Webcam capture results

You, hour by hour

From the “Crontab-entry-that-is-actually-a-social-sciences-experiment” dept,
today we tinker an easy experiment with the integrated webcam of your [Note/Net]Book.

I stumbled upon this nice CLI utility : fswebcam !

Installation is easy on Debian/Ubuntu (don’t forget su or sudo) :

aptitude install fswebcam

Now that we have the program, let’s try a simple command:

fswebcam -D 5 /some/place/nice/somefile.jpeg

This command does 3 things :

  • Start the webcam
  • Wait 5 seconds
  • Take one picture and save it at the designated location

The second step is a little weirder (and maybe a little narcissist). Imagine we take a picture EVERY hour. For this purpose, we simply create a cron entry:

crontab -e

will bring your favorite editor, and allow you to edit the current user cron settings
Just add a line like this one, and ensure the destination directory exists:

# 0 * * * * fswebcam -D 5 /dest/dir/$(date +\%Y-\%m-\%d-\%H\%M\%S).jpeg

This line will trigger every day of every month, every day of the week at every hour and 0 minutes. The $(date +\%Y-\%m-\%d-\%H\%M\%S) part creates a different filename each time.

The results are very interesting. They allow you to observe yourself.

Webcam capture results
“Best” of me of the past 4 months

So far, I was able to observe:

  • The hours I look tired
  • The days I seem to work more
  • When I look more happy
  • How I position myself while working (strangely holding my head with my bent arm)

I can only assume the results are very personal, so I guess you would observe other traits yourselves.

Happy spying on yourself !