on May 9, 2000
Calling this book "The Little Web Cam Book" is a bit of a misnomer. The book is huge, totaling 356 pages including the index. It is crammed full of useful information, lists of webcam sites, and places where one can download everything you need except a camera.
This is a great book! Ms Parker's writing style makes it seem like she is right there with you, explaining each portion. More advanced users will know which parts to skip over, and most chapters stand on their own, so you don't have to read every word to make sense of later chapters.
This was good for me, since I was not the least bit interested in reading about the screen savers or how to make a photo my background. This part seemed to drag out, but that is from the viewpoint of an expert; if you have never done those things, you might need to spend the time reading about them. For that reason, the book spends quite a bit on the basics of these ideas. So if you still have the same background picture on your desktop that came with it, check out this portion of the book.
Other chapters cover tips for setting up the cam and choosing the best spots for broadcasting. If you want to start another "cat-cam" or other pet-related site, it is worth reading her tips on how to make it exciting for your viewers even when the animals don't feel like being photographed. There are also some other considerations you might want to read about before you invite anyone and everyone into your home or office through a live webcam.
Another section tells about how to use the still pictures you can capture with a cam to make GIF animations. This could be for fun, e-mail, or for your web page. The author also goes into creating and editing movies and how to insert GIF animations and movies into web pages. This could save you from tons of angry e-mail when your dog refuses to go near the webcam once it's live.
There is a chapter on troubleshooting problems and it seems to be rather complete. Just about every problem I can imagine occuring is listed here with possible solutions and resources.
I expected a list of other people who have webcam, but a nice feature I didn't expect was interviews with some of the pioneers and leaders in webcamming. This turned out to be quite a treat.
Supplementary information in the book about videoconferencing was great. I didn't expect to find it here either; the author could have written that separately and she and the publisher could have made a lot more money selling it as another book. They didn't, so I think a "hats off" is in order. Thanks!
on September 12, 1999
One of the most popular Internet activities to make a splash on our screens recently has been that of "webcamming." Just about anyone can now set up a suitable camera, including a video camera, and publish nearly real-time audio and video clips online for a variety of purposes for profit, fun, and pleasure. Elisabeth Parker has written The Little Web Cam Book to give members of the online community some real insight into how they can make creative use of this latest Web craze.
Webcamming has really taken off during the last two years. Schools, businesses, companies, corporations, and news reporting services have gone online to provide a number of essential services such as news and weather reporting, online education, building security, Webcasting, Webconferencing, and the monitoring of children at home and in daycare facilities. Imagine if you will, being able to log on the Internet and check up on your kids at home or as they are being cared for by others from the comfort of your office! Other family members will be able to keep in touch hundreds or thousands of miles away! Hobbyists have also provided some thoughtful uses as well, such as wiring homes, offices, and other sites with cameras to provide all sorts of intriguing, but sometimes highly suspect video coverage!
Webcamming has certainly made an impact on our society and Elisabeth Parker will walk her readers through the steps necessary to give them the opportunity experience this exciting technology firsthand. She makes a number of solid recommendations for buying cameras, software, and services, helping her readers to make the better choices and help them save time and money in the process. Many of the programs she reviews in the book are available online for immediate trial use. Buying, installation, and detailed operating instructions are provided to get readers up and running in the shortest amount of time. I can hardly wait to join in the fun myself!
Parker's instruction, laced with humor, her own personal interest, and the illustrations of John Grimes makes this book fun, enjoyful, and easy to read. Plenty of creative ideas and resource information is provided - be sure to checkout the list of Webcam sites located at the back of the book! This book serves as an excellent introduction to webcamming and is must reading for anyone interested in learning about this innovative technology and how it can be put to exciting and productive use!