Welcome to the xmas_webcam at 1936 - webcam operational for another 2 hours, 24 minutes
Use the christmas webcam to view live images of a buncha christmas lights and also CONTROL them - i.e. YOU can turn them ON and OFF via your web browser! The christmas webcam has PAN and ZOOM capability that you can also control. The webcam and webcontrol are ONLY operational between 1800 and 2200 Mountain Time. Each web surfer can only update the webcam 10 times, change the lights 3 times, and play with the pan/zoom 5 times, withen 5 minutes - this limits the load on my server/Internet connection and I'm concerned about the christmas webcam being (ab)used too much and the blinking lights bothering the neighbors! ;-)
Message for c-67-176-143-54.client.comcast.net: Someone else used the christmas webcam less than 1 second ago - throttle engaged
Message for c-67-176-143-54.client.comcast.net: Previous image displayed - try again for real-time update
Message for c-67-176-143-54.client.comcast.net: My neighbors must be wondering WHAT THE HECK is going on about now! ;-)
148 other web surfers (TOTALLY BEYOND INSANE!) have used the christmas webcam in the last minute: 004.027.007.095 004.042.225.190 004.153.002.221 024.000.123.197 024.001.216.153 024.006.242.011 024.007.099.023 024.014.212.052 024.027.120.143 024.027.146.075 024.030.095.117 024.033.015.048 024.054.206.042 024.061.091.193 024.061.229.132 024.071.223.148 024.081.141.089 024.082.216.069 024.110.212.016 024.116.151.129 024.117.115.228 024.119.154.153 024.124.110.004 024.141.144.091 024.152.224.115 024.201.012.095 024.209.122.218 024.215.192.151 024.218.030.045 024.241.229.112 024.250.123.105 024.251.027.104 061.088.036.142 063.205.043.086 064.081.056.252 064.081.080.221 064.110.208.043 064.192.052.002 064.223.102.162 065.019.075.115 065.034.067.234 065.100.083.119 065.187.212.005 066.030.123.134 066.068.062.048 066.092.239.169 066.167.206.061 066.189.180.153 066.225.075.013 066.235.017.096 067.066.253.209 067.160.087.099 067.173.159.041 067.174.154.164 068.001.059.084 068.002.145.188 068.004.060.016 068.009.220.181 068.018.218.233 068.019.198.035 068.037.007.081 068.041.137.121 068.043.235.071 068.046.068.229 068.054.168.124 068.057.146.066 068.063.100.140 068.069.065.033 068.071.143.210 068.088.131.107 068.089.079.156 068.090.074.009 068.101.032.175 068.109.033.137 068.111.176.128 068.160.255.210 068.185.041.003 068.186.019.050 068.186.211.042 068.188.187.189 068.201.107.171 068.202.035.057 068.226.063.212 068.232.134.191 069.017.176.017 069.037.042.043 069.037.116.066 069.070.132.215 069.143.013.178 069.144.249.084 069.149.211.148 069.149.253.191 069.154.094.098 069.162.159.024 069.174.098.133 069.201.131.171 069.243.232.249 070.017.073.152 080.100.096.220 080.177.211.189 082.040.024.163 082.050.218.050 082.075.092.114 083.070.225.058 128.111.043.213 188.8.131.52 128.235.249.080 129.074.150.022 130.088.168.099 138.089.003.005 184.108.40.206 220.127.116.11 142.154.025.018 142.179.101.036 143.195.140.011 144.124.016.033 144.139.031.095 156.012.172.188 161.045.181.197 162.040.211.034 162.084.156.228 167.068.001.065 168.122.187.002 169.232.124.035 169.237.054.144 192.094.041.042 193.253.044.080 199.094.073.030 202.044.167.017 202.076.136.020 18.104.22.168 203.002.218.145 203.063.249.131 203.096.113.132 204.128.192.042 205.242.228.004 206.083.245.070 207.172.081.037 208.059.161.019 22.214.171.124 209.089.068.223 216.027.160.120 216.058.091.210 126.96.36.199 220.240.121.078 220.244.224.042 221.244.012.196 222.007.115.056
Note that everyone can "BATTLE" for control of the webcam and lights!
Message for c-67-176-143-54.client.comcast.net: Welcome back to the Christmas Webcam
Querying various sensors (read how these work) :
Temperature is 30.9°F ... Looks like no rain in the last hour ... Humidity is 70% ... Pressure is 30.68 inches Hg ... Wind Direction is 80 and averaging 7.1 mph with gusts to 12.3 mph ...
Change Lights: 2 3 4
<=== Click anywhere on the image to re-center webcam with changes
Email Santa if you see anything 'interesting' and I'll add to the webcam cool pictures page! ;-)
Webcam Usage Stats (1800-2200) - Update_Webcam: 6,860 Change_Lights: 26,340 Change_Webcam_Pan_Zoom: 46,090 Webcam_Overloaded: 27,208
Control the Webcam - Pan & Zoom it!
You can PAN the webcam - i.e. move it to the left/right and/or up/down. The bearing shows the (true) compass heading, so lower numbers slew to the left and higher slews to the right. The elevation is the verticle angle of the webcam - higher numbers are up. The webcam also has a ZOOM feature - i.e. take a closer look at something.
The easiest approach is to just click on the image where you want the webcam to move.
Optionally use the arrows to slew the webcam 5° in the selected direction or use the +/- buttons to zoom-in/out by 1X. Finally, here are one-click buttons that will cause the webcam to zoom in tight on the item of interest:
Control the Lights - turn 'em ON & OFF!
|The current state of the X10 zones is shown to the left. Also look at the picture above and the light count/amperage table below. Then simply toggle a zone (or zones - you can do more than one) to whatever you want, and then hit "Change Light Setting" which will send X10 commands to change the lights, and then refresh the picture ... and hopefully not annoy my neighbors too much!|
Circuit X10-Zone Amps Lights Description - red means it is ON Garage-1 1 0.8 154 Driveway Lights, Red Bells Garage-2 2 8.1 2,400 Green Tree, Bushes, Mailbox Panel-1 2 9.7 2,300 Juniper Nets, Upper Icicles, Column Westside 2 2.5 750 Back Fence Icicles Window-L 2 1.0 250 Lower Level Window Novelties, Clock Lights Window-U 2 1.0 250 Uppper Level Window Novelties Balcony 3 3.5 750 Balcony lights, Santa Panel-2 3 6.5 1,900 Side Fence, Baby Tree, Juniper Blue Lights Panel-3 3 9.9 2,400 Lawn Ornament Back-Deck 4 9.5 3,150 Roof, Chimney, Left Curtain, Garage Icicles, Soldiar Panel-4 4 10.9 3,050 Arch, Tree, Deer, Right Curtain TOTALS 11 43.5 12,304 TOTALS
2004_09_01: My halloween decorations are the warmup for christmas - check 'em out!
While you are waiting for Christmas, consider using your PC's idle CPU cycle to help Stanford's medical research - click here for details
2004_10_01: The halloween decorations are up and the halloween webcam is quite the hoot! ;-)
2004_11_05: The Halloween "warmup" is over and it was outa control as there were over a million hits from almost 150,000 web surfers - I'm a little worried about what is going to happen at Christmas. I've taken all the Halloween stuff down and packed it away for next year, but starting work on my Christmas Stuff - come back after Thanksgiving to see that extravaganza!
2004_11_17: I have activated the environmental sensors (check out the local Colorado weather) and the near-real-time Christmas 2004 Web Stats. I'm a little behind schedule with the Christmas Lights deployment, so might not have things up until the first week of December.
Thanksgiving: Happy Turkey Day! Christmas Webcam is now using mod_perl ... this is a huge gain in terms of web server performance, but the real test will be if the Slashdot crowd comes by again this year. While mod_perl is unforgiving of poor code (I forgot to close a lock file in one corner case - yikes!), not much tweeking was required. Some misc. ApacheBench testing shows that mod_perl can sustain about 5 times the number of connections (under heavy load) than cgi_exec using the exact same code. Yea, I shoulda done this a long time ago! Read more in the Christmas FAQ which also talks about the other program (running as a daemon) that handles the lights/webcam/etc. (it communicates with the CGI using UNIX signals) and that remains throttled at one update/second - X10 is not a speedy protocol. And if you are interested in buying some Christmas Lights, check out the auctions over at eBay. And on a less technical note, my folks flow into town (and brother Myke surprised 'em) today. Fed 'em a buncha turkey and fixings ... and after a walk, they all decided football/naps were "better" than putting up Christmas Lights ... so hopefully I can put 'em all to work tomorrow - looks like the weather will stay decent for a few more days. Here's a picture of the christmas helpers ... and SOME of the lights! ;-)
2004_11_28: Got the lights up before the big cold front came in ... so my Pink Flamingo's are a bit chilly in the snow. I installed some new Beta webcam software last week and it's looking good, so have fun with it ... my neighbors have been "warned" that the light show is about to start up! ;-)
2004_12_01: I've added a handful of "cool pictures" from the webcam.
2004_12_02: The folks at MajorGeeks.Com (true recognition!) have linked to the site and the USA Today Hot Sites Crew like it too - maybe because The HULK was caught reading USA Today by Christmas Lights?
2004_12_04: Holy Christmas Lights Overload Batman! Kim Komando mentioned my site to her (gulp!) 3.5 million fans Saturday morning - it was one heck of a "light show" tonight! We had company over (served the infamous BBQ Shrimp) and my stud-muffin waterski friend Jon thought it was NUTS as there was thousands of hits/hour and typically 50+ people trying to change the webcam/lights at the same time (remember it is throttled to one/second - X10 is a slow protocol, plus the webcam is optimized for image quality over refresh rate). On a related note, mod_perl ROCKS - web server broke a sweat, but not much of one, so I think I might stand a chance against the Slashdot crowd this time. On the analog side of things, I did have one inline light fuse pop and take out 6 strands of 900 lights (yea, I know, only connect 3 strands togather) ... but hey, when you have 17,000 lights, it probably wasn't even noticed! ;-)
2004_12_05: Ummmmm ... while mod_perl continues to ROCK, I have a bit of a memory leak in the daemon program that handle the communcations and interface between the CGI and the analog stuff. It basically just sits in an interupt loop waiting for signals (USR1) from the CGI, gets the requested actions, then "talks" to the lights via X10 and other sensors/webcam via Ethernet, and provides the image and info back to the CGI ... but after bazillions of actions, the process size increased 800 MBytes - yikes! I restarted it, but it is growing again tonight so I'll need to look into this ... once again, stress-testing is good! ;-)
2004_12_06: Not only can web surfers turn the christmas lights on and off, but my kids like doing it via the X10 remote control! ;-)
2004_12_09: Seemed like we had a little more light changing than normal earlier this evening, so I finally took my laptop and (cruddy) microphone outside with me and recorded what it sounds like when 17,000 Christmas Lights are flashing on and off - the X10 Super Sockets have mechanical relays and you really CAN hear 'em click-clack-click. I'm amazed these have stood up so far - over the years, I've only had one overheat/fail (when FARK came by for Halloween/2004) and they just keep on clicking!
2004_12_11: Wil Harris from the British Inquirer wrote a funny article about my Christmas Lights/Webcam ... and commented about the "disasterous burn-out in 2003!" And I hadn't heard of it before, but Heise Online must be a fairly popular site as they are sending a buncha surfers here. And I've finally gotten around to creating a page with audio/sounds of the Christmas Lights (yes, you can actually "hear" 'em) which includes (thanx to Santa Elv), a hilarious jingle - Salutes True Men of Genius ... Mr. Too Many Christmas Decorations Guy.