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Computer #14 (Dell OptiPlex 5040 Tower Desktop)

Intel Core i7-6700, 16GB DDR3, 512GB SSD, Dual 6TB WD 'Purple' 3.5" SSDs (5640 RPM, SATA 6Gb/s, 128 MB Cache)

A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away....

Ooops! Wrong story intro!

We bought the house in Maine that would become The Ballot Box in October 2009. We used it as a vacation home for about ten years, until retirement, then moved here as our permanent residence. Before relocating permanently in 2019 we spent our vacation time, and every 2nd or 3rd weekend, at the Ballot Box, but the Maine house was unoccupied the rest of the time. For a (probably false) sense of security, we bought a web camera and parked it in a south-facing window, and programmed it to send images to us via email whenever motion was detected in it's field-of-view. It was primitive, and could not be controlled remotely, so we experimented with more-capable webcams that still fell short, so I bit the bullet and set up a spare laptop with webcam controlling software, and Rev. #1 of the BallotBox Webcam Server was born.

Not only was I able to send emails to myself when motion was detected, but I could post images at regular intervals on my web site (set for every 2 minutes) so we could observe the weather and surroundings in near-real-time, and even archive a snapshot every day at noon (eastern time) for posterity!

The laptop morphed into a desktop over the years, and morphed into a tower running Windows Server 2011 which also serves our ripped CDs to our music system at the Ballot Box.

The WebCam controller software was and is Blue Iris®, currently V5. It's run 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for years, updating itself automatically when a new bug-fix was released. The auto-update was probably the cause of the current failure, as the software could not reload after the most recent update... not terribly surprising while running on a long-out-of-date 12-year-old operating system! That server is still running, still serving our music library, but the WebCam controller software shut down at 3:00 am 23 March 2023 and hasn't been able to reload since.

So Computer #14 is the new single-purpose webcam-only server, A Dell® OptiPlex™ 5040 Tower Desktop running Windows 10 Pro™. It's CPU is an Intel™ Core i7-6700, with 16GB DDR3 RAM, a 512GB SSD, with 1 HDMI port, 2 DisplayPorts, 4 USB 2.0 and 6 USB 3.0 ports, GB Ethernet, and Integrated Intel™ HD Graphics 530. It does not support Windows 11. It cost us $270 from Woot, delivery time was 10-days-to-2-weeks.

A single 512GB SSD drive C is inadequate for archiving images and video, so the empty hard drive slot in the chassis now holds one Western Digital™ 6TB "Purple" Surveillance Hard Drive - 5640 RPM SATA, 6 Gb/s, 128 MB Cache, 3.5" form factor to archive images and video. A second Western Digital™ 6TB Hard Drive is loaded in an external SABRENT USB 3.0 to SATA External Hard Drive Docking Station for regular backups of the internal drive.






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