A short history of the Fishcam

The Amazing Fishcam was started in late summer of 1994 by Lou Montulli, while working at Netscape. Netscape was building new web browsers and servers and the Fishcam served as an interesting hobby as well as a test vehicle for several features.

The original Netscape tank was a 40 gallon oceanic, which was replaced a year later by a larger 90 gallon model. In 1996 a 350 gallon tank replaced the 90. The 350 gallon tank was moved several times but remained the same until Netscape, the company, took the Fishcam site offline in 2008.

An archive of the original Fishcam site is hosted on mcom.com.

In early 2009, Lou Montulli, rebuilt the fishcam site pointing at a 600 gallon tank within the company Zetta, Inc.

Technology

The original camera driving the Fishcam was an SGI indycam attached to a SGI Indy workstation. In 1994 it produced a 640 by 480 pixel image and took nearly 20 seconds of CPU power to capture, overlay with text, and post to the web. The image updated itself once a minute.

The latest fishcam has a maximum resolution of 2560 by 1440 and can easily post images faster than once a second. The images on the main fishcam page are down sampled to 1024 by 768 and lower to preserve bandwidth. The new camera is a NetCam SC5IR produced by StarDot Technologies and is highly recommended.