Steep Stories

of the Lazy Literatus

Webcam Woes

As I write this, I’m currently in the middle of a plague of some sort.

Flu2

Not sure how it slipped through my tea-and-apple-cider-vinegar defenses…but it did. Now, my brain is stuck on stupid, and you fine folks have to put up with whatever the heck I’m typing. Without further ado (or adieu) – with a pot of Greek Mountain at the ready – I shall write something…of some sort. For some time. Bwaha.

Sunday was when the plague finally hit full force. I did the unthinkable and called in sick to work. After that, I rousted at the ungodly hour of…1PM. Somehow, the notion entered my phlegm-fogged brain to participate in this week’s Tea Salon (via Google Hangout) on Bi Luo Chun. Normally, I borrowed my brother’s computer for those “outings”, but he and his girlfriend were occupied with it. My Droid was out of the question because Hangouts came in choppy.

Sidenote: Seriously, Google? Why the f**k doesn’t Google Hangout work on a f**king Google phone?! That makes no bloody sense.

captain picard WTF

Anyway…

I decided to do some technical troubleshooting. Something I should never do; I’m a techtard – relying on the kindness of nerd peers to keep me connected. The task in question was finding an app for my phone that would essentially turn it into a webcam. On the Google Play store, there were several free ones to choose from. Naturally, I went with the highest rated one – IP Webcam.

To sum up how this process works: Basically, a webcam app takes your phone’s camera hardware and (in theory) syncs it with your computer – either by USB, WiFi, LAN, or…magic. I dunno. Once installing the app on your phone, you need to install a matching driver on your computer, then link the two. Again…by magic, I think.

Magic

While IP Webcam worked on my phone just fine, the matching desktop driver was shite. Not to mention extremely complicated. You had to visit, like, three or four different sites and FAQs, know your IP address, and other miscellany to link the two. In the end, my phone and computer decided not to tango. App deleted.

At this point, Tea Salon had already begun. I went with the second recommended app on the Play store, one called “DroidCam”. It sounded easy enough that even a techtard monkey like me could use it. Again, in theory. Like magic. The app installed cleanly, as did the computer driver. They synced perfectly, and then I entered the Hangout.

With no sound. For the duration of the webcam chat, I was pantomiming any emphatic point I had to make. Some remarked that it was kind of an improvement.

mime

That and the damn thing kept freezing when my phone’s screen shut off. I finagled with it for the better part of the hour-long Hangout session. Various comments from the attendees heckled my attempts, commenting that I had somehow turned into “a thumb” on several occasions. They were mostly right.

It wasn’t until the end of the Hangout when I gave the proverbial battlecry of “F**K IT!”, and just entered the chat session with my phone. And wouldn’t you know it…it worked perfectly. Just as the Tea Salon was ending. I managed a very witty – and very nasally – “Hi” and “G’bye”.

Afterwards, Robert “The Devotea” Godden humored me as I tried to get a third webcam app working – one called SmartCam. It…wasn’t so smart. Either that, or I wasn’t. Whatever…

PutinCheckingWatchNewYear2007

I muttered something along the lines of, “I need a laptop.”

He said, “A webcam is much cheaper than a laptop.”

I replied with, “Yeah, but that would get in the way of purchasing some rare Nepali teas.”

He countered with, “For the price of some rare Nepali teas, you could be sharing your opinion on rare Nepali teas via webcam.”

sudden-clarity-clarence1

Point.

In the end, I gave up, went back to my pot of white tea/Greek Mountain blend, and continued to read more The Dresden Files books.

Because that what sick tea snobs do.

lazyliteratus

Tea blogger, professional cleaner of toilets, amateur people watcher.

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11 Comments

  1. To sum up, I’m right.

  2. Great. Now we ALL have to deal with the repercussions of a “Robert was right.”

  3. Tiffany

    Hope you feel better soon! Would Skype have worked? Or Facetime (you have an iPhone, right?)

  4. Since I don’t take part in the hangouts (due to circumstance,) i don’t see the worry. Why go through all that effort for naught?
    I’ll let you know when I’m back on, and then we’ll move hell and high water to get you connected. The IP address, that’s an easy one. Just type “what’s my IP address” into google.The rest shall be revealed when it’s time.

    • I did that. The problem wasn’t finding my IP address; it was having the app driver accept the IP address for syncing. Didn’t work.

      Back to the drawing board.

  5. I know. You were trying to be Dresden and technology doesn’t work well near him.
    Does he drink tea?

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