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Gardencam no workee workee...

May 16, 2008 11:18 AM

Well I got one of those dual-usb network camera servers off E-Bay a few weeks ago (you know the kind - small white brick about an inch by two inches in size) and I can easily say that while the user interface is okay the server itself sucks in several forms.

One - the server is damn picky about what cameras it will recognize. Damn. Picky. I’ve been able to get two cameras only working with it out of the 8 or so USB webcams I own.

Two - on a “user mode” screen it displays networking information. That along puts it on the no-go list for being available to the outside world. Heck when I had the thing set up for e-mailed motion detection it had the internal IP of my mail server right there on the front page! Umm...NO!

I’ll eventually set up a zoneminder server for out there and leave the automatic motion detection stuff to the house cameras.

However other tech that I have installed works just fine. I put up the basic one-wire weather station that measures temp, wind speed, and wind direction and the thing just works. The Linux software I’m using to read and log the data from it is a bit weird but seems to work just fine once I had all the dependencies satisfied. (Why or why should a program being compiled in non-gui for REQUIRE graphics libraries??)

The data values from the unit are things like this:

14/05/08 , 16:20:22 , 80.8,�F , 2.44, MPH, SW ,225.0 , 10 ,None, inches

As you can see the thing has no rain gauge attached so those values are zero but it does report them.

Now all I need to do is work out a script to format all that into a form that MRTG or RRDTOOl likes so I can have nice pretty graphs on the website.

It did tell me something good though already - it’s still too cold at night to plant. The other night it got down to 36 degrees and was 32.5 when I got up this morning. Too close to freezing.

I have the thing mounted on the corner of the garage because I couldn’t mount it at the apex due to hornets nests. I sprayed those yesterday so I’ll be removing them today or tomorrow.

On that note I hope the bird that was nesting in the front garage vent comes back. I accidentally sprayed the bird because I thought the front vent might also have hornets in it. Hopefully the bird didn’t get too much of the poison because I was using the professional grade hornet spray which is pretty nasty. (The back vent was almost entirely filled with hornets nests.)

Anyway I hope it comes back - I’d hate to be responsible for kicking it out of its home.

Speaking of homes I picked up the wood to repair the armoire last night - a 2“ x 2” x 8’ stick of cedar. That should easily increase the strength in the corners of that thing and add a nice scent as well.

I also picked up the rest of the garden fabric I need and another box of garden staples. That should allow me to finish the cleanup and prep of the garden and be ready to plant hopefully the end of this month.

On top of all that I made the mistake of going to the bookstore and was attacked by the latest Dresden novel and picked it up. (My wife rightly gave me shit for that one because I went there to see if they had a particular self-help book.)

Got to keep a better eye on the spending and this time it’s my fault. I wasn’t paying attention and we’re not where we feel comfortable at the moment. We’re not broke - we can afford to make a run to Tenuta’s - but we’re also less flush that we want to be. Blame me - I bought stuff over the last couple of weeks that I could have waited on. No biggie. We’ll just keep an eye on it for a while...




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