Webcam a.D.

test my webcam screenshot
A flash-based web-solution to test your webcam.

Mutter: “Was heißt A-Deeh?”
Sohn: “Adeeh (ade) is Schwääbisch und heischt Uff Wiederseen”
Vater & Sohn lachen.
Familie Heinz Becker

The Candidate

There are quite a few things I dislike about my laptop, but mainly financial reasons and the lack of a much better alternative (suggestions welcome!) make me being stuck with an HP Elitebook 6930p, a laptop that’s most often operated at home on a docking station because of a) a heavy power cord (the cord, not the transformer), b) a CCFL screen (instead of an LED option which would add another 1h of battery runtime), c) an internal 2G/3G/EV-DO modem that will only work in a MS-Windows environment and d) lousy battery runtime of about 2-3h on 4cell battery (I have another travel battery that extends it for a few hours, but also adds weight).

This computer…. I don’t know. Back in the days we used to say: HP = High Price, Huge Problems. The 6930p is quite durable and well built, but the CCFL screen is so 1990s. Brilliant colours vs. battery draining. Uargh…

The Webcam

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The webcam on this said laptop has no cover – like many other modern laptops. If you feel being spied on via your webcam, mistrust the LED that’s supposed to show activity on the cam or never pay attention to it anyways, there are simple and professional ways to cover your webcam. I’ve used a piece of a note-it post in the past, others use their beloved duct tape or whatever is around. And then there’s the good solution that will cost you ~ US$ 12 or EUR 15 (even though it’s a German company!). Good but also expensive for a little piece of plastic. For half the price, ok. But 15 EUR is a bit too much.

Time to build my own solution using black cardboad:

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It’s cheap, it wins, it works!

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The laptop lid also closes without problems. Very nice!

3 comments » Write a comment

  1. Adrian, thx, do you have any first-hand experience with these Acer Timeline notebooks? How far does the lid/display open to the back?

    About that internal UMTS – it may be a bit strange, but both my 6930p and my eeePC with internal UMTS have a worse reception of the 3G signal when compared to the lousy & tiny antenna of the (ex-Vodafone) ZTE K3565-Z stick. And this even though Wifi/wlan is switched off while using 3G, so the antennas wouldn’t have to compete with each other. Meaning: I am not really sure if I’d go for another internal 3G modem, also because of compatibility issues with other OS.

    I’d probably go for the 13-14″ size though, because of the missing optical drive (laptop is my main machine).

  2. Well, I’ve gathered some impressions with regular Aspire devices – these seem to be nicely built – so no experience with the Timeline range. I’d personally go with a T510 from Lenovo but then you’d have to wait or search for a model with a lower price tag than 1000€ – or you could order one through me as a university model (no windows, lower price @ http://www.campuspoint.de). ;)

    And the 3G modem (Quallcomm Gobi 2000) is also Ubuntu friedly – just an additional PPA and the 3G modem works beautifully with the Gnome Network Manager. I have a W510 – the T510’s big brother in terms of specs.

    I’ll have a possibility to test my W510’s internal modem against my Android’s 3G tethering. Usually useful when you’re more out of town to test the reception.