Window Shopping

Filed under: opinion,tinkering — jaydublu @ 7:24 pm

I’m a geek. So I should love playing with toys?

I’ve been maintaining a webcam for over a year now, and it probably took me that long to put it together in the first place. Why? because I’m trying to do something slightly out of the ordinary – my vantage point is up a lighthouse which is probably half a mile away from what I want to view, and the lighthouse has no Internet connectivity – hell it’s not even got a phone line. So I thought of using my Internet connection at home, where I have a wifi aerial on the roof so I can connect on a Sunday morning.

So I’m after an external camera, with slightly less than a wide angle lens, that can connect wirelessly, and can use an external antenna (and I mean external)

And since it’s for the community / charity I’m paying for it myself, so I’m doing it on a shoestring, which means trying to buy just what I need. For reference the current solution is a DLink DCS-2100 wireless IP camera I got on eBay, a cheap 12mm lens, mounted in a cheap external housing, and an external 12dB directional antenna. All in about £200 so far.

It works, but only just, and I’ve since spent hours and hours (and hours) researching something I’d risk hard earned cash on to improve things because I’m a bit disappointed with results, I think my current best option is an Axis 211 IP camera with an external housing, but I’m not sure. I need to be comfortable about the field of view that I can get with the standard lens or one that I can add, and that’ I’ll get a better picture. And this camera isn’t wireless, so I’ll need a wireless bridge but will this fit in the housing? And it’s like £600 before you start fiddling!

Why do product pages talk about what the product does, rather that what it can do for you?

Acceptance criteria

We’re working on a rebuild for a big client’s site at the moment and it’s a conversation we’ve been having – don’t talk about the product specs, talk about what it means. It’s a bit radical for us die-hards, but I’ve just proposed the idea?

I’ve been reading up on Project Management methodologies, and one of the first things to do is to identify how you’ll identify that the project is finished and achieved its goals – also known as Acceptance Criteria. Same thing here. How do I know if the thing I’m about to shell out on will do what I want it to?

And it’s Sunday, right? Clarkson still rocks!

I want to be Clarkson

Filed under: life,review — jaydublu @ 8:34 pm

I wouldn’t like to think I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or other form of mental divergence, but there are several ‘routines’ that keep me sane. One of them is a long hot bath, which I have on a Wednesday and a Sunday, accompanied with a good strong drink (preferably associated with a few slugs of Bourbon), and a good book.

It’s where I do most of my best thinking and strategising, and I probably should be able to blog from there biut that’s another story.

But given that I’ve been a bit lax in recent posting I thought I should share my thinking after a particluarly good hot soak this evening … I envy Jeremy Clarkson despite every instinct in my body.

I’m approaching 40 (fast!) which means I’ve probably spent a good portion of that time avoiding corniness and predictabilty. However I’ve been contemplating that position of recent times and come to the conclusion that I’m able to come out of the closet and embrace corniness – why fight it?

So here’s a start – Jeremy Clarkson is a lucky bastard and I wish I had his job!

What’s triggered this? I’ve just finished reading ‘The day after tomorrow‘ by Alan Folsom and started ‘The World According to Clarkson‘ and it’s killing me that I’m laughing out loud at (and incidentally agreeing with) most of what he’s saying, and wishing it was me saying it.

I’m sure he’s successful because there are many like me who can intimately relate to his views – it’s just the he has the bollocks and the verbosity to express them – that there’s someone out there experiencing and expressing this stuff is brilliant – even if I wish it could be me.