News Archive

2000-01-13 - Mailinglist down - I can't believe the list has been down for a month and nobody's noticed. Apparently the domain is off the air for a while, no estimate of when it will be back. Anyone wants to host an interim mailinglist?

2000-01-13 - New PPC2 driver - Peter just sent me v0.5.0 of the parport driver, check it out.

1999-11-11 - Major rewrite - Scott Bertin has done a major rewrite and cleanup of the driver. See the announcement on the mailing list, and the README file for more. Most importantly: legacy CPiA commands are gone, this is now a pure V4L driver; the hooks are in place for the USB driver to be absorbed; there's a /proc/cpia/ interface; and there's even a patch to include the driver in the kernel setup. Very neat work indeed from Scott.

1999-11-05 - Archive - Archive of mailing list should be functional over the weekend. As for now, there is a static copy available here. When ready, it will be updated once per hour. As I cannot serve dynamic content here, I doubt it will get fancier than now; but let me now if you need any features. A search form and som sort of threading should be straightforward. As for this page; did a few minor changes. Most notably the People section was removed, as a less distorted picture of who does what can be found in the list archive.

1999-11-04 - mcam - Jan Mourer has made a program for grabbing video and images from the parport CPiA. Although much slower and less flexible than our driver, it is featurerich and has very modest hardware requirements. Read all about it.

1999-11-03 - Update - Peter has released his Video4Linux code, see below for cpia-0.3.tgz. Please try it out and push feedback to the list.

1999-11-03 - Update - Added missing file to the sample decompression code from Vision; see below. Added five more OEMs for the CPiA cameras. Thanks to Henry for this.

1999-10-12 - PPC2 driver update - Peter Pregler has prepared an update of the driver, main feature being working DMA capture. See below for the driver, put feedback on the list.

1999-10-06 - Parport docs - Henry Bruce found Peter Pregler a datasheet that will greatly increase out chances of getting DMA and interrupts done right. See below for a link. Also, new patches from Peter made a new revision of the parport driver. See the CHANGES file.

1999-10-06 - BeOS - Jesper Hansen has made a CPiA camera driver available for BeOS. This is based on the source from Vision. Mail him for more info.

1999-09-07 - Barbie - We've received the RS232 command protocol specs (scicomms.doc, 10 pages, 82Kb) for the Mattel Barbie Cam from Vision. Due to intellectual property issues source code etc will not be released. Interested parties can contact Itai Zukerman who first claimed interest in supporting this under Linux. As always, Henry Bruce at Vision will provide technical help if needed.

1999-09-06 - Parport status - Seems most of the work done has been minor tweaks to Bas H's test client, and little work has been done with the module proper. As a result there are now two derived clients (wcIIcam by Jean-Michel Merliot and wcii-grab by Bernhard van Staveren.) However, these are just that, special clients for a proprietary driver. We should really be working on the driver itself. The following are the main points that need to be implemented:

Now, Peter Pregler is working on some of the performance issues. Scott J. Bertin has been cleaning up the generic camera code. If someone wants to take on any of these major tasks feel free to do so. Anyway, Bas Rijniersce has, on his ftp site, a cpia-0.2 with patches from Peter and Scott. This is probably the one to base further work on.

1999-09-06 - WebCam III - The Creative WebCam III does not have anything in common with CPiA-based cameras. In fact it is based on OmniVision's OV7610 and OV511 chips. From OmniVision: "Currently, OmniVison has no plans to provide Linux support for the OV511." This seems similar to Vision VLSI's stance a year ago. I encourage anyone interested to inquire about Linux-support and/or release of documentation/driver development kit. Please act professionally, though.

1999-09-02 - Update - Much activity on the list right now, I haven't had the time to check what has been done, but you might see Bas Rijniersce's ftp archive for recent parport drivers. The USB driver seems to have been broken since 2.3.6, see here and here for more info on getting the USB camera up and running. I'll do a more detailed status report during the weekend.

1999-07-16 - Vacation - Yes, I will be away for 4 weeks, back August 16th. Feel free to develop all you want, please coordinate yourselves on the mailing list. As you probably have noticed, I never have the time to contribute anything except this webpage anyway. Oh, and did you notice the page got mentioned on linux-kernel last week? :-) Not quite a Slashdot effect, but a noticable surge in visitors. No new contributors though. So have fun, don't get skin cancer; stay inside and code.

1999-07-16 - Vision code - Henry Bruce sent some sample decompression code to us, see below for this. Vision VLSI will also give us the docs and sample source for the Barbie Camera. I will be gone for a while, so please ask him nicely if you need it now.

1999-07-09 - Vision code - For you developers, a GPLed and more complete version of the Vision PPC2 DOS test program is available below. Somehow I missed out on this before, but this is the code as given out by Vision since 1999-01-20. Includes some data we need if we want stuff like daisychaining to work. It should even be compilable.

1999-06-24 - Parport - Some people have expressed the wish to join the parport development which has been very lax lately. The source from Bas is available below, and is now maintained by me. Feel free to contribute, and mail patches etc to me. Let discussions take place on the list for others to participate. Thanks. Also, the USB version seems to be coming along, last I heard it captures monochrome still images neatly.

1999-05-27 - Kernel - Johannes' driver has appeared in the kernel. This is USB only. Please give it a try and push feedback on the list.

1999-05-12 - New driver - As those of you who read the mailing list already knows, Johannes has made a USB driver which will shortly be made available.

1999-05-06 - Stagnation - I haven't had much time for this the last few weeks, but I talked a bit with Bas, and we'll probably join up and base further work on his code. He seems to be much further along, and is now in the process of v4l2izing his driver. Don't ask for it though, it'll show up here and on the list when available.

1999-05-06 - Other cameras - Some people seem to come here and think this is all Linux has to offer right now for webcams, which is wrong. The Connectix/Logitech QuickCam and 3Coms Big Picture is working fine... I have some links here. I'm sure someone has more comprehensive info available... anyone?

1999-05-06 - USB - The Linux-USB project seems to have been shut down. While not as bad as it seems; there is an alternative USB implementation growing in the kernel tree, firmly backed by Linus himself, it could mean the required USB support for our driver will be further off. Time will show, I guess...

1999-04-26 - Mailinglist - The mailinglist is now up. Info on this available below.

1999-04-23 - Mailinglist - We'll put up a mailinglist over at Errors' on Monday, anyone who wants on just mail me for now.

1999-04-23 - FreeBSD - Got mail from Roger Hardiman. Read it for yourself. Seems a lot of bright and capable people are now involved, which is a bit intimidating considering the puny progress me and Bo Gøran have made thus far. Oh well, I guess the webpage simply grew out of proportions. Now everyone thinks we're pros and have a codebase to match. I will put up our source as soon as it's back in compilable state (this weekend I hope), and we'll see if we can start from this. For now it's spread out in several source and header files, but I keep wondering if it might be cleaner to stuff it all in a single file. Guess that can be retrofitted when we're done.

Now, if so many people are going to work on this we need some order. I'm happy to do the page and keep the source, but if anyone feel they're more capable than me, please say so, I'm no fanatic.

1999-04-21 - Vision PPC Devpack - See here for the Vision PPC developers pack; docs and the source of a Video for Windows driver. This camera is also known as Creative VideoBlaster WebCam, Smart One Digital Camera DCC100, Vivitar MPP and Viewmate.

1999-04-20 - Driver Discovery - Bas says he has developed a CPiA driver which is "getting quite stable, but it doesn't conform to any API". Hopefully there can be some synergy between our projects. We might even simply completely abondon our driver, because his seems to be in a far more advanced state. However we would still like to see V4L2 support.

1999-04-20 - Vision PPC specs - Matthias tells me he's received specs and source for a Video for Windows driver for the PPC1. More info to come.

1999-04-19 - Mailbox - Today I got mail from Henry Bruce at Vision. As you can see, Bas Huisman is also creating a driver for the PPC2. Regarding his comment on next generation products, I received mail from a Matthias Wientapper, who seems to own a PPC1 camera, and is interested in doing something with it. Does anyone know anything about this?

1999-04-13 - Snapshot - Put up the completely unusable snapshot of our source.

1999-04-12 - Spent a few hours yesterday goin over things with Bo Gøran. We have adopted CPIA_CMD.C to our driver, and are now recreating the undisclosed structs used by this. Mostly piece of cake. Then there's the slightly hairyer issue of mapping the V4L2 API to this command set. Oh well. As for USB, seems the current kernel USB implementation lacks isochronous transfer, meaning there will be no actual image data captured from the USB camera for a while. Guess this will sort itself out in a timely fashion; according to Kernel Traffic USB's been stirring some interest lately.

1999-03-30 - Coding - Have put some hours into this, now we have a module which loads and detects the camera. Mostly lifted from linux-2.2.1/drivers/pnp/parport-probe.c though. Found out we don't need to bother with pass-through mode when it's not daisychained. Next goal, make the module work with V4L2s xcaptest, i.e implement the IOCTLs and stuff. More good news; turned out one of my fellow Errors members has one of the USB-based Creative webcams and wants in, he's looking into the recent kernel USB support now.

1999-03-23 - Coding - I actually spent an evening last week reading docs and browsing source code. Seems the V4L2 reference capture driver is a nice starting point. Went through the sample code from Vision line by line trying to familiarize myself with the initialization code, but seems they left out some vital definitions, like the command packet needed to wake the camera from pass-through mode. Figured most out from the IEEE 1284.3 Draft, but still got to do some testing to make sure. Well, that's it so far.

1999-03-11 - Web page - Summer 1998 I bought a couple of Creative VideoBlaster WebCam II's for experimenting with lowcost videoconferencing. After learning that no support was available for Linux, and figuring out that the camera was really a VLSI Vision PPC2, I mailed Vision about this. (Correspondence) Apparently others have done the same; January 13th I recieved some documentation. After waiting almost two months for confirmation that the documentation is free despite all the "business confidential" notices, I'm putting it up here for all to see. I am not actively developing anything yet, see the contact list below for people I know about who might be working on this.

It's probably time to get something rolling.

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