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Programming Web Graphics with Perl and GNU Softwar by Shawn Wallace

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A Web Cam

You have a video camera and a computer connected to the Internet (and a web page) and your want to set up a web cam, like one of the hundreds found on sites such as http://www.camcentral.com.

Requirements

A video camera
Frame-grabbing hardware and software
A connection to the Internet

Solution

It is perhaps prudent to ask yourself right at the offset if you really need a web cam. The resources involved are not that demanding, but really, why bother putting new images of your fish tank or computer on the Web every 10 seconds? There are a lot of dud web cams out there whose value could be argued on a conceptual art basis and not much else.

The organization I work for once set up a web cam to document a gallery opening on the Web. The opening was four hours long and the camera was trained on the refreshments table so that people could check out the web site before coming to the opening to see if there was any cheese and wine left. Seriously though, people had fun watching themselves appear on the Web every 20 seconds or so. It was not the most utilitarian application of the Web, but it was a fun addition to our web page. Because there was polenta at the opening and the polenta trays happened to be set up right in front of the camera, we called it the Polenta-Cam (see Figure 10.6).

Three different views taken by the “Polenta-Cam” web cam that was set up to document the refreshment table at a gallery opening

Figure 10-6. Three different views taken by the “Polenta-Cam” web cam that was set up to document the ...

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