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The Star
After being ignored for many hours, Daddy explained to us how all this stuff works. The real motivation for him doing this was to keep track of us via the Web while he's away at work or out gallivanting. But I think it's really his way of saying to the world that we Macaws and Greys are beautiful animals and our picture(s) are fine examples of just that.

The current hardware and software used to make up The Mac Cam and The Boko Cam:

  • A clone AMD-based 486 @ 100 Mhz. serves as the base engine to all this.

  • OS/2 Warp 4 (with service pack 5 applied) provides connectivity and operating system support.

  • Currently, a Media Magic video capture board, running under Win-OS/2, provides the video capturing services. Daddy keeps moaning about this board since it is only supported under Win-OS/2. We think he's itching to buy an OS/2 supported board.

  • A Hitachi 8mm camera is watching Mac from right outside his house. Since Daddy replaced the older RCA VHS-based camera, the pictures are a lot sharper. He's always struggling with getting the lighting right.

  • A ProScan 8mm camera is watching Boko from across the room. The lighting on The Boko Cam is always better than The Mac Cam because the Lexan material of Mac's house isn't getting in the way and the sun doesn't reflect off the material either.
  • Under Win-OS/2, a crude batch procedure was developed to snap our pictures every minute! These images are then saved to disk as JPEG files.

  • On the OS/2 side, a Java application was developed that monitors whenever the pictures are updated. It used to trigger a call to the ISP (Advantis) my Daddy uses and send the pictures via the FTP protocol. Now, since The Mac Cam web server is right here, this step is no longer necessary. The Java application talks to another Java application running on the web server and the pictures are sent that way.

  • The web server Java application manages rotating all the picture names to provide up to 90 minutes of pictures for viewing. It also deals with switching from day time mode to night time mode so you'll now when the camera is active.

  • Tada! The new picture can now be viewed by you.

    As a side note, the older Rexx procedure was rewritten in Java to provide more portability and ease of maintenance.

If you want to ask me questions about this information, send me mail. We used to get too much spam so you'll have to type in the word maccam followed by the at sign followed by attglobal.net. I'll ask my Daddy for help on any questions if I need to. Sometimes he answers me in a way I can understand.

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