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Linux Journal: Cooking with Linux: Security, with a Sprinkle of Video

Sep 20, 2002, 13:00 (5 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Marcel Gagné)

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"There he is! Mes amis, let me direct your attention to this monitor. Watch closely. As you can see, François is in the east wing of the wine cellar. The reason I am showing you this is to introduce you to our menu for today, 'Security with a Touch of Video'. When we talk security in the Linux kitchen, we almost always mean network security. On some rare occasions, we are willing to discuss user security. But what about home security? Perhaps you have an extensive wine cellar that you want to keep an eye on. Isn't that expensive? Complicated? Did you know you can set up a video surveillance system for not much more than the cost of an inexpensive webcam? For this recipe, I used a Creative Labs CT6840 USB camera from Radio Shack, my Linux system and a few keystrokes. Sounds good? But wait; as they say on television, there's more.

"Inexpensive and simple video surveillance is particularly interesting when combined with motion detection technology. That's the idea behind Lawrence P. Glaister's Gspy, a GNOME security camera application. You even can use Gspy to generate daily MPEG movies for later perusal with the Berkeley MPEG tools (more on that shortly). The software captures frames in JPEG format at regular intervals that you can define. Once the absence of motion is confirmed, less frames are written out, although all frames continue to be date- and timestamped. As soon as motion is detected, regular, high-frame capture resumes. This results in a time-lapse video that concentrates on areas of interest..."

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