Portland’s City-wide Rummage Sale
So a town near us is having their annual city-wide rummage sale at the moment, and since I had to drive out there anyway to drop Shaina off at work, we decided to tootle around and see what was available. So far the only thing I’ve found that I wanted enough to part with my money was a webcam that was too cheap to pass up - I got it for $2, and I even got the lady to throw in the headphones with microphone that were near it so now Sabriena can Mumble again too.
The webcam is a Logitech S5500, and it’s kind of a nifty little device. The picture quality is not fantastic, but much better than the webcam built into our laptop. It was cake to set it up on Windows 7 despite lacking a driver disc for it, and it installed this “Vid HD” videoconferencing software, which turned out to be garbage. I uninstalled that pretty quick and went looking for another videoconferencing solution that wasn’t such a bear to work through firewalls and such.
We ended up messing around with the Hangout feature on Google +, which worked pretty well once we got around the fact it’s apparently utterly broken in Opera. I ran it in Chrome and my wife ran it in Firefox on her Mom’s laptop, and it all worked really well with no issues with firewalls and such.
One of my favorite parts about this particular webcam is it has a “privacy screen” - a hardware switch that actually slides down over the lens so that if your machine is hacked, someone can’t film you unknowingly sitting in your underwear browsing Reddit at 3am. The drivers even have a feature where when the switch is engaged, you can replace it with an image of your choosing - since Duncan apparently really enjoys seeing himself live on “TV”, I quickly knocked together an image that says “The Duncan Show will be right back after these messages…” which gave me a pretty good chuckle whenever I’d engage the privacy screen.
There’s still a few more days left on the rummage, so we might go back out and see if there’s anything else nifty.