ZoneMinder Digital Video Security Server

Status: Ongoing
Started: Early 2008
Using ZoneMinder on a Linux server to monitor, record, and playback video from multiple security cameras. Currently testing various hardware configurations to determine where the greatest bottlenecks lie.


When you delete an event through the web interface, it might not delete the files from the HDD right away. Allow it some time and it'll remove them.

Nighttime Recording

The Front camera's nighttime recording picks up too much. When in MoRecord mode, it's almost always recording because of the cars passing by the front window. The USB Intel webcam is also triggering events at night. This despite the all black screens it records.


Camera "Front": 8 hours of recording = 60 GB. That's 180GB/day/camera. FPS = 20-40, mostly 40.
Weekend test 3/16/08: 3 cameras ran in "mocord" mode. They were recording continuously it seems. 26 hours. 3/15/08 @ 4:30 PM to 3/16/08 @ ~6:00PM. Filled up the 120 GB drive. FPS was somewhere around 5 FPS for the analog cameras.
Purge oldest events to keep HDD from filling up. To do this, setup a filter.

Noticed that hard disk performance is atrocious. This is to be expected with a single IDE drive used for storing the video. While ZM is running, the drive is recording 24/7. At the same time, if someone is viewing past events, it's reading. On top of that, it automatically purges old events once the disk becomes full. So at any given moment, it can be writing, reading, and deleting all at the same time. A RAID 0 (striping, not spanning) array will greatly improve performance. Redundancy via parity using RAID 5 is not necessary.

FPS Performance

For increased performance the encoder card should have 1 chip per input. The card in use on the test system (Hauppage 558) has 1 chip for 4 inputs.
Hauppage 558 card records at 40 FPS using only 1 camera. With 2 cameras, FPS drops to 5. Current system doesn't accept any more inputs. Last 2 don't seem to work.

Website Migration to Drupal (Content Mangement System)

Status: Ongoing
Started: Late 2007
Migrating a non-profit cultural organization's FrontPage-created website to a Drupal backed website.

UI Blog:

Status: Ongoing
Started: Late 2007
The purpose behind this blog is two fold: 1)Improve my writing skills 2)share my UI assessments with colleagues. The blog already contains 2 lengthy usability assessments. The first is my professional camera; a Nikon D50 digital SLR. The second review is of Flickr.