Peter pointed me to CHDK, a firmware enhancement for Canon cameras, including my trusty rusty SD630. CHDK lets you hack your camera’s software to make it do a bunch of stuff that the built-in software doesn’t let you do. It’s not as scary as it sounds. You just need to put the new software on a bootable SD card, turn on your camera, and it will load this replacement software instead. It works just like the old days of the PC, when you could insert a bootable floppy instead of booting from the hard drive.

Scanning the list of features, I noticed that CHDK includes a scripting language. Two, actually. They can automate any of the camera’s functions. One of the user contributed scripts was an intervalometer, which you can program to take a picture every so-many seconds. Putting all those pictures together makes a time-lapse movie.

This video is my first attempt. I pointed my camera out my office window, and told it to take a picture every minute. The battery ran out, so it isn’t as long as I would have liked. I had no tripod, so the composition is poor. You can even see the reflection of the camera in the window. Nevertheless, I’m tickled with the result. Clouds, man. Clouds.

I’m already accumulating a list of videos to make. Mount it on my dashboard, and record my commute. Get my tripod out of storage, and capture the buzz around the coffeepot at work. Leave my camera on the dashboard of my truck parked across the street, and see sunrise on the Airstream.