Portland Webcam History

The first webcam for which I had any interest viewed the Portland skyline and Mt. Hood from Pittock mansion. I sharpened my perl shell and cgi skills capturing and curating its best shots. site

The webcam image viewer used then new form and iframe features.

I captured the jpeg image and processed it with ppm commands into small and large versions stored in subdirectories by these names. This ran in a shell loop that numbered images after being careful to start the count a the last used number.

A cgi script found a small number of recent shots and offered them in thumbnail to click for more detailed viewing. Links offer more and lots more shots by enlarging this number arithmetically and geometrically.

Small images ranged from 1k to 2k while large were 6k to 20k. I was serving the internet through a 14.4 modem. Caution was appropriate.

The web interface offered to delete duplicate or otherwise uninteresting images using checkbox select and a submit button. All of this functionality routed through if statements in the same cgi.

The last image I found saved was of an early February sunrise silhouetting Mt. Hood.

A splash screen credited the early Portland web pioneers that made the camera available. Peek & Associates, Portland Parks & Recreation, Pittock Mansion Society, Tektronix.

I remember making some effort to automatically discard duplicates by doing signal processing with the ppm commands. That code doesn't seem to have survived.

I was surprised to find a two month batch of saved images when looking around to clean out disk space. The oldest was taken twenty years ago almost to the day.

-rw-r--r-- 1 ward ward 10207 Nov 27 1995 1200.jpeg -rw-r--r-- 1 ward ward 8307 Nov 28 1995 1234.jpeg -rw-r--r-- 1 ward ward 16851 Nov 29 1995 1290.jpeg -rw-r--r-- 1 ward ward 16714 Nov 29 1995 1291.jpeg -rw-r--r-- 1 ward ward 11847 Nov 29 1995 1292.jpeg -rw-r--r-- 1 ward ward 9509 Nov 29 1995 1293.jpeg -rw-r--r-- 1 ward ward 9315 Nov 29 1995 1294.jpeg

Amazingly the viewer still worked thouth the webcam itself is long gone.