Monday, June 11, 2007

Stick it to the man!

A few years ago CVS started selling these "disposable" video cameras and still cameras. The idea is that you'll buy one of these things for around $20-$30, use it, return it to CVS, pay a fee, and get your video on DVD. Then CVS recycles the camera; you don't get to keep it. It's kind of stupid idea in my opinion, but no one asked me. I'd rather buy a cheap digital camera and own it instead of basically paying what amounts to a rental fee for a cheap camera. Naturally geeks found a way around giving the cameras back and paying for a DVD, prints, etc.

So this morning, inspired by this website, this forum, and using a free program from this website, I hacked the cheap-ass CVS one time use video camera. I got it for $20 this morning and by 1:30pm I was done with the hack and watching the first video on my computer.

I actually had to solder tiny wires from a USB cable to the circuit board because I didn't feel like tracking down a Palm cable to modify. For someone who knows what they're doing, soldering isn't a big deal, but I have the soldering skills of a chimp. Somehow it worked. The program to unlock the camera worked as well. Everything worked, which never happens for me. I probably should've just bought a lottery ticket today instead of a stupid, cheap camera.

The video quality? Well, it kind of sucks, but it's not horrible. What do you expect for $20?

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