Z-Cam news

The laptop that ran the Z-Cam died tonight.


I have lost a lot of hardware in the last couple months. 

It is all going at the same time, it seems.

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. SPWang says:

    Warranty must be up soon.

  2. ipadre says:

    That’s a bummer!

  3. Ralph says:


    How’s your voltage on the farm? Often times, especially in rural areas, voltage can be quite variable. A spike in voltage can lead to premature demise of electronics. You might try an inexpensive surge capcitor on the main electrical service to the home. You might notice a difference.

    Here in AZ, we see this quite a lot, espcially in homes in the rural areas. For example, when the power company moves areas around power zones to “ballance the grid” a slight spike will occur. When it does, sensitive electronics like smoke detectors will go out. A simple surge capacitor will remedy this problem.

    Good luck!

  4. wanda says:

    Oh, no. That’s the one by which we can see the birds and the feeders, isn’t it? We can’t have that now, can we? A small donation coming.

  5. Allan S. says:

    Yes, I was thinking about warranties too.

    I recall my 1996 Dodge Caravan and it’s “3 year/60,000 Km” warranty. Boy, they weren’t kidding:

    At 60,237 I needed a head gasket replacement, among other things, for $3K worth of repairs. The power train literally fell apart at 60 thousand KMs. How did it know…?

  6. Salvatore_Giuseppe says:

    If you would Like, I can make you an appointment at a nearby Apple Store :P

  7. wanda: Thanks! That will help. I am looking right now for an inexpensive CPU that will run the software I use to handle multiple cams (I have the license already).

  8. Ralph: Power here is nasty. But I am running everything I have, practically, through UPS units.

  9. Ralph says:

    If you are using the UPS, my idea is out. Wish I had an answer for you – I know it gets expensive replacing electronics!

  10. Frank H says:

    A modest contribution is on its way.

  11. Ralph: It does. And I have been nursing this stuff along for years. The laptop I have been using for the Z-Cam is I think 6 years old and has been running pretty much constantly. And I am – right now – attempting a fresh install of XP on a computer over 10 years old to see if I can rescue it for a back up.

  12. patrick_f says:

    Father Z,
    Look into the Phenom II from AMD. A 630 will set you back about 100, a MB another 100, memory, etc. All in all you could replace your main PC or whatever for around 400 bucks.

    The chip is quad core, and certainly has enough power for your needs.

  13. graytown says:

    Fr. Z,

    Laptops are good for about 5 years.
    I just replaced mine.
    Even Apple is only good for 5 years – so don’t waste your money on their expensive laptops.
    I went to Best Buy and picked up a Gateway – 17″ screen for $599.00.
    Works great.

    Mark R

  14. Fr_Reif says:

    I have to agree about avoiding the Mac, though I do use one (because its what I have at this point), but its my last Mac. There is so much more flexibility and applications that are written for Windows PC than the Mac. I will use my MacBook till it dies or is outclassed, and its affordable to replace it, but, yes, they are way overpriced for what you get. The Gateway sounds like a very good option, running Windows 7 with dual or even quad core processors if you can get that affordably.

    That is buying a Mac…Now, if a Mac is something you are interested in, I have a desktop iMac that runs dual core Intel processors, has 3 GB RAM, and sits virtually unused. If your interested, I’ll donate it to you, since I never use it anymore. Its a 2006 model, and has built in iSight Cam. Windows XP, Vista, or Win7 could be installed on it with with Bootcamp (though I don’t have a licensed copy of Windows to do that).

  15. wanda says:

    Yay, temp cam! It will be so good to see the bright yellow plumage return to the Goldfinches.

  16. wanda: The TEMP cam really is temporary. I have a REALLY old notebook running it. Took a while to get it going and I can’t run my usual video software on it. Not a solution, I’m afraid.

  17. Fr. Reif: I would be pleased to talk to you about that Mac.

  18. rinkevichjm says:

    Laptops aren’t intended to be used continuously. They overheat quite easily and the heat has nowhere to go in such a small case. It’s rare that a desktop would fail when run continuously.

  19. P.McGrath says:

    Speaking of Father Z and cams, both “American Papist” and Father Z were featured in this recent video report from GloriaTV.

  20. m.w.scott says:

    Father, don’t listen to their anti-mac propaganda. Apple is the way to go!

  21. John 6:54 says:

    The evil one is attacking…

  22. Nan says:

    John 6:54, remind me, which is the evil one, Microsoft or Apple?

  23. ipadre says:

    @ m.w.scott – Ditto!

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