The Daily Parker

Politics, Weather, Photography, and the Dog

Cooler weather, just not on camera

Useless fact: Today was the first time since April 6th that my walk to work was below freezing.

Not useless fact: the Inner Drive Webcam was temporarily off-line overnight, as I'm making some infrastructure changes and the computer it's attached to is being decommissioned. (It's back up now.) Apparently people noticed:

I don't do business with you because I don't need to, however, I do look at your live camera every day to see the weather and get a look at Evanston, the town in which I was born and raised. My grandfather lived in the North Shore Hotel in the '50s and I visited there often. Your bottom line may not get any bigger if you continue with the camera but there may be people like myself that will miss getting a glimpse of a portion of the city. I hope that you will not let your new infrastructure cancel out the continuation of the camera.

—John in Craddockville, Va.



I look out at Chicago Ave almost every morning that I am not home in Evanston—just to 'check in'. I think it is the only Webcam in the town. Please keep it up! I love it!

—Bernard, writing from Los Angeles

I had no idea.

The technical issue is simple. Right now the camera runs on an ancient (6-year-old) server running Windows 2000. It's essentially Inner Drive's backup server, sort of the Prince Charles of the office. All it does with its 200 watts is run the Webcam and wait for another server to die.

Here's a photo. The Webcam is hooked into the server on the bottom. (One wag called it "Paul McServer" and called the other one "Server Wonder," but in the office we call them McHenry and Bulle. Bulle is so old it reflects the obsolete naming scheme we haven't used in years.)

Well, server prices having fallen, and efficiencies having risen, and rack-mounting being generally preferable to floor-mounting, we're replacing it with a Dell 860. But the new server will have a Xeon processor, which means we'll be running the 64-bit version of Windows Server 2003, which means (finally) our Webcam software won't run on the new server.

When we get the new server running (probably the first week of December), I may take an old, decrepit laptop and hook that into the Webcam. In any event, given the outpouring of support for it, I'll do what I can to keep it running.

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