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Pannin and Scannin

Pannin' and Scannin'
by Gary Woods

As you wander around the countryside you notice a lot of cameras. Some of them are on swivels and seem to scan the horizon at will. The interesting part about some of those cameras is that you can actually control them remotely from your very own computer.

To find the cameras that you can control go to Google and search for inurl:ViewerFrame?Mode=. This search will reveal over 600 sites with Panasonic cameras that you can control. You log into the Panasonic camera control pages, which let you remotely pan and zoom the camera you've discovered.

You can control the camera by rotating left or right, up or down and zooming in or back on the images. They also give you presets which allow you to go to places quickly without waiting for the panning of the camera. The resolution of the feed can be set at 640X480, 320X240 or 160X120 and you can very the quality of the feed from emphasizing clarity or favoring motion.

Another possibility for remote viewing is the Axis 2400, which is a very popular webcam. This camera contains an embedded Web server that you can search for in much the same way. You just go to Google and enter inurl:IndexFrame.shtml. That query yielded another 100 sites which have cameras you can control trained on all manner of interesting stuff.

So if you're feeling like you've got no control of anything in your life, just go to Google and check out the Panasonic webcam feeds. You'll be panning your little heart out in the blink of an eye.

If you have any suggestions or questions for me please drop me a note at or see my column on the Internet at or call me at (805) 729-0910

Gary Woods is the Computer Trainer for the Santa Barbara Association of Realtors. You can hear Gary on the Radio at 1290 AM Monday 9-10 AM and he is a Broker/Associate at Home Realty & Investments, Inc