Pimp an old laptop into a surveillance system with Skype.

A couple of days ago I got a second hand 7 inch EEE-Pc as a gift from a friend. Its a cool little system and I was looking for an interesting way of putting it to good use. Of course our “Return of the Netbook” podcast brought many an idea to mind, but I wanted something different. Instead of using it as a workstation, I thought that a little bit of “Server Side technology” would come into good use. The thing is pretty small, consumes no power whatsoever and can do some cool things should you want it to.

Turn it into an “on demand” Nannycam. : One of the simplest alternatives is to install Skype on it and turn it into a Nannycam. 

  • Install Skype.
  • Create a separate account for the laptop
  • Set up the laptop to automatically send video.
  • Add your Skype account to the friends list.
  • Configure : Auto-answer to have the laptop “pick up” whenever you call it using your account.
  • Mute the speakers on your laptop.
  • ( Or follow this guide

This is by far the easiest and most cross-platform friendly solution for your old netbook that will help you get some use out of the old baby. Make sure to tweak your security settings on Skype so the laptop won’t accept calls or chats from people outside the contact list. (and just to make sure , cover the webcam with a post-it note when you want to be sure nobody is watching.

What would you use as surveillance software ? Tell us in the comments section.

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Let your Android phone handle your missed calls.

I must admit , if I were to keep a record of the number of phone calls I receive on my phone every month .. it would be a very SHORT list. It took me a couple of years (and it was about as hard as circus-training wild cats) but I have gotten to the point where the people in my social circles no longer use the telephone to get in touch with me. They have learned (through ruthless conditioning) that “Calling” Knightwise does not mean you get to ‘talk’ to Knightwise, but using ANY other form of communication (email – im – voxer etc) CAN get them connected to me.

But still , there are those times where somebody calls you and you are either not around to pick up the phone, you are in the shower or you look at the name of the caller ID and think you would rather eat rusty nails then answer the call. So you let it go to voicemail, you have to call back to your voicemail, you might have to call them back etc etc. The perfect solution (for me at least) would be telling the person to “quit calling me and shoot me and email”. But that would be rude. So I let my phone handle that for me.

Enter AutoSMSreplier. A horribly simple app that does one thing well. Whenever a call is “missed” , Auto-Sms-Replier will automatically send a precomposed text message back to the caller !  You can choose the message that needs to be sent (in my case “Hello Noob, no time to chitchat, shoot me an email and my thumbs will take to you” .. or something like that) The app will show you the calls you missed , and who the ‘auto text messages’ have been sent to.

AutoSmSreplier is an android app, its available in the play store .. and its free.

So : how do YOU handle missed calls ? Tell us in the comments section.

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