Sunday, November 05, 2006

Hacking the EyeToy

It looks like a baby Terminator, with one blue eye and one red one. I’d buy it for that alone. Fortunately, it’s also the best $50 webcam you’ll ever buy for under ten bucks.

I just love getting really black-colored tech for ridiculously cheap. It’s a geek thing….

Here’s the Wiki on it.

I’m following up on a post last week where I talked about Skyping with my loved ones. I used to think that video-conferencing was a bit of a gimmick, like the Internet Refrigerator.

But I have seen the light, say Hallelujah!

Vid-calling is a paradigm-shifter, like e-mail was. Voice-only is now obsolete tech.

The EyeToy is designed to be a motion-detector to control PS2 games. But drivers have been hacked to make it work as a superlative (and cute!) 640x480 USB webcam. Its microphone is also excellent. The ring around the lens will adjust focus.

You’ll have to go on a treasure hunt for the maximum deal on this little guy. You want to get the black one, not the silver one, which apparently sucks. People have reported getting them for as little as $3.99 at EBGames. They can sometimes be found at GameStop, Target, Hollywood Video, and Blockbuster.

I’ve bought six of them at the local Toys”R”Us over a period of several months. They started out at $10, but the last batch this weekend rang up at $7.98. The geek-boy that ran the game section at Toy”R”Us originally denied that they had any on clearance. On the way out of the store, I spotted a bunch of them behind glass in the lock-up at the front.

I don’t think he was holding out on me. He just wasn’t as on-top of the intricacies of his demanding profession as he should have been.

They come inside boxes containing PS2 games. The Known Good games are Antigrav, Groove, Kinetic, and Play. These normally sell for $30 - $50, but are randomly priced less in various places at various times.

There are lots of drivers and instructions floating around, but I used the ones here, as well as ripping from it the image used at the top of this post.

If you’ve been disappointed by past webcam experiences, are just cheap like me, or simply want a new little robot buddy to keep you company during those lonely hours of compulsively surfing the net, give this one a spin.

I love mine so much, I’ve named it E.T.

If I was more clever, I’d have named it….Wait… I’m not clever enough to know what I’d have named it if I was more clever….


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