Mailinglist Archive: opensuse (5130 mails)

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Re: [SLE] Linux Hardware purchase/ Software reccomendations
  • From: Doug McGarrett <dmcgarrett@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 09 May 2006 18:11:41 -0400
  • Message-id: <0IZ000CIWQZFUDF1@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
At 07:00 PM 5/9/2006 +0000, lerninlinux@xxxxxxxxxxx wrote:
>I am looking for a webcam for a Linux box. It's been YEARS since I even
messed with a webcam, but do to a friends house being repeatedly broken
into, he wants to set up a webcam, and find some motion activated software,
to email the images.
>1. Don't most usb webcams work nowdays?
>2. Anyone used a motion activated web notification program.
>Thanks for the help
Computers are useful, but this is a job for an alarm monitoring
company. What do you do if you're eating lunch in the cafeteria
when the burglars break in? Or you're driving to work? etc., etc.

What you need is some kind of detectors that catch the burglary
in progress, and a _secure_ (i.e. cellular) connection to a
monitoring company. This connection is part of the alarm
system, not something you use to talk on.

I was employed up until my retirement about 3 years ago by the
world's largest manufacturer of security equipment, which was at
that time ADEMCO. It was acquired by Honeywell in about 2001.

We did not sell the monitoring service, and we did not install
alarms (with a few exceptions, including the US Congress) so
I am fairly unbiased.

There are 3 basic types of alarms for houses. The simplest is
called PIR, for Passive Infra-Red. It senses the body heat of
an intruder, as compared to the heat of, say, a wall. Its
two major disadvantages, as I see them are these:
1) The burglar is already in the house when the sensors detect
him, and
2) You cannot walk around the house at nite when the alarm is
activated. (If you want to get a drink of water, you must
first deactivate the alarm. A PITA.)
Note: modern systems can be installed so that cats and dogs do
not set them off.
The major advantage is that it's cheap. That's why the fuel
companies will install them for nothing. They make their money
off the monitoring.
The second and third systems rely on perimeter detection--something
I firmly believe in. I would prefer that the burglar not ever get
into the house--particularly if I am in it! Both depend on sensors
on the windows and doors, either magnetic sensors or a thin lead tape
that gets broken if the window is. The difference between the
second and third type is whether the system depends on wires in the walls,
or wireless transmitters. Wires in the walls are more reliable and
less trouble, and far more expensive. Wireless transmitters require
battery replacement at certain intervals, which have been getting
a lot longer with lithium batteries. But if a battery dies in the
middle of the nite, the siren or bell or whatever will go off.
Just like a smoke detector, only worse.

The alarm monitoring service is not cheap--check around--but it is
on duty 24/7, and functions as follows:
On receipt of an alarm, they will immediately call your home (wired)
phone number. If they get thru to you, they will ask for a password,
that will confirm that you have accidentally set off the system. If
they do not get thru, due to a cut phone line, or you're not there, or
the burglar picks up the phone and doesn't know the password, they
will immediately call the local police department. When a human
being reports a burglary (as opposed to voice dialers, which are now
illegal most places, because of false alarms) the police MUST respond.

Recommendation: Do not rent the equipment from the alarm company, buy it.
Rent only the monitoring service. You can still (for a service charge)
get the company to service the eauipment, if you need to.

One more note: If you are a really rich person, and want camera monitoring,
the monitoring services can provide it. Along with special tape recording
equipment, etc., just like a bank, or a jewelry store.

--doug (wa2say)

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