christmas lights

Bazillions of Xmas lights and Christmas lights - 2003

Xmas/2002 is over ("THANK GAWD" according to my wife! ;-) and there were were more lights (powered by wind energy), webcam & webcontrol, lotsa press/media, and over 100,000+ hits on the Web page! Click here for the complete story and pictures of Xmas/2002.   So what is planned for 2003?

1. LESS Xmas Lights!   It's a LOT of work to deploy all these lights and I kinda promised my wife that I'd take a break this year (even with the additional gfi outlets) ... so after soliciting various ideas/themes for Xmas/2003, I decided to go with brother Kurt's suggestion of "Burnt Out!"

2. Dedicated xmas lights storage facility.   Needless to say, I have a LOT of xmas lights ... and they have been piling up in my basement ... but the long-term solution is The Catacombs Project!

3. Webcam and Webcontrol may have pan & zoom capability!   The Webcam and WebControl (which allowed folks to not only view the lights in real-time, but turn them ON and OFF) was a BIG hit. Some webcams have been introduced with pan & zoom capability so I may look into this to see if I can set things up to allow you to pan (move/slew) the camera across the lights and maybe even zoom in to certain sections. Here is a screen shot of what the xmas_webcam looked like in 2002 and check back after Thanksgiving to see the new-n-improved xmas webcam in actual operation.

4. Beefed up web server and faster ISP connectivity!   Last year, the web server was a 1GHz Pentium3 with 128 MBytes of RAM connected to the Internet via a single T-1. Needless to say, this got pretty saturated, especially after word got around about this site. This year, it is a 2.4 GHz Xeon with a GByte of RAM and the ISP connectivity is (basically) a T-3 ... so we should be able to handle the traffic much better. Hosting and misc. assistance provided by Komar Consulting and the Earthnet data center. So when/if the Slashdot crowd comes around again, we are much better equiped to handle it!

5. Some GEO-location hacks to assess what country you are coming from. Using the Perl Module Geo::IPfree, it is fairly simple to determine what country you are surfing - apply geolocation to your IP address now! ;-)

6. Improved christmas webcam user interface After a few late nights of Perl/HTML/CGI/etc. hacking, I think the user interface is better/strong/faster/etc. ... check out the new-n-improved christmas webcam and send me an Email with any suggestions.

7. More documentions & notes.   I've added a Christmas FAQ to answer various questions.

Send Santa a public Email with any other ideas and be sure to check back here after Thanksgiving/2003 to see and control the lights!