Coffee Pot

One of the more interesting uses of a webcam was the legendary "Internet coffee pot" cam (started in 1991, but turned off on August 22, 2001a day that will live in infamy). A webcam was trained on a coffee maker, and the sysadmin could see whether fresh coffee was available without leaving his cubicle. Some webcams take grabs of intersections in various cities. You will likely find some similar worthwhile use for your webcam.

You can use any of the video applications that can access a video4linux device to view webcam or still camera images in Ubuntu. You also can use GnomeMeeting (discussed in Chapter 8, "On the Internet: Surfing the Web, Writing Email, and Reading the News") as a viewer for your webcam.

Not all webcams are supported in Linux and the drivers are based on the chipset used, rather than the model or manufacturer. If you are uncertain about whether a specific webcam will work with

Linux or Ubuntu, then consult the oracle that is Google before you part with your greenbacks.

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