IPcams , 500w , V4l2 and Zoneminder

ok so a wired title , i just wanted a title that lets you know what the post is about.

i decided i was going to make a homes security / surveillance system, of course i obviously wanted to do this with linux.
i did a little research and price comparisons , i found that there was linux software for this …namely zoneminder. thats IPcams are still expensive and are a bit like webcams in the compatability with linux department .i settled on the airlink101 skyipcam500w.

these are a relativly inexpensive ipcam they dont actually stream avi they stream mjpeg wich seems to be the rapid succesion of jpeg images , there are issues with this in zoneminder , especialy on this model.
zoneminder can however pick up the single jpeg from this cam.

so i ordered all the things and they have nearly all arrived , 1 new cheap compaq box and 4x ip cams .
as i mentioned in an earlier post i had dumped vbox for vmware , so i setup zoneminder in vmware.
configured all the cams and placed them then set about connecting them to zoneminder vm.
This didnt quite go as planned the mjpeg didnt show in zoneminder , neither did the regular jpeg , this was a dissapointment for me , but i had noticed other input types on te zoneminder setup.

zoneminder can take a V4L2 device as input so i wondered if i could somehow show the ipcam as a local V4l2 device. hence 2 days of googling and finding out things .

The Hack
so far we know the mjpeg doesnt play well with linux , i cant stream it through any players and can only view it in a browser with the aid of java, however i can get a single jpeg from the camera .

i wrote a little python prog to get the images form the camera and display them in rapid succession to give the ilusion of a streamed video ……i did this very easily and it worked perfectly

so now i wanted to somehow output that feed to an avi on the fly and pass it to zone alarm ……this didnt really seem possible without saving the avi file and it becoming huge , as i wanted to jsut loop it and have no saved files this didnt seem like it would work.

so what i decided on was to try to loop the output as a V4l2 device

V4l2 loopback
i did some googling and found a loopback driver for V4l2 so i downloaded it to test it ,but didnt work on my ancient kernel its only for very new kernels , luckily the vm that zoneminder is on is built with jaunty  so it worked .
they sugest feeding the loopback with an application they also make so i downloaded that too after some messing around with it it seemed to work . i changed the script to jst dump the jpeg  to a file and set the loopback device to  collect the jpeg as input , the script continues runningchanging the input file .

now i think this should work , when i conenct a view to the device it does connect and get now errors from the viewer or the loop back devie or the feed application …..i just get no picture ……so i tried my regular laptop webcam (V4l2 compatable) and with the viewer here i just get the same …… so i am thinking it is a vmware problem …so i need some dedicated hardware to try it on , i do have the new machine i bought but …………i didnt get a vga cable for it …ordered one but its taking ages to arrive 😦

so i guess i just have to wait and see what happens with dedicated hardware , to test that …….i am thinking it should work ……unless i am over looking something like you cant change the file when the input has been set ?…….but if that was the case i think i woudl have goten errors by now  so we will see.

as for zoneminder that didnt pic up video from my webcam either ……i think zoneminder doesnt like the virtual enviroment too much either ……..will have to try them both on dedicated hardware.

so i will keep you guys posted

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Banksy -esq Hawaii

Earlier today i was out for a a walk ………well actually just walking back from radioshack where i had tried to get a vonage phone adapter to replace the one that had mysteriously and suddenly died yesterday.

i must have walked and driven down this road a thousand time as it is a main route from where i live to where ever i want to go , and i had never noticed a piece of graffitii  by the road .

i think it is very much in the style on banksy , the famous UK graffiti artist

i snapped a pic of it with my phone ….see what you think


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Sunday Bike Ride Leeward

I needed to go get some photos of the leeward side, so with the break in the weather giving us a seemingly rare sunny day i decided i could kill two birds with one stone and get out on the bike.

its mostly a highway ride over there and the H1 is a little worse for wear after all the rain , when you get past downtown and heading out to the leeward side the H1 gets quite pothole ridden which is definitely not a nice things when you are doing highway speeds on a bike , the potholes are deep and large so you need to be very alert and the general highway itself is bump and not at all comfortable .

once i got to Ko'Oloina you continue up the coastal road , my plan was to ride down the coast and up to waialua then rejoin the highway, when you look at google maps the road looks like it contiues around but it does go a lot more faint , i just figured it woudl be a small road , when i got there however i realised it was jsut a track for the last stage and quite a rough one , not atall rideable on a sports bike. i had a lot to learn about the navigation the regular coast road was what i would consider a back road so the faint bit i should have known woudl have been something worse

the coastal road is nice , the area up there is very quait with little beach shacks it looks like it hasnt changed in 100 years , it does have its share of degredation and there are a lot of homeless living on the beaches as you ride up there, they have large comunial camps …it doesnt actually look like too bad of a life …….i know being homeless is bad but when you are camping on a beach and it never gets too cold i dont think it is the same as being homeless in say paris or somewhere. people there seem to catch there fish from the ocean and seem to have a very relaxed life , it would be interesting to  chat to a few of the people there and see what got them to that place , weather it was hard times , twists of fate or wether they actualy chose it as a more simplistic life ……i would think there may be some of each.

i didn't take time to stop and chat with anyone and i didn't   get any pictures of the camps , i just really took scenery shots, but here are a few of them


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Virtualbox – VMWare

i used to use VMware server until i got my new laptop about 18months back when i discovered vmware made my keyboard lock up and other problems , so i switched to virtualbox , mainly becasue it looked somewhat similar to vmware and it was just an apt-get away.

i find virtualbox very useful but it has its problems , like i never got the usb to work on it …in all fairness thoguh i never really tried to fix it. i did however try to fix its problem with networking not being able to assign it a bridged network only ever used nat wich gets somewhat limiting when you want to work on servers, i tried a few things i found online but none of it seemed to work.

anyways i wanted to do some more server work so i decided to revisit vmware server (now version 2)

so i downloaded it (they have a 64bit version now ) and installed it , i did remember to run it thorugh sudo but it complained about perl errors , so i then ran it with
sudo perl ./install-vmware.pl
and it went throught he usualy setup routine etc just hit a bunch of yes's untill you get to it complaining about my kernel being compiled with a different gcc version than was installed , i was worried about this but google helped and you just ask it to go on anyways and it goes through ok . it asked me about user acount but i took the default answer (uh uh).

when i came to run it i opened a comand line and ran vmware it opened the browser and pointed me to a new managment console , there is not a stand alone application it seems for version 2 but instead is all through the web interface.
could i log on …could i hell , the default user i took was root being as i use kubuntu root has no password so i set a password for root with
sudo passwd root

and then i coudl log in ok and actually liked the set up a VM and away i went , runs ok though i have not really put it through its paces we will see in the next few days i suppose but everything seems good so far , the USB works fine as does the bridged networking so im happy and it has not locked up yet.

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Who will watch the watchmen

Today i went to see Watchmen,

it is a great movie , the soundtrack fit well…….well ok , they use a Dylan song and i love Dylan .(did he sell out al of a sudden a lot of his song are being used)

i had never heard of the watchmen comic book so i cant compare it and maybe die hard comic fans will find some irritation in it or not , but i just watched it as a movie expecting nothing and i really liked it , there are some good effects in it and the story is very good , one thing was they dragged out the ending a lot ….or maybe that was just my view because i needed the washroom, it s along film on for nearly 3 hours.

but definitely worth seeing and especialy at the cinema , this is not one to wait for dvd , but then i am sure it wil be pretty awesome on blueray too.

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