Sunday, October 31, 2004

TY is a Better Photographer

(Originally posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 by Tim)

Ok, I expected TY to take better pictures than Sam and he proved me right. Click here to see the pictures that TY took. Alot more of them are better including the amazing one at the right.

Dog Cam!

(Originally posted on Sunday, October 31, 2004 by Tim)

Cat and I generally "chat" over ICQ every day. Part of this "conversation" is us sending each other links that we find on the internet while we are "working". One of the links she recently sent led me to the James Bond Spy Camera on Now I just had to have one of these. It's tiny and it has all sorts of cool features. It can record audio, it can record 30 seconds of video and audio, and best of all, it can be programmed to take a picture every minute for an hour and a half.

What to do with this technology. Well, the web site recommends setting the camera up in covert locations and recording "sensitive data". I'm sure you can easily imagine what they are hinting at here. If not, the ThinkGeek web site has some example user photos. This playing around with such a cool little toy seemed like such a waste to me. You could use this device to do science. With it, mysteries of the universe could be solved. Mysteries like, "What do dogs do when they are out in the yard?"*

To accomplish this task, we needed a way to securely fasten the camera to one of the dog's collars. I wanted a method that would be reversible and robust. This, of course, required a trip to Home Depot. Apparently they have missed us there since school started. The gentleman who we asked for help with our project asked us how the work on the house was going. For those of you who are into investing, I'd hold off on buying Home Depot this quarter. I'm sure their corporate earnings have fallen off now that Cat and I have slowed down on our work on the house. In the end, we decided on a applying a wall mount to each side of the camera. Through the wall mounts, we ran a nylon cable tie and attached a keyring to it. The keyring is then attached to a dog's collar such that the camera is facing forward. The camera is then set to take a picture every minute and the dog sent out into the yard.

Sam was the obvious choice for first yard test. He runs around more than any of the other dogs and his neck is the highest off the ground for better views. You can view his first set of pictures here. I haven't edited his shots except to take out the ones that ended up black do to lack of light. Apparently, Sam runs around alot in the yard. Unfortunately, the James Bond Camera doesn't deal well with pictures taken while moving. All the same, there are a few decent photos in the bunch. You can see our neighbor's house in one and Modi in another. We're planning on sending TY out with the camera this afternoon to see what he comes up with.

*To be honest, using this camera as a DogCam wasn't our idea. Cat found a web site where someone had modified one to work with their cocker spaniel. I'd link the site, but it seems to be gone or down.