EDIT: I’m tabling this for now. It works, but because Windows will only view sidebar gadgets using the IE rendering engine (instead of, say, Firefox), you can’t use mode=stream, you have to use mode=jpeg. This is OK but it leads to a *tremendous* number of mysql connections on the ZM server and I’m seeing higher loads than I’d like.DEVELOPMENT AND SUPPORT FOR THIS PROJECT HAVE CEASED.
I can write a version of the page that uses mode=jpeg, and the number of connections drops from 200-300 down to maybe 10 (and load average goes way down also), but it of course doesn’t work in IE, which means it doesn’t work as a Sidebar Gadget.
If anyone has any thoughts on how to overcome this I’m open to them. I know there is the Cambozola thing for viewing streaming jpegs in IE, but I’m not sure if that would even work here and I’ve had a complete lack of success getting it working anyway.
It was a fun experiment and interesting to learn about gadgets, but in this case it doesn’t work as well as I’d hoped (well, that’s not quite true – it works well, but the higher load is an unfortunate consequence).
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This is a Windows Vista/Windows 7 Gadget that will allow you to view ZoneMinder cameras from your desktop.
Download the attached file (zmViewer.zip) and rename it to “zmViewer.gadget”. This will allow Windows 7 to see it as a gadget.
Double click the zmViewer.gadget file and select “install”. Then mouse over the gadget until you see the settings icon (the wrench), click on it, and enter your ZoneMinder machine’s IP address, username, password, and monitor details. Hit OK and the monitors you selected will show on your desktop with the specified size and refresh rate.
CPU usage on a dual core E6600@2.4GHz is about 2% with 6 monitors displayed and a 1-second refresh rate. That compares very favorably to some of the other viewers out there that don’t allow throttling of the refresh rate and simply grab images as quickly as they can. I’ve seen 4-camera views topping 10% of CPU in those circumstances and I feel this is a much better solution, particularly given Windows 7’s ability to make this viewer always on top and vary the opacity to suit your needs. If you have a spare monitor you can just put it out of the way and mouse over to bring it to focus when you spot activity.
Another advantage of this over other viewers is that this one survives zmpkg.pl status changes without requiring a refresh. The QT-based ZM viewer requires an “F5” refresh any time the state changes in order to keep the monitor view alive.
Future functionality could probably include rudimentary control of the ZM interface, considering this is all just a web page. But for now I want to keep it small and not duplicate the functionality of the ZM front-end.