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it came out of the wordwork

Creative Optia Webcam a stupid idea for everyone or just for people who want it to work?

I put the Optia webcam on my machine and it just worked... for one use. I recorded a silly test for their captive online sharing system, and it worked. But stupidly, I added the rest of the software that came with it, and then .. it doesn't work. Worse, I'd bought some other software and joined a business thing online, (one where video would be a useful adjunct) knowing that I'd have a videosource... but now I have an unworking camera ever since I rebooted the machine after first plugging the hummer in.

So I looked at the Creative site, where I find myself informed that they expect a computer to have one "image source" ... right.... So I unplugged my USB scanner, and that didn't do the trick. Every time I plug in the webcam now, I end up with a *very unreadably brief BSoD* and then need to restart and pull the camera else it does it again...

I futzed around on the Creative site some more. I think a solution that involves me taking all my other hardware off my machine is bassackwards if not useless, but I tried a couple of their silly follow-the-yellow-brick-lie do-it-yourself "troubleshooting" pages and then tried to explain the the problems the describe to not encompass the problem I have ... but I come up with this:

The remote server returned an error: (502) Bad Gateway. at System.Net.HttpWebRequest.GetResponse() at ShowArticle.Page_Load(Object sender, EventArgs e) in d:\InetPub\WebRoot\Support.Creative.Com\SupportWebUI\kb\ShowArticle.aspx.cs:line 147

Way to go, gang.

I'm in the market, I think, for working video solutions. The Optia, so far, is not it. Suggestions not requiring me to rewire the house or remove multi-function solutions and all other USB connections from my computer are welcome. I am running XP on this machine, but the other computers are Linux, and I haven't tried it on them.