You can set up video surveillance for as little as $70 using a simple webcam of the type many people perch on their monitors for video calls.

PC Mods for the Evil Genius

We’ve been reviewing a new book that describes how to set up such a surveillance system quickly and easily. It’s “PC Mods for the Evil Genius” by Jim Aspinwall, $25 from Tab Electronics (mhprofessional.com). The only things you need are a Windows XP computer, the aforementioned webcam, which typically costs around $30, and a copy of WebCamXP, which is $40 from WebCamXP.com. This is the motion detection and alarm notification software. The software can take snapshots of movement, notify you by e-mail and save the pictures to a Web site.

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