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March 09, 2006

Setting up a Barn WebCam - Part 6

So do you have your barn camera set up now? Now it's time to connect it to your computer, and to Internet so your friends can help you watch for your new longeared babies to come!

First you will need a reasonably current computer (with a USB port / connector slot) and an Internet connection (preferably not a dial-up Internet connection). There are a lot of fast speed Internet connections available now days in most areas – DSL, cable, satellite, wireless, just to name a few.

You will also probably want to have a place on Internet where you have server space for your website. This is where your WebCam webpage will be stored so that other people can access it. There are many different website service providers available. If you already have a website, you should be able to use the same one. If you don’t have a website yet, you can do a search on Internet for “website hosting” and find quite a few options. I use PowWeb.com for mine.


Now you need some way to hook your barn camera into your computer. I have a special little box that I bought for this purpose. It is called a video capture device. The one I bought is Pinnacle Studio’s Dazzle video capture device. Mine is pictured above. The newer models are shaped a little bit different, but still have the same functionality. You should be able to order one of these through your local computer store, or you can also find a lot of good deals on them on eBay.com

Your Dazzle connector should come with a CD of computer driver files to install so that your computer can communicate with the Dazzle connector. Plug your Dazzle connector into your computer, and install the drivers that came with it. Your computer should now be able to talk to the Dazzle connector.

The Dazzle connector has spots to plug video camera cables into it. You can either plug your barn camera’s video cable directly into the Dazzle connector, or if you have your video cable plugged into a monitor screen, you should be able to run another video cable from the output on the monitor screen to the input on the Dazzle connector.


Now all you need is the computer software to take the picture coming in from your camera and display it on your website. We’ll talk about several kinds of software you can use for this job in the next article in this series.

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 08:11 PM | Comments (0)

March 06, 2006

Treat Time - Layered Molasses Birthday Cake

Spring is here, and along with it come a lot of birthdays to celebrate! Here is the favorite birthday cake among the longeared residents in our barn. When your special donkey or mule celebrates his or her next birthday, you can fix this yummy treat to make the day extra special.


Layered Molasses Birthday Cake

1 slice Whole Wheat Bread per mule or donkey

Slice each slice of bread into quarters. Stack 4 quarter slices on top of each other, spreading molasses between each one. Cut a short carrot stick that is about 1 to 1 1/2 inches long, and cut the ends of the carrot stick so that they are flat. Stand the carrot stick up for a candle on top of the cake. Cut a slice of apple into the shape of a candle flame and set it on top of the carrot candle. Now you can make one for each longeared guest that will be at your buddy’s birthday party, too.

That's all there is to it! It's fast and easy to make, and a cake your donkeys and mules are sure to enjoy - decorations and all!

Kristie Jorgensen

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Posted by Kristie Jorgensen at 07:17 PM | Comments (0)