With Mark’s guidance over the phone, I spent a few hours today testing camera placement with a small Axis camera and its built-in microphone. One of my favorite security features of this camera is its built-in speaker, which can be used to make the camera shout “intruder,” whisper “pssst,” or bark like a dog.  None of these have any conceivable utility whatsoever for what we’re doing, but it’s always nice to know we have options.

So, I put it in the entryway.  I put it over and next to the octopus tank.  I put it over the front desk. I put it by the touch pool, which triggered a barrage of eyeball-seeking dust particles that had been guarding the overhead ethernet ports for untold eons.

Each vantage point tested presented a decent view and adequate lighting.  The model I used will not be installed in all positions, but it provides a great baseline.  We also received a new Axis dome camera with a microphone, which we can use up-close at individual exhibits.

To record a few audio tests, I directed the system output of one of our Macbooks into Audacity using Soundflower. Having recently spent several late nights playing with open-source audio software, I improvised this solution a bit more easily than I had anticipated. I never expected that my private dubstep habit would prove to be a reservoir of generalizable workplace skills, but it goes to show that free-choice learning happens all the time.

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