Wednesday, February 18, 7:30 p.m., Dave Chetcuti Room.
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The PCC Field Cam is more than a camera — it is a camera, a computer and a modem. This kind of system is known as a web camera or webcam. The PCC Field Cam computer runs the LINUX operating system, a version of UNIX, and has software programs to control the camera and communicate with the Internet. We have programmed it to meet our needs.
The Field Cam takes a picture every 10 minutes between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. After the picture is taken, it dials into an Internet Service Provider (ISP) via modem and logs in with a username and password for security purposes. At this point it is connected to the Internet. It then transfers the image file to the PCC web server using File Transfer Protocol (FTP), logs out, and hangs up.
If the connection fails (as modem connections often do), the Field Cam retries twice more, 90 seconds apart, before waiting another 10 minutes.
While connected to the Internet, the Field Cam also synchronizes its internal clock with a Network Time Protocol (NTP) server in San Jose, CA. The time shown on the image accurately reflects when the picture was taken.
This web page displays the image most recently uploaded to the PCC web server. It also automatically causes your browser to refresh this page every minute, so you can leave the image up and watch it during breakfast to see if you’re going to fly today!
In the best case, the image you see was taken less than one minute ago. However, the 10-minute interval, the possibility of upload failures and the one-minute refresh delay all may make the image you see several minutes earlier than the current time. If you suspect the image on your screen is not the most current, click the “Refresh” button on your browser.