What happened to the MilesCam?
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Posted by James Shaw (+136) 11 years ago
I noticed it was "Off the Air".. Anyone know why?
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Posted by Amorette Allison (+11786) 11 years ago
Space aliens. Big, green, blood-sucking space aliens snatched up Josh and his web cam and took them off to the Planet Glorp for nefarious reasons.

Actually, I think Josh was having financial issues and could probably use a donation or two to get it up and running.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
James, the camera computer is on it's way out. That is what happens when you purchase a second hand machine off eBay.. Plus it didn't help it got doused with sawdust while on when they were installing the AC unit into Main Street Grind directly above it...

Amorette, I am actually having financial issues as listed above, we need a new computer. I haven't received a donation for the MilesCam since... December? January? One of those months. I'm ok with paying for the web hosting myself, since I use it for other projects also, but if a new computer is not installed soon this one is probably going to be done for.

If someone would like to donate a computer, I do have to be a bit picky on what the specs are and what it is.

Must have AT LEAST a Pentium 4 HT Processor running at 4GHZ.
Must be an ALL IN ONE computer.
Must have AT LEAST 2GB Ram.
Must have 40GB+ hdd.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
4GHZ?

What exactly is wrong with it? Maybe it just needs a new motherboard or something?

[This message has been edited by Levi Forman (7/23/2010)]
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
3GHZ. Sorry, was in a hurry.

Edit: Levi, the PSU is malfunctioning in it. Plus, parts are not easily replaced in this model. It is a Gateway All-In-One, so you can't use just any old parts.



[This message has been edited by Josh Rath (7/24/2010)]
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Bump
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
I didn't realize the Donate button was missing, but it has been readded to the Homepage below the Google Ad.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
Gotcha, yeah, it's a shame but it certainly wouldn't be easy to find replacement parts for that thing.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
Just curious, why so attached to an all in one? Or even a screen at all for that matter?
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Well rick, I have the All in One to conserve space, since this is displayed in Main Street Grind. I have limited room for a computer, so an All in One just makes since. Also, I like to have a monitor, that way when people visit Main Street Grind they can see how the MilesCam works.

It isn't necessary to have a computer with a Monitor, but I would prefer it. I actually just saw a deal on a Lenovo All in One computer with a Intel Core 2 Duo Processor running at 2.2ghz, 4gb ram, and a 500GB hdd. They were selling it for $699. Pretty good price, but too steep for me.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
I don't know if this thing is what you're looking for but it's kind of neat.

http://www.newegg.com/Pro...6883108321



Basically a netbook without the screen or the attached keyboard. Looks like most people use it as an HTPC.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
It's small enough, but in no way could it ever hope to power the stream. The Ideacentre i was looking at was an all in one.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
What's so processor intensive about the webcam? Netbooks can stream HD video from the internet, hard to imagine the webcam is more difficult than that.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Levi, it uses Flash to broadcast the 640x480 30FPS video out to the web. The laggy video was caused by this computer not being powerful enough to broadcast it out.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
I figured that was probably it. Flash sucks.
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Posted by Rick Kuchynka (+4464) 11 years ago
I've just never really much liked the all in one units I've ever run across.

Like owning an overpriced notebook (without any portability).
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Yeah, but it is the best solution for this purpose. Less wires, no unsightly tower to deal with..
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
and you have to throw it away if the power supply goes bad...
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
No, you can purchase a new one. But it is an expensive part from Gateway. When I called they wanted $500 for the part, because the machine is that old. I think it's BS, but yeah. Just easier to scrap it for parts and get a new one.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10002) 11 years ago
What about just buying another used one off eBay for parts?
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
We can do that. It is ultimately up to how much we get in donations. I'd like to purchase a newer machine, that is more powerful, so everything runs smoother.
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Posted by Tracy Walters (+304) 11 years ago
Josh,
I've got my old gaming machine sitting in the garage...was pretty powerful a couple years ago. I had a raid 0 pair in the machine for speed and one of the drives failed.

I don't remember the speed but it was pretty nice ... probably could just rebuild the single hard drive still in it and it would work fine. Do you want that?
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
If all else fails tracy, I would take it. But for now I'd like to find something compact and powerful, as to not take up too much room in Main Street Grind.
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Posted by joey (+100) 11 years ago
well if all els fails me and my dad would be more than happy to build you one.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10002) 11 years ago
How about Craigslist? Perhaps you could find either the same computer (no matter what shape, as long as it had the same, but functional PSU) or just the PSU itself.

Also there are other web sites out there that sell used computers and parts. Perhaps that might be another direction to look at?

Seems like what you had was working just fine until the power supply gave out.

I know you said it was a "Gateway All-In-One", but can you provide the exact year/model number, or the part number of the PSU?
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Posted by David Schott (+17158) 11 years ago
From the picture it looks like a "Profile 5" system. It appears that it has an external power supply? Is that right?



http://www.skyline-eng.co...ct_ID=6483
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Correct David. It does have an external PSU, and it is malfunctioning, but it will work for either a few hours or a few days before the computer shuts down.
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Posted by David Schott (+17158) 11 years ago
Apparently Skyline Engineering is an authorized supplier of Gateway replacement parts. Here they advertise a brand new power supply for the Profile 5 system for $79 -- ships immediately.

http://www.skyline-eng.co...ct_ID=5859
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Cool. I've bookmarked it, and after a few more tests on the machine I'll know whether we need to order that or if something else is the culpret. I just got the computer back on, and checked the logs. It has no record of shutting down, and it cannot just lose power considering there is a battery backup. So Yeah, We will see.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Oh, larry. The service i use for the MilesCam now has video ads that play... Hence the tiny Internet Explorer 8 ad over the video capture on the site. I have no control over it.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10002) 11 years ago
Ah, don't worry about it. If I get the chance I'll get rid of it in the icon, but not important.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10002) 11 years ago
There we go, how's that? No more advertisements (on the MC icon anyway). What a wonder a little bit of software engineering can accomplish. ;-) It's a cat and mouse game. If it shows back up, I'll kill it again.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
It is back againnnnn. Haha. Microsoft 1 Larry 0. bahaha
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10002) 11 years ago
I see. It will be gone shortly. I'll have to recompile the software.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Haha awesome. Ok.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Well then. Problem discovered.



Meaning, the PSU shutdown again, and we need to purchase a new one.

So, I got a $20($19 after paypal takes its share) donation, and we need $80 (shipping included) to purchase a new PSU. Anyone have $65 laying around?

EDIT: Thanks for the donation Richard. I will purchase the PSU ASAP.

[This message has been edited by Josh Rath (7/28/2010)]
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago


Was more spendy, because I didn't realize we had the profile 5.5. I double checked it with my email records from when I purchased the machine.
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Posted by Bart Freese (+927) 11 years ago
This has to do with replacement parts in general. My neighbor needs a new power supply for his old Lexmark printer, scanner. Who sells that stuff?
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
Printers are so cheap these days it's hardly worth looking for replacement parts. Go down to Walmart and pick up a new HP printer/scanner/copier for like $50.

http://www.walmart.com/ip...u=13269651

If you consider that the thing has a $30 set of ink cartridges in it you would probably pay less for it than you could find a replacement power supply for the old lexmark.

I had a friend who worked for HP and when his ink cartridge ran out he would just give the printer away and buy a new one because the printer was about the same price as an ink cartridge with his employee discount.
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Posted by Bart Freese (+927) 11 years ago
My friend still runs Windows 98.
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Posted by Tracy Walters (+304) 11 years ago
I suspect his best bet is going to be to try to find an old printer on eBay and scavenge parts, but it will be hard. He might find a different old printer that has drivers, but the Windows 98 is gonna give him major headaches. Any chance he could look at a used system with Windows XP on it....probably get one for a couple hundred bucks.
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Posted by Levi Forman (+3713) 11 years ago
My friend still runs Windows 98.


Well then he is beyond help.
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Posted by Steve Allison (+982) 11 years ago
Sense we have diverted to printers for a bit, my experience with printers is that you get the quality you pay for. Cheep printer make poor quality prints, expensive gives you much better quality. The best sign of a better printer is more colors of ink. Mine uses 6, black, yellow, cyan, photo cyan magenta and photo magenta. The two lighter photo colors allows better dot mixture giving better quality photo prints. This gives sharper, better color prints. I know from scanning cheeper printer prints that have been brought in, cheeper printer with their unblended inks give pour scans that have to be blurred quite a bit to keep them from moir'eing when reprinted.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Back to the topic, Larry. It seems that the video ads are appearing again.
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Posted by James Shaw (+136) 11 years ago
Hmm..

What output voltage/amperage is the power supply? Usually some systems will just take a 19v laptop power supply or a 12v power source.

You might wanna take the old power supply out and check for bad caps. If the problem continues with the new power supply, check the system for bad caps.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10002) 11 years ago
Josh Rath wrote:
Back to the topic, Larry. It seems that the video ads are appearing again.

I've been playing with the settings, but it seems the ads keep showing up ... not sure what the deal is with that.

In any case, the simple explanation of how the webcam icon works (images pulled from your site/provider) is that a private area of this site is capable of capturing the stream on demand.

There is also a background C++ Win32 Service that requests and captures an image from that stream occasionally (configurable settings -- basically, wait a while, play the stream and wait a while until grabbing a capture, then go back and repeat).

The captured image is processed through a C++ imaging library I wrote, which samples it down through bilinear interpolation, sharpens it through a 3x3 convolution filter (might be 5x5 but not sure without looking at the latest code) then does all the fancy discrete cosine transform stuff to compress and save it to disk as a standard JPEG file.

But the damn ads keep appearing, seemingly no matter how I configure the delay before capture. I haven't had time to investigate further, but the site actually feeding it out is probably doing something clever to prevent what I'm attempting to prevent.

Not much I can do until I get more time to spend on the effort.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
Yeah, it's fine. I'm half tempted to switch the feed to a H.264 stream. That way I can use my own player... without branding or ads. Just haven't gotten to it, plus i figured it may cause trouble with your capture setup.
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Posted by MilesCity.com Webmaster (+10002) 11 years ago
Do the ads only show up at the beginning or do they also reappear later?

If they only show up once, at the beginning, then I should be able to get rid of them out of the webcam icon -- however, right now I'm at every 15 minutes, then a 50 second stream before capture.

After seeing that evil little girl, I think I'll up it to every 20 minutes, then a 90 second stream before capture. We'll see if that makes any difference.

Good thing I have a lot of bandwidth. Before the ads started appearing, I was at every 10 minutes, with a 4 second stream before capture.
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Posted by Josh Rath (+2307) 11 years ago
I'm not too sure larry. I know as soon as the page reloads, the ad doesn't appear for 5 seconds. The video is just on a freeze frame.
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