So the day is finally here! The software I have been working on for some time, is now ready in Alpha form. What does this mean for you? In this case it means “the software isn’t feature complete yet, and has only been tested by me, but it should work ok”. Of course I take no responsibility for any damage to your Mac and all that usual crap…

So what is it? Camel is a simple webcam viewer. You configure a URL for an image to download, and set a time for how often to refresh. And that’s it. Images will download to ~/Pictures/Camel/name.jpg – where name is the name you specified in the setup process. You can currently only configure one camera at a time. Oh and the cam window will resize dynamically to fit the size of the image. If you use Camel for showing HUGE images, like desktops, keep in mind that there will be no scrollbars. Also, size and placement on screen for the cam window will be saved on quit.

The first time you launch Camel, the Preferences window will pop up. Enter the complete URL to your desired webcam image, name it (this will be the base filename for the archived image) and set a refresh interval. Default is 60 seconds. The first time, the image will probably not show up at all. Quitting and relaunching Camel solves this. If you want to reconfigure it later, changes will take effect immediately. Yes this sucks, but I wanted the Alpha out sooner rather than later. My initial thought was to get a polished Alpha out, and release a beta a long time into the future. However, I now hope for one more Alpha next week, polished, and maybe with a couple more features. Stay tuned.

To-do:
– multiple cameras, selectable from a menu, from a dock menu maybe, and rotating or the different cams.
– archiving, saving all images, with different filenames (name_date.jpg for instance).
– checking date on remote image, only downloading image if newer than local copy, reducing load on servers.
– somehow showing that an image is being downloaded.
– showing countdown to next refresh.
– no re-launching of application on first launch.
– more effective code, less jumping around of windows, faster resize and everything.
– multithreading, never “lose control” when an image is being downloaded.
– better error handling.

Please do NOT post this software to commercial sites such as VersionTracker, MacUpdate, MacMinute, MacNN and so on. You are however free to mention it in your blog. In that case, please link to this article, NOT directly to the file. Also please ping me a trackback.

Feedback? Send a mail to lafty at thesame dot com (figure that out), or post a comment or trackback to this article.

Download here! (no longer available)

 

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