‘World’s oldest webcam’ to be switched off

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Fogcam home page

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Fogcam

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The cam started in 1994 and still reflects early webpage style

The world’s oldest continuously working webcam is being switched off after 25 years.

The Fogcam was set up in 1994 to watch how the weather changed on the San Francisco State University campus.

It has broadcast almost continuously since then barring regular maintenance and the occasional need for it to be re-sited to maintain its view.

Its creators said it was being shut down because there were now no good places to put the webcam.

Jeff Schwartz, who with Dan Wong set up the webcam, said it would go offline on 30 August.

“We felt it was time to let it go,” Mr Schwartz told the SFGate newspaper, adding that it was getting harder to find secure locations to put the camera so it had a good view of Holloway Avenue.

Although Fogcam will be turned off, the website through which its stream is visible will keep on running.

Mr Schwartz said he was inspired to set up the camera by what is believed to be the first-ever live webcam which was set up at Cambridge University in 1993 to watch a communal coffee pot. The Cambridge coffee cam was shut off in 2001.

Back in 1994, Mr Schwartz and Mr Wong were budding programmers and used the webcam project as a way to practise coding and to get more familiar with early web technology.

“It was just a little pet project that developed a life of its own,” he told the paper. “People liked it so we kept it going.”

“Our webcam is a throwback to the early days of the internet when anyone could do anything,” Mr Schwartz added.



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