is converted into an uncompressed quicktime movie using mpeg2qt, again custom software because I couldn't find anything else out there though I'm sure it exists. It relies on mpeglib and the Quicktime4Linux library. The results are fed through RealProducer Pro to create the streaming video. This takes another 20-30 minutes. I include the mpegs on the site because the quality of the streaming video is a lot lower.


30 June: added RealVideo streaming video. While researching this, everything pointed to using RealVideo, so there I am.

RealProducer Pro costs $125. The basic version will only create 28.8Kbit streams and I wanted something a bit better.

I also needed a streaming server. For this I used SureStream, also from Great software. Easy to use, Web front end, all the bells and whistles. For this I'm using the Basic version which allows a maximum of 25 simultaneous connections and expires after one year. I looked into the full version. It costs $1995. I don't think so. Great software, but a bit expensive for this hobby site.

Latest details (12 September) A new camera was installed last Thursday. unfortunately, it sends the status out the video port. Why? Who know's! I went around to a few places on Saturday to see what can be done about this. Apparently only the really high-end cameras do not do this. Aargh! The salesman couldn't understand why I didn't want to spend $800+ on a camera I only intend to use for a few months.

Alex apparently mucked with it a bit, because he got some of the stuff cleared off. Here's what's left:

Since none of this is really in the way, and I'm tired of bothering my neighbors, I've decided to leave it be. I did however write quick filter to remove the offending bits. Of course, they're opaque and not pure color, so removal isn't easy. I settled on the following because it's quick & easy: This works better in some cases than in others. If you follow the power lines in the upper-right hand of the screen, you'll see two breaks. The left one is the mountain, and the right one the person. A bit above that there's another, very feint line. That's the ``T30''.

The blinking cassette and the SP are nestled in the trees to the left. They're not as easy to see.
original modified
I don't modify the original image, only a copy. That way when I compose the final movie I'll have all of the originals to work from and can maybe do a better job editing out the images.