So when I originally started building I was trying to keep a log of time on the plane by plugging in a electric hour meter when I started and unplugging it when I finished. This didn't work worth a darn no matter how many reminders I tried to make for myself.

My neighbor Vlad who has built several Velocities had come over to see the workshop. He had suggested that I sohould install a webcam to record my work and stream it to my server at the house.

At first I wasn't sure I wanted to bother but after failing to plug in the hour timer I thought it was a good idea. I bought one webcam and set it up in one corner of the loft area and started recording.

What I did was set the webcam to send a photo every second to the Solaris server at the house. I had a cron job that once every five minutes ran motiontrack to see if there was any motion in view in the last five minutes. If there was it saved a photo with the most motion.

It soon became clear that I needed a second webcam to get better coverage of the loft.


Actually four cameras would have been even better but this was plenty.

Now the motiontrack software isn't perfect and it gets fooled at times. So I have to review each days worth of photos and decide which ones to toss. On days where I don't work I might get as many as 5 bogus photos if there is a lot of light change thu the skylights caused by moving clouds. Most of the time I don't get any bogus photos.

Then I wrote a couple of shell scripts that would look at each days recorded photos and from the time stamped names of the files would decide when I started working and for how long. It would figure out how much time I spent each day and record it in a file. Finally I had a reliable way of tracking my work time.

After working a bit more than a year I gathered up the invidual photos and made the movie you see here. On the left is the webcam (#2) that points to the southeast corner of the loft. It had the best view of the fuselage.

On the left is the webcam that points to the northwest. It has the best view of the cloth table and the epoxy cabinet.

I figured out how many photos I had and how much real time it represented and wrote some scripts that used various image processors and made them into clips for importing into iMovie. The 630 hours of work is reduced to around 12 minutes.

Note: I have no idea whether I coded this page properly for it to work with Internet Explorer. I did test it with Firefox and Safari and it worked fine.