I've spent the afternoon investigating a problem and just thought I'd share my findings with my illustrious PCLOS friends. I was keen to get Skype with a webcam up and running on my aged laptop (a Compaq Evo N1015v, with 1Gb Ram and an Athlon XP 2000+ processor). From my reading and experience it appeared that getting a webcam for Skype under PCLOS may be a little problematic for some users particularly if you try to reuse old webcams. I have a box full of old computer junk and I tried six different usb webcams with limited success. Two cameras were branded as Philips, two from Logitech, one from Microsoft, a very cheap and nasty affair which from here-on-in is called the "camera with no name" and finally a local supermarket (TESCO) special called a Technika. Please be aware that my old laptop only has USB1.1 sockets, I have bought a PCMCIA USB2 card but the seller (via ebay) helpfully provided the wrong power adapter cable which made testing anything needing more than 100mA impossible on USB2.
Tested to see if the webcam was recognised with PCLOS and if it worked with "Cheese"(C), Kamoso(K) and Skype(S).
The results were as follows:
Philips no.1 PCLOS yes but as a generic, but very old might even need film! Dead
Philips no.2 PCVC740K, PCLOS yes, C no, K no, S no.
Logitech no.1 V-UM14, PCLOS yes, C yes (poor),K no, S no.
Logitech no.2 V-UAX16 QCam pro 5000, PCLOS yes, C yes, K yes, S yes.
Microsoft Lifecam VX-5500, PCLOS yes, C yes, K yes, S no.
Camera with no name (CWNN), PCLOS no, C no, K no, S not a hope. It's rubbish.
Technika TKW109, PCLOS yes seen as Sonix USB2 camera on UVCmodule, C yes, K yes, S yes, works very well.
So the old Philips cameras don't work, the old Logitech V-UM14 only has limited compatibility and does not Skype, the newer Logitech Quickcam pro 5000 is fully compatible and Skypes well, the MS Lifecam VX-5500 works okay but won't Skype (but does under WinXP?), the CWNN is utter rubbish, that leaves us with the supermarket special Technika TKW109 which works well.
Conclusion: From this unscientific and totally random study conducted on a wet Sunday afternoon in rural Wales I draw the following conclusions. Old webcams do not work well on PCLOS Linux straight out the (junk) box, perhaps if I had the time and inclination I might fiddle with them more but I don't think it is worth it as you can pick up a UVC compatible webcam cheaply when buying the coffee and eggs. The Technika TKW109 (1.3 Mpixel with built in mic and a headset supplied too) can be picked up in your local Tesco in the UK for £9.95 ($15). I found this website which provides further reading for the really keen: http://www.ideasonboard.org/uvc/
Nick in Wales.
4th December 2011