[PART 1 of this Project is Here]
This is not a tutorial to set up the camera, but it turns out this is the part that stumps many people. Getting the camera on a WiFi is pretty easy, viewing live, adjusting the video or image quality settings is easy, and even setting it up to send to emails is very doable. But do you really want Gigabytes of videos and images going to an email account? Will it even be allowed by your email provider? Some of the videos are very large, depending on some settings – quality of videos, motion triggers etc.
I bought this camera at Best Buy – 2 of the options are server based (Ftp and network share). This is not doable for most Best Buy customers and not even for many businesses. Email may work to a point, and definitely, the micro SD card is nice option. It allows the user to view recorded videos straight off the card via the camera’s web GUI, straight over your home or business WiFi. I used one for a few months until it stopped working: was it the weather, the wear and tear? I am not 100% sure, although a couple of rare, strong California rainstorms seem to be the culprits. This is an outdoor camera, and I am not sure just how well the SD card was protected. I could not even get it to a format screen after inserting in a laptop. I was sure buying another would yield the same results in due time. Luckily, I have a few cloud server skills, but this was not without challenges. Of course, I like a challenge! I decided to invest in a new virtual server running on the same account as my web site: off a Windows Azure cloud services server. There is a lot that can be done off of Azure: run hundreds of servers (virtual machines), run a business database (s) and application farm, web sites, e-commerce, app development etc. But for personal use, I only run the web site and practice miscellaneous skills from time to time.
So I decided to go with FTP! [Or SSH?] A network-based, shared folder sounds doable and nice, but I believe connectivity could be tricky [WAN issues, security, Vpn stuff etc.?]. FTP is always solid. But how, where, running on what server? How about FTP running off a simple Linux virtual machine [a server]? Sounds like a plan! In other words, I decided to brush up on some Linux skills, which are somewhat limited to begin with in all honesty. However, I am not afraid of the Linux world, and in fact feel it’s time to get more serious about it, due to its widespread adoption and use.
I love the fact that Azure provides multiple Linux images for rapid install within Azure. So, first Linux needs to installed, then it needs to have a method to connect to it, for example SSH. SSH is a fancier, more secure way to connect to it. But will it work from the D-Link software? I will find out …