Webcam Crawling


Bryson webcam crawling

Bryson webcam crawling

The webcam is a marvelous device. Our webcam is regularly in use as we communicate with Sarah in Keller, Texas. This had me wondering when and where the first webcam was used.

The First Webcam

The Trojan Room coffee pot was the inspiration for the world’s first webcam installed on a local network in 1991. The coffee pot was located in the so-called Trojan Room within the old Computer Laboratory of the University of Cambridge in Cambridge, England. The webcam was created to help people working in other parts of the building avoid pointless trips to the coffee room by providing, on the user’s desktop computer, a live 128×128 grayscale picture of the state of the coffee pot. On August 22, 2001, the camera was finally switched off.

Faraway Grandchild

Today we saw Bryson crawling for the first time over the webcam. That was a marvelous sight. Jill heavily praised Bryson, which brings a smile to his face. This elicits more praise from Jill which brings forth another smile from Bryson. I rather think this would continue all day long if not for Sarah saying, “OK, time to go.” And this is another great thing about the webcam. Because it is so easy to break off a conversation it makes it easier to start one, knowing you can sign off in an instant.

With five children it was rather inevitable that at least one would move away. On the bright side it did give me a reason to travel. Jill doesn’t need a reason to travel. She will go anywhere, any time, except to go to the kitchen to get me a snack — I have to do that myself. All I need now is a webcam on the chips so that I can cut down on wasted trips.

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Kaysville to Keller

Today Jill, Paul, and myself left Kaysville, Utah at 5:25am for Keller, Texas. We went with a longer route (1,379 miles) that is supposedly faster (19 hours 55 mins). Except for a few miles, the whole route is entirely freeway — that would explain the faster. If you’ve never traveled from Utah to Texas then this post will probably be of no interest to you. However, if you have gone this way before let me know what route you prefer and why. Perhaps I can amend my return plans with your suggestions.

We entertained ourselves (when we weren’t driving) with a cell phone, a Blackberry, two laptops, GPS navigation, two MP3 players, a CD audio book, and several movies. We can’t tell you what the countryside looked like. :) After traveling 950 miles in 13 1/2 hours we stopped over in Salina, Kansas. Time to get out the laptop and blog!

Update

17 Mar 2009 The next day (14th) we left at 6:30am and took 5 1/2 hours to drive the remaining 429 miles to Keller.
21 Mar 2009 We left Keller yesterday morning utilizing an alternative route back to Kaysville suggested by Derek. This time I had my GPS collect data as we drove straight through. At 1,236 miles, this route was 143 miles shorter. Our moving average was 67.8 mph with a moving time of 18.16 hours. This compares with a moving time plus all stoppages (minus overnight stop) of 19 hours for the longer route. If stoppages were added in for the shorter route, the longer route would actually be faster, though not by much.
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