We live in a hyper surveillance society. Walk down the street, visit your favorite shopping mall, drop in at your local convenience store, or withdraw cash from an ATM machine and (smile), you’re on camera.
The theory behind all this surveillance is crime control on the one hand, and as an aid in apprehending the perpetrators of crime, on the other hand. Despite the fact that I’m very leery of surveillance technology, I must admit, I can’t find fault with the legitimate use of surveillance technology to reduce, or prevent crime.
In my neighborhood, the only form of crime where we have seen an appreciable increase is Burglary. Apparently, this increase in Burglary is being driven by those addicted to drugs, since a successful break and enter provides the funds needed to feed the habit.
From a personal perspective I’m concerned with this increase – since electronic equipment seems to be a favorite target during a break and enter. Being a Techno geek, I suspect I have far more electronic equipment, and toys, than the average person, and this increases my risk of loss.
Given this higher than average risk factor, in the last year or so, I have increased my perimeter security, windows, doors, and so on, very substantially. To supplement this increase in physical security, I have added a number of Web Cams strategically located both inside, and out.
Since I’m conservative in my spending habits (I’m cheap!), I searched for and found, a more than adequate software solution to my next question – how do I drive these cameras? The software question was easily solved by Secure Cam an open source application that met all my needs.
The hardware solution was just as easy, since I had an old Pentium 4 (1.6 GHz, 60 GB HD, 384 Mb Ram, etc.), which has proven to be ideal for this purpose – driving the cameras and saving the captured images to the Hard Drive.
In case you’re wondering, this machine is well concealed, and the cameras are only activated when my residence is not occupied.
Setting up Secure Cam is a breeze since the interface is minimal. Simply launch the application, and from the main menu select your device, select the device format and then initialize the device.
You will then need to set the application options – click on the image in the Secure Cam window to bring up the options dialog box. Choose your options and you’re good to go.
Automatically captures images when motion is detected
Adjustable motion detection trigger level
Supports up to 99 cameras
DVR card capable
Capture Images when motion is detected, or continuous
Image sensitivity adjustment
Image Archiving (1,000s of images)
Dynamically expanding and contracting archive
Archive images from minutes, to years
Application viewer for image playback
Image playback at various speeds
Low processor and memory usage
Adjustable Jpeg Quality
Image Rotating, & Flipping
If you’re looking for a no cost Web Cam surveillance solution, Secure Cam may be just what you have been searching for.
System requirements: Windows (all), DirectX 9 or greater, 600Mhz Pentium 3 with 128MB Memory, Web Cam or DVR PCI card
Download at: SnapFiles
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