Setting It Up
In order to experiment with Webcams and go through the process of setting one up, HowStuffWorks got itself a Webcam. To set it up, here is what we did:
- We went down to the local computer warehouse and bought the Intel Pro Video PC Camera.
- We installed the software for the camera on a Windows XP machine.
- We went to the Web site www.webcam32.com and downloaded a program called Webcam32. This is a popular software package for Webcams. You can get a free demo version or pay $39.95 for the full version. We went ahead and paid for a registered copy. (The complete user's manual for this product is available on the Web site. Check it out to see the wide array of features available on today's Webcam software.)
- We installed Webcam32. It was a very easy installation.
- After entering the address of the FTP site and a couple of other pieces of information, the Webcam showed its first signs of life!
- We pointed the camera out the window.
- We then tuned the software a bit to reduce the file size of the images and to enable the temporary-file copying feature.
There are many different features you can experiment with in Webcam32: streaming video, chat, captions, AVI files and different resolutions and compression ratios, to name a few. Webcam32 also supports the AutoCam feature, which allows you to create a Web page for your Webcam for free on the company's server. The software makes it simple.
As you can see, setting up a basic Webcam is extremely easy. If nothing else, the setup described here is a fun, inexpensive and simple way to experiment with a Webcam and see what you can do with one of your own!