Neil Turner's Blog

Blogging about technology and randomness since 2002

Webcam Woes

Had a few webcam woes last night. I decided that TimerShot was slowing down my system too much (IE and OE kept going through periods where they wouldn’t respond, and calls to the ComDlg library were slow), so I thought I’d check out the LabTec software that came with the webcam. It used the latest XP-compatible version of InstallShield, which was a good sign, though it insisted on installing about 50MB of files, and there was no way of avoiding a reboot at the end.
When I did reboot, I found that it wasn’t working. What’s more, when I tried to open it Windows Explorer, it messed it up, to the point that even Task Manager couldn’t kill it. So I had to do a hard reboot, and then fire up System Restore. Fortunately the installation of the TimerShot triggered a restore point, so I had something fairly recent to go back to. After another reboot, all was calm.
But I still needed a TimerShot replacement. So, off to Download.com. A search for ‘webcam’ brought up Argus, a small VB6 utility. Although it is a little unstable, it is much less hogging than TimerShot, despite being in VB6. I also couldn’t get it to upload the image, but that doesn’t matter too much since I’m running Pakkasherra anyway. Another cool feature is the caption function, which means that the date and time are overlaid onto the image, like on the Lockergnome Webcams. It’ll be useful for seeing whether the computer has crashed while I am at college ๐Ÿ™‚ Furo has mentioned it before in his Tech Specialist newsletter – see the 18th Dec 2001 issue for more.
The disco last night went okay, but please remind to slap anyone who suggests doing karaoke. Eugh.

One Comment

  1. Tried TIMERSHOT using Logitech Webcam Messenger but utility takes up to 82% of my CPU resources– another problem is that when FTP’ing the image, Windows generates unattended prompt messages asking if the file is to be replaced due to image size difference.
    Summary: very poor in design as it takes up too much CPU and cannot operate unattended