Shelter-in-Place Journal, Day Ninety-Nine

This morning, we took a docent-led virtual tour of the Levi Strauss: A History of American Style exhibition at the Contemporary Jewish Museum that was offered through Shir Hadash. I would like to go to the museum to see it in person, but that will be a while (they plan to keep the exhibit open through the rest of the year, so there may be time).

The big news today was a message from the Post Office: At long, long, long last, the webcam I bought from a random Facebook ad from a random seller in China was here! It had gone from Brisbane, CA (near here) to Des Moines, then slowly made its way back to Richmond, CA, and finally (finally!) to our Post Office and thence to me.


As soon as it arrived, I opened the package, plugged it into my Mac mini, fired up Zoom – and nothing. Zoom didn’t see the camera. Neither did the System Information report. And there was no indication in the system logs that anything happened when I plugged and unplugged the camera.

I tried another Mac – same lack of results.

Then I noticed that, while the ad I’d followed to buy the webcam and the outside of the box both talked about working with Mac, Windows, and Linux, the teeny-tiny instruction sheet inside the box only claimed Windows compatibility. So I plugged the webcam into Diane’s Windows laptop; Windows installed a driver, and seconds later, I was greeted with an incredibly blurry picture.

No worries – this camera advertises variable focus and the instruction sheet even shows the focus ring. I turned the focus ring and (you guessed it) nothing happened. The picture remained blurry.

Oh – did I mention that the ad claimed 1080p resolution but the box and the instruction sheet both said that the camera had VGA (640×480) resolution?

I’ve opened a complaint with PayPal.