Quick intro: A friend recently had a duck take over his planter and use it as a nest for its eggs. So, he bought an IP camera.
The Foscam fi8905w outdoor wireless IP camera has some nice features, but it needs a lot of hand-holding to make it work. You can control it through a URL-based set of scripts. Here's the most useful examples:
You can set parameters and reboot the camera with commands detailed in this guide.
We ended up with a series of tools and scripts to make the camera more useful. First is a script that grabs a photo every minute and stores it in an archive.
Next, because the camera doesn't handle going from night to day very well, we had to write a script to handle that. But, the camera stops responding after the brightness has been set, so we wrote a script that reboots it once a day right before setting the brightness at daybreak. This seems to work, but it's far from ideal.
We realized that we wouldn't be able to stream from the camera itself because the owner's internet connection wouldn't handle it, so we found a tool that takes the IP camera feed and rebroadcasts it. The tool is called webcamXP.
After all that we have a pretty good setup for watching the miracle of life. Even if the image is a little washed-out.