Update:Using free Teamviewer and WebCamXP to use your home computer webcam as a CCTV.

After my post on “Using free Teamviewer and WebCamXP to use your home computer webcam as a CCTV.” I just realize that if you are connected via a router to the Internet, if you do not route the request to your internal private IP address of your computer/notebook. You can always view the webcam in the Teamviewer session with a browser with your internal private IP address or which effectively means that you are the only who has access to your computer/notebook webcam video. 🙂

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Using free Teamviewer and WebCamXP to use your home computer webcam as a CCTV.

Recently a friend of mine asked me about the cheapest cctv hardware equipment to monitor her home when she is away. I thought for a while and eventually suggested a poor man approach to using the home computer or a notebook webcam to do the viewing/monitoring.

WebCamXP  will be used for this monitoring purpose. The free version does not allow you to control who can access the webcam so it is effectively open to public if they know about your public IP address. So I thought rather than leave your webcam on 24 hours while you are away, why not use another free for personal use software Teamviewer to turn WebCamXP on and off when you are trying to view it remotely using another computer or iPad or iPhone. Follow the steps below to setup your home computer/notebook to be the cctv monitoring equipment when you are away from home.

1. Download WebCamXP and run the installation.

2. Run WebCamXP 5 from your Windows Start Menu.

3. At the Source 1 , right-click and choose your webcam accordingly, in my case the webcam is called Lenova EasyCamera since my notebook is a Lenova laptop.

Webcamxp add source

Once you have done that, you webcam will start broadcasting at your computer IP address on http port 8080. You can see that as it is indicated on the captured screen shot.

Webcamxp broadcasting

Viewing WebCamXP in Firefox

Viewing WebCamXP using Firefox

4. In order to view your WebCamXP, you need to find out your IP address of your computer, issue , ipconfig and you should look for your IP address at the command line, in my case, I am using wired connection, your could be a wireless connection, so look for the correct IP address. If your computer or notebook is directly connected to the Internet, then just use this IP address and key in at the web browser URL http://IP-address:8080 to view your WebCamXP from the Internet using iPad, iPhone or any computer. In my case since my computer is connected via a router , the router has the actual public IP address. Follow the next step to configure your router to route the request to your computer that is broadcasting the webcam video.

5. Login into your router to find out the actual public IP from the Internet. So you should access your WebCamXP from Internet by keying in http://222.xxx.xxx.xxx:8080 from the web browser.

6. Make sure you route the request to the above public IP address at port 8080 to your local private IP address for your computer which in my case is Your router should have a setting similar to the following which I have configured with an entry WebCamHttp, IP: (this is the IP from Step 4), port : 8080, Enabled set to true.


7. Stop WebCamXP to broadcast the video, just exit the WebCamXP program. Take note, clicking close icon only minimize the program to the tray icon and the video will still be broadcast to the Internet, so remember to choose Exit from the tray icon as shown below:

Exit WebCamXP

To turn the broadcast on again, just run WebCamXP.

8. Download Teamviewer and install it. Choose Install and Personal Use option and at the final Screen, make sure you choose Installation Type as Yes so that you can connect to your computer/notebook when it’s started and connected to the Internet. For this option ,the setup program basically creates a service that will automatically startup when your computer is started. In addition, it will ask you to create a pre-defined password so that you can access your computer/notebook from any place from the Internet.



Complete the unattended access. Write down the ID from the last Completing the Wizard screen. That will be the ID to allow you to connect to this computer using the Teamviewer software anywhere from the Internet.




9. To access your computer/notebook from the Internet, start your Teamviewer program on your computer or iPad etc… Key in the ID/password that from Step 8. You can then start WebCamXP remotely from Teamviewer remote session. Obviously, you can also just view directly from your Teamviewer session.



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Minimizing the Windows 8 Start Menu

After my previous post , I found out that if you minimize the Start Screen of Windows 8 CP, W8 will not be able to switch back to the Start Screen. At the first try, I use Win32 API to hide the Start Screen but Explorer will always able to switch back to the Start Screen from the classic window desktop. It turns out that if you use Win32 API to minimize the Start Screen then Explorer will not know it’s minimize and restore the screen. I have updated the Demo program to minimize/restore the Start Screen of W8 CP. When the demo program starts, it will minimize the Start Screen window. So if you put the demo program on your Program Folder Startup, when you login, you will see the Start Screen and then when the demo program run, it will switch to the Windows 8 classic desktop.  Download the demo here 

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Making the Windows 8 CP Metro Start Screen Transparent;-)

Recently, I have been trying to figure out how to make the legacy apps on W8 CP such as Notepad to appear on top of the Metro UI. The reason why I am trying this is that you will notice that the magnifier or the onscreen keyboard is able to appear on top of Metro UI. So far I have tried all means and unfortunately I am still not successful. However in the process of trying out, I have found out that you can actually make the Metro UI Start Screen semi-transparent and you can see the classic desktop underneath it. When the Metro  Start Screen UI is visible, you can use the Win32 API to get the current cursor position, retrieve the Windows Handle of the child Window of the Start Screen then making another 2 more Win32 API call to set the layered attribute of the child window and make it transparent by setting a value between 0 to 255 (0 : transparent, 255:opaque). Then you have to walk the all the parent window until the top windows and set the window layered attribute with the value between 0 to 255.

When the Start Screen UI is not shown but if the Metro App such as Store is running, beside setting the all the Metro app Windows (child/parent) layered attribute to the transparent value, there is an “Immersive Background” window that’s beneath the Metro App which need to be set to transparent too, once this is also set, you will see the background classic window desktop.

I have created a Winform program to demonstrate this. Key in the opaque value, then click the “Make Transparent” button after acknowledging the messagebox, switch to the Metro UI Start Screen or any Metro App such as Store or IE10 and wait for about 5 seconds to see the change.

Hope you enjoy the fun exploration 🙂 and use it at your own risk!

WinForm Demo Program

Metro Start Screen Semi-Transparent:

Semi Transparent Metro Start Screen

Download the demo Winform program

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