I originally wrote CommandCam (my command line webcam image grabber) for one of my engineering students who needed to add some simple machine vision functionality to his final-year project. To my surprise, we couldn’t find an existing free command line image grabber for Windows, so I wrote one. Once I published it online, I discovered that quite a few people were downloading it and some of them were using it for fascinating projects – photographing laptop thieves, time-lapse photography, etc.
Anyway, I came across another interesting use of it today. Gitshots is something clever that Víctor Martínez created for Mac OS to automatically take a webcam snapshot each time a programmer commits code to a git repository (that’s basically a source code management system). German software engineer Benedikt Eger wanted to do the same thing in Windows, so he came up with an elegant three-line hack (English translation) using CommandCam.
When you write a simple program like CommandCam and send it out into the world, it’s really interesting to hear about the places it ends up!