Using your Android phone as a pet/security camera with IP Cam and Ivideon

My wife and I just got a new puppy and are crate training him. We’d love to know how he’s doing if we’re not there so I decided to look into some DIY pet-cam solutions. Using the IP webcam app for Android and Ivideon cloud streaming service, I was quickly able to get up and running with a perfect solution that allows me to check up on my pet when I’m not there.

What you’ll need

  • An Android device that can run IP webcam (free)
  • An Ivideon account (free)

Step 1: Create Ivideon account

Make an Ivideon account. Head over to and sign up. Follow the steps to create your account.

Step 2: Configure IP webcam

Download the IP webcam app to your phone. Open the app and find “Connection Settings” > Cloud streaming.

It should say “INACTIVE” at the beginning (see above). Tap this and then tap “Ivideon account” to connect to Ivideon.

After you connect to your Ivideon account, the app will present you with a message that it was successful. You may think that you’re done, but you’re not! There’s one more important step.

Step 4: Start server

The final step is to enable the server on the IP webcam app which will start broadcasting your stream to Ivideon. Scroll all the way to the bottom to find this.

Once your server has started, you can login to your Ivideon account and see your camera!

Protip: Turn off your screen to prevent hard core battery drain.

Step 5: Login to Ivideon and watch your stream!

Go to and select your camera. Now you can watch your stream!


Basic bash, node, and npm setup on Windows

I never thought this would be something I’d be writing about but it’s actually super exciting. This has been a major bane when trying to dev on my Windows machines. A lot of developer tools installation instructions walk you through some terminal commands, then the Windows people are all commenting at the bottom trying to figure out what additional steps need to be taken to make it work on Windows. This is crazy, and I’m glad Microsoft recognized this was a problem and included a bash prompt on Windows 10.

When I first installed it and launched it, I didn’t quite get it. I was in a ~ home directory but it wasn’t my Windows home directory which I kind of expected. I was in the home directory of this Ubuntu VM that has been booted to provide a bash prompt. I searched around and found that if you want to access your Windows home folder through the bash prompt, you’d have to:

cd /mnt/C/Users/<USER NAME>

Ok, now I can do an ll command there and see all my files, just as I’m used to when working with Linux and Macs. Pretty exciting!

Now, I don’t want to cd to my Windows home every time I login. To get around this, I edited my .bashrc file with an alias. The .bashrc file is in the home (~) folder of the Ubuntu VM.

alias home='cd /mnt/C/Users/jfitz/Workspace'

This sets an alias for home so anytime I want to go back to this directory I can just type “home”. It also executes so that when bash starts up I’m already in my Windows home directory.

Working with node and npm

I tried to install create-react-app via npm and got the following error.

npm ERR! Linux 3.4.0+
npm ERR! argv "/usr/bin/nodejs" "/usr/bin/npm" "install" "-g" "create-react-app"
npm ERR! node v7.4.0
npm ERR! npm  v4.0.5
npm ERR! path /usr/lib/node_modules
npm ERR! code EACCES
npm ERR! errno -13
npm ERR! syscall access

npm ERR! Error: EACCES: permission denied, access '/usr/lib/node_modules'
npm ERR!  { Error: EACCES: permission denied, access '/usr/lib/node_modules'
npm ERR!   errno: -13,
npm ERR!   code: 'EACCES',
npm ERR!   syscall: 'access',
npm ERR!   path: '/usr/lib/node_modules' }
npm ERR!
npm ERR! Please try running this command again as root/Administrator.

Turns out, this is a permissions issue that can be easily rectified.

sudo chown -R $(whoami) ~/.npm
sudo chown -R $(whoami) /usr/lib/node_modules
sudo chown -R $(whoami) /usr/bin

The future

It would be absolutely bonkers if you could launch Windows apps from the bash terminal. So say I’m in my Workspace folder, I’d be able to open up Sublime text or PHP Storm from the bash terminal. I looked into this situation and there is an issue thread on Github. This comment is pretty promising:

The project definitely has its issues, but its very promising to see Microsoft trying to make this work. I think we’re another year or two off from having a super solid *nix development environment in Windows.

Thing one thing I don’t understand about Google Photos

Let me be clear: Google Photos is awesome and I love using it, but as a loyal Google user, I feel a little slighted. Here’s why.

When photos were managed by Google+, they counted against your storage. I accumulated a lot of photos during this time.

Now that Google Photos is out, they are offering FREE storage (that does NOT count against your storage quota) if the photo is under 16MP.

But wait a minute, all those previously uploaded photos are still counting against my storage, even though they were imported into Google Photos and are less than 16MP.

Not a huge deal, but a little disappointing. Anyone else have this experience?