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[vox-tech] Minor webcam success
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[vox-tech] Minor webcam success

A friend of mine gave me a USB-based webcam (with "Model No. EZ-368 SPCA561A"
on the bottom).  It's pretty low-tech, apparently maxing out at 352x288 pixels
in resolution, and probably something like 10fps.

It appears that the latest Linux kernel in Ubuntu 8.10 (kernel 2.6.27) has
a bug that prevents many USB cameras from being recognized (at the device
level; you can't even "lsusb" it, all you get are some errors in
/var/log/syslog).  I was able to boot into an older Kernel (2.6.24) and
"Cheese" (a simple little webcam photo/video snapper from Gnome) was able
to catch me eating some kettle corn. :)

There's a project -- about 3 years since the last update -- called "PortVideo"
that sits on top of various video systems on various platforms.
(Something firewire-related and video4linux on Linux, Quicktime on Mac OS X,
and {whatever} on Windows.)

I'm hoping to use their code (GPL'd and libSDL-based -- perfect!) as a way to
add a photo snapshot import option to Tux Paint.  (Take a picture of yourself,
paint over it.)

I needed to install a few additional packages on Ubuntu 8.10 to get it
to compile, and even then I had to manually edit "640" and "480" resolutions
that were #define'd in PortVideoSDL.cpp and change them to the resolution
that my camera can handle.

I needed libdc1394 and libraw1394, and the '-dev' packages that went along.
One thing that confused me is that there are two sets of "libdc1394"s,
one set labeled "-13" and the other "-22".  Bigger is not necessarily better.
I guess "-22" is a new API, and PortVideoSDL does not know it, so I had
to install the "-13" stuff to get it to compile.  (I began trying to update
their code, before I remembered the package duality that was going on.)
It seems some newer GNOME stuff wants the "-22" packages, and fortunately
they live side-by-side without problem.

Anyway, I haven't done anything in terms of touching Tux Paint, but I wanted
to share this minor success story.  (Even if it did involve package confusion
and booting in an older kernel.  *sigh*)

BTW, PortVideo lives here:


It's being used by their very cool looking project, here:


"Tux Paint" - free children's drawing software for Windows / Mac OS X / Linux!
Download it today!  http://www.tuxpaint.org/
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