How do i internet-monitor my dog?
July 18, 2010 8:30 PM   Subscribe

Can i turn my mac into a DIY Puppy/Baby monitor?

Mrs. Furnace.heart and I fell in love with a beautiful little mutt earlier this week and he came to live with us. We have a safe and secure spot in the house where he can't do any damage, but really want to make sure that the neighbors aren't disturbed. They've been notified we're bringing a new pup to the building, and they're fairly accepting.

BUT I'm looking for a foolproof way for me, tonight, to set up a free (or 10 bucks?) DIY baby-style monitor, so that i can check up to see if he is crying for 8 hours straight tomorrow. I'm going to need some step by step instructions here.

Things i have access to at home:
-wireless internet
-g4 powerbook that i can move around wherever in the house
-macbook pro that i can move around wherever in the house
-macbook pro (who is broadcasting the internet)
-a condenser mic (if need be, and if i can find a AA battery to power it)

Things i have access to at work:
-an unknown pre-intel Mac
-an internet connection
-a cell phone (that just makes phone calls)

Help me out hivemind, my McGyver skills are failing'll save me a bunch of new-dad-dog worries. Thank you!

(Also, i know this is a cardinal sin, but I'm really sorry about only briefly searching the archives if there is a pertinent link, please feel free to post it!)
posted by furnace.heart to Computers & Internet (6 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
I've used iCam for checking up on my dog. It uses my macbook's built in web cam and is free. I use the iCam iPhone app (which costs money) to access the feed, but you can look using a web browser for free.

another option is to setup a way to just record sound and then play it back later. Audacity is an option.
posted by cuando at 8:39 PM on July 18, 2010

If you want to install LogMeIn on your home computer you can sign in from wherever you have internet access and take over your computer. Then you can run the webcam app and have a look. Another similar free option is TeamViewer.
posted by msbutah at 8:56 PM on July 18, 2010

What about just using Skype? You may need to create two different accounts but that shouldn't be too much of an issue. Skype also has an auto-answer setting so that your computer will answer the call from work.
posted by talkingmuffin at 10:52 PM on July 18, 2010

Your MacBook Pros have built-in cameras, and your G4 Powerbook at least has a mic in it... I forget when iSights became standard. Regardless, you have addressable, internet-connected input-capturing devices running MacOS X, and iChat can be configured to auto-answer incoming chat requests.

Set-up each laptop with a different instant messaging account -- AIM and GoogleTalk work with it for videoconferencing, and I think MSN and Yahoo might now as well, via Jabber. Still, Google's happy to give away GoogleTalk enabled gmail accounts, so that's what I'd use.

Add your "work" IM account to each laptop's buddy list, then get info on it.
Under the alerts tab, set
Event: "Video Invitation"
Run an AppleScript script: "Auto Accept.applescript."

Do the same for "Audio Invitation" if you want a lower-bandwidth solution.

Then, from work, you can initiate a videochat with (e.g.),, or

Be sure that the laptops are set to not go to sleep.
posted by mumkin at 2:54 AM on July 19, 2010

Seconding iCam. I watch my dog on my iPhone but my mom logs in sometimes through icam web to see him. It's free to use the web version. I believe the app was a $3.99 purchase.
posted by morganannie at 5:58 AM on July 19, 2010

I really really really like EvoCam, which unfortunately doesn't have sound, and its sister product, EvoLV, which would probably be better for you. The server product costs money, but anyone can see it from the internet. (Of course password-protection is optional.)
posted by supercres at 7:33 AM on July 19, 2010

« Older What are good brother/sister duets?   |   Quirky/romantic way to surprise my girl? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.