Recording a time-lapse of your day

Rescuetime is nice and all and you can log offline time with it, too, but for some reason, which I can’t exactly pin down, I feel like a less abstract visualisation of how I spend my time would have a greater effect on me. There’s TagTime but not on iOS and I really don’t want any more distracting things that break my flow.

I got a couple tiny ESP32-CAM modules with SD card readers laying around and thankfully bitluni¹ not only made a little programmer breakout board which I got, but also put up code to turn them into $6 time-lapse cameras.

So, I set up a time-lapse recording that records me in my natural habitat and at the end of the day I go through the footage and watch myself falling asleep at the desk :smiley:
It takes a photo every second and stores it on the SD card. It also got wifi to set up the camera initially.
At the end of the day I put the SD card into my mac and let ffmpeg turn all the JPGs into an actual video.

I want to integrate this with some kind of screen capturing, or visualisation of what RescueTime recorded me doing at my computer right now. Hm… :thinking: @dreev, @bee Do you have some script from when you recorded yourself for that madhack hackaton event that I’m misremembering the name of right now? I hope you know what I mean :sweat_smile:

It’s quite eye opening to watch yourself from a different point of view. Something I have discovered multiple times in the past already. It’s unbiased. It’s brutally honest. It’s very insightful.

What do you think? Too crazy?

¹ Fun fact: many of the high profile and high quality electronics focussed makers on Youtube are from the DACH area (Germany, Austria, Switzerland): GreatScott!, Bitluni, Andreas Spiess. They cover stuff in-depth and they are an excellent resource for learning about electronics.


Ooh, here are our notes on what we’ve used to create timelapse videos of ourselves in the past:


Wunderbar! That’s exactly what I was looking for :smiley:

Now if I keep doing this, I might want to use a second device, probably a raspberry pi or just my Mac to remotely capture the images. That way I can get more immediate feedback throughout the day rather than one big “12 hrs of procrastination” video at the end when it’s already too late to stop with the akratic behaviour.


Set up InstantShot (Mac OSX) to take a screenshot every minute and store them to a specified directory.

InstantShot on Catalina seem to only take a screenshot of the background :frowning:
Edit: apparently a security popup for allowing recording the screen was at the background of other windows (so not a good “popup” :D). Seems to be working for one screen!


Slightly unrelated, but how did you guys handle secrets (tokens, passwords, API keys, etc) when programming publicly?