The Christmas Cam 1997

Previously, the LivingRoomCam displayed the domestic habitation of an American family. With the coming of the Christmas season, decorations and the holiday spirit fill the house to convert us into the third annual Christmas Cam. (We're one of the real Old Timers when it comes to home cams on the Web.)

The presents have been opened. The carols have been sung. The kids are off playing with their new toys. And the adults are recovering.

The tree will probably be taken down on Saturday January 3d. (Waiting too much longer would mean missing the recycling places.) Then we will return to being LivingRoomCam!

This is the third year for Christmas Cam . You can check out ChristmasCam 1995 and ChristmasCam 1996 pages. In 1995, we even caught Santa Claus.

The image is updated about once a minute. I've started leaving a light on at night so the people on the other side of the planet have something to look at besides black. I also collect one image an hour for the last 24 hours .

Our family's normal home is on Teleport. Check out The Adams Page and especially the Adams Trip Around America.

NOTE TO THE CRIMINALLY INCLINED: our house has an alarm (door and window sensors and motion detectors) and we live in a small town whose cops actually show up in five minutes. So, save us both a lot of trouble, and don't even bother.

It's Getting Easier and Easier

I started this web page over two years ago when cameras were new and connectivity was hard -- I was one of the first. But things have changed over the years and, today, anyone can put their home onto a web page. Companies like Connectix and software like WebCam32 makes putting your personal space on the web possible for just a few hundred dollars. The original hardware and software that makes this work description of LivingRoomCam is being replaced with a better solution.

Connectix has a simple, easy to install digital camera that does not require a capture board. You won't be able to record videos or capture from another video source (like I did for our Trip Around America) but you will have a video camera for video conferencing or capturing your space.

WebCam32 is a shareware program that can capture a video image and then phone up your ISP (internet service provider) and FTP the image to their server. So, you can easily set up a web page that is updated once every five or fifteen minute. This is a cool, flexible program and registration is only $25 -- you should pay for this shareware, the author has earned it. This software will even capture AVI's like I created, act as an HTTP server, and work through firewalls.

I expect to see an explosion of cameras. I know the manufacturers are planning to make USB cameras a feature on nearly all new computers. Soon, just like sound, all computers will have cameras and we'll be seeing more of the world.

If you are a Webcam-aholic, here are other Cam pages:

Pointers to some camera technology:

Get Free RealPlayer LogoBest experienced with Microsoft Internet ExplorerClick Here to start.

Robert Adams /
Copyright 1997, Adams Software / December 23, 1997