Tuesday, August 21, 2012


Watch your six

One of the guys I work with discovered this cool little open source program called CamDesk. What it enables you to do is set up a video feed from a USB camera plugged into your workstation. It has a little window that hovers on your desktop that you can move around and will show you whatever the camera is looking at.

Several of our desks face away from the entrance to our department and we started using this program so we could just glance down and see who is walking into the department.

It takes up hardly any resources on your computer and you can also make the window semi transparent so you can see stuff that you are working on behind it. I believe you can also plug in multiple cameras for multiple feeds as well. It also has some recording options that I have not yet explored. It supports multiple OS's (not sure if the Linux version will run on OS X or not).

I ran into some compatibility problems with cameras on my computer (which to be fair, is long over due for a rebuild). I couldn't get the Microsoft LifeCam camera to work but we have several old Cisco ball cameras laying around and that works fine.

You could probably get pretty creative with uses for this program, just keep in mind it isn't meant to be a full blown security system. Just a widget for displaying a camera feed.

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