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For 2023 - we are now fully retired from IT training.
We have made many, many friends over 25 years of teaching about Python, Tcl, Perl, PHP, Lua, Java, C and C++ - and MySQL, Linux and Solaris/SunOS too. Our training notes are now very much out of date, but due to upward compatability most of our examples remain operational and even relevant ad you are welcome to make us if them "as seen" and at your own risk.

Lisa and I (Graham) now live in what was our training centre in Melksham - happy to meet with former delegates here - but do check ahead before coming round. We are far from inactive - rather, enjoying the times that we are retired but still healthy enough in mind and body to be active!

I am also active in many other area and still look after a lot of web sites - you can find an index ((here))
Network Camera

With web servers and networking capability now built into printers and broadband access boxes as well as computers, it was only a matter of time before a network webcam became available which doesn't need to be plugged straight into a computer. I've had "half an eye" open for such a device for a while - thinking that it must be technically possible. And on Sunday I spotted one on the shelf at our local PC World ....

It's a nice little camera from Linksys. Wireless and Cat5 connections. Powers up at IP address, so it can be spoken to (with a bit of temporary address changing!) from our network, and configured through its web server ... it's now on our network at, and configured to email us a few seconds of video clip if it detects movement.

All we have to do now is to work out how to view the .asf files that are coming into our Mac and Linux inboxes. It does seem a huge shame that Linksys (part of Cisco) are supplying a product without drivers even for OS X. A quick search of PHP's "Pear" and Perl's CPAN has drawn a blank so far ... but I have come across a formal specification of the file format. Perhaps my chance to write something as a contribution to one of those repositories? Or has anyone any experience with .asf -s ??
(written 2004-12-07, updated 2006-06-05)

Commentatorsays ...
Bruce James:You could use something like
(nothing to do with me, and I have never used it)
and receive the .asf files on a Windows box, convert to a much more portable format like MPEG and distribute them from there.
Most things these days will decode MPEG.
(comment added 2004-12-07 11:19:24)
Graham:I'll have a look at that when I get home. I was really trying to avoid the need for a windows box anywhere in the system .... but it may be the most practical :-/ ...
(comment added 2004-12-07 18:45:03)
Ed Spittles:Hi Graham,
did you consider MPlayer for converting asf files?
I haven't used it myself, but it seems like it might do the job:

(comment added 2004-12-20 18:19:40)
Associated topics are indexed as below, or enter http://melksh.am/nnnn for individual articles
G209 - Well House Consultants - Keeping up to date
  [82] Keeping up to date - (2004-10-10)
  [83] Geek Cruising - (2004-10-11)
  [86] Talk review - Idiomatic Perl, David Cross - (2004-10-12)
  [160] Review of the Autumn - (2004-12-22)
  [250] We dont stand still - (2005-03-18)
  [396] The next technologies - (2005-07-29)
  [1488] New trainee laptop fleet for our Open Source courses - (2007-12-30)
  [2032] Mobile Internet - an alternative to hotel WiFi - (2009-02-09)
  [2078] A lot has changed - but the memory lingers on - (2009-03-12)
  [2352] Printed Directories - the start of the updating season - (2009-08-12)
  [2564] Microblogging services - Plurk, Twitter, Jaiku and more - (2010-01-05)
  [2940] Training course locations - Melksham, UK; Buxton, UK; Lake Constance, Germany; Venice Italy, the USA and India - (2010-08-30)
  [3003] What will we be teaching in six years? - (2010-10-17)
  [3469] Teaching dilemma - old tricks and techniques, or recent enhancements? - (2011-10-08)
  [3653] What is happening in 59 days time in Melksham? - (2012-03-14)
  [3755] Cruising on the Mersey Ferry? - (2012-06-07)
  [4200] Endorsed Perl, Python and PHP training - Tcl, Lua, Ruby and C too! - (2013-10-24)
  [4314] PHP training - refreshed modern course, backed up by years of practical experience - (2014-11-16)

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This is a page archived from The Horse's Mouth at http://www.wellho.net/horse/ - the diary and writings of Graham Ellis. Every attempt was made to provide current information at the time the page was written, but things do move forward in our business - new software releases, price changes, new techniques. Please check back via our main site for current courses, prices, versions, etc - any mention of a price in "The Horse's Mouth" cannot be taken as an offer to supply at that price.

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