Friday, October 20, 2006

Afternoon Craft Project

This afternoon while watching more episodes of Veronica Mars than I could count (five? six? a lot), I tried to make my iSight into a document camera of sorts. Nice for showing the class something from the book! Nice for demonstrating hands-on activities for the class! Document cameras are expensive, hundreds of dollars, and I already have an iSight. All I needed was something to hold it steady.

So I went to Target and went to the clearance department looking for a lamp with the longest neck at the lowest price.

I had two options, really. Conventional lamp (sans bulb) or halogen (with bulb). Since I'm cheap, I went with halogen -- heck, a halogen bulb costs a few bucks! It's like a free lightbulb! So I took it apart and took out all the innards. You would be so proud of me: I threw away the switch and the wires and stuff instead of caving in to the familial urge to hoarde things just in case and keeping them in a box in my basement.

I reassembled it.

Then I attached a magnet to the end (still need to super-glue it in place) so that I can attach the iSight by its magnetic mount. If I owned the necessary tools for reattaching an end to a firewire cable (and a few extra firewire cables to practice on!), I'd have gone with a doughnut-shaped magnet and run the firewire up through the neck.

Now my main issues are software-related. The built-in video features with iChat show everything in mirror image and have no options for focusing.

So I'm going to have to invest another $8 on iGlasses. Still, a $14 document camera is a pretty good deal, I think.