About the Author

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Renaissance man =n. A man who has broad intellectual interests and is accomplished in areas of both the arts and the sciences.

Tony C Caputo is a global Strategist Technical Consultant for Hitachi Insight Group - Public Safety and Smart City Solutions, with demonstrated expertise in business and system analysis, documentation and presentation, project management, information and communications technologies, networked video, training and mentoring, encryption and cryptography. Considered a subject matter expert with detailed knowledge of smart city end-to-end architecture for video, sensors, with integration through hardware and software, including capture, analytics, ICT, command center and data center best practices. An entrepreneurial history with high-level relationship management has developed an executive suite of skills for effective business analysis, strategies, documentation, and communications of sophisticated technologies to all levels of management. He is a Certified Project Management Professional, Microsoft Certified Professional, Certified for eBusiness with IBM, Certified Wireless Mesh Network Engineer and is working on his CCNA.

Tony C. Caputo has written professionally for over 20 years, with articles published by the Chicago Tribune, Techrepublic.com, ZDNet.com, StickyMinds.com, EMileHigh.com and more. He also has ten years as a successful entrepreneur in both the entertainment and technology arena and has helped build five companies (three in technology) within the past fifteen years. He has written books, articles, white papers, training books, syllabuses and business plans and is a speaker and trainer at conferences about Internet technologies, Project Management, and Visual Storytelling.

In his youth... Caputo co-owned an entertainment company in the 80s, where he met Terry (Monty Python) Gilliam, Harlan Ellison, Michael (Ghostbusters) Gross, Mark Hamill, Francis Ford Coppola, and Mr. T, just to name a few.

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Call of Duty

From the second edition of Digital Video Surveillance & Security:

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I was a toddler when John F. Kennedy was shot, but it affected everyone around me so profoundly and dramatically shown on our black-and-white television that it continues to be etched in my childhood memory. I always wonder if my children, the youngest only five years old on 9/11, will also be haunted by the horrific visions of that day for the rest of their lives, as am I, or are they so bombarded by media nowadays, that it won't affect them the same. How could it? How could they know what we lost that day? The concepts and delusion that we, the United States of America, the land of the free, are the most powerful country in the world; that we were untouchable; that our children, and their children are safe from the chaos of the world's zealots. Here in the United States of America, those zealots can protest, run for government office, and manipulate the media to push their ideals, good or bad, to the masses. Elsewhere, it may have been a different story, but that seemed somewhere far away, until 9/11.

It hit me hard, like a two-by-four upside the head. I was working for an India based technology consulting firm at the time and although my co-workers and friends were as shocked as the rest of the world, they've seen acts of terrorism before in their country. Suddenly, the armed soldiers at airports, seaports and tourist traps in every foreign country I visited in my youth made sense to me. We see them here now, too.

Once my initial shock subsided, I thought I could look at photos, documentaries or even movies about 9/11, but I couldn't and I still canít. In my youth, having grown up in the 60s and 70s, I learned to denounce war and instead chose to be a hippie child. My young idealistic view of the world was that we should focus on protecting what we have at home, and not "whatever" in a country few have ever heard of before. I swore that if I was ever drafted (highly unlikely at ten years old), that I'd run to Canada, pledge an allegiance to the imperialistic revolutionary running dogs (whoever they were) and preach about peace, love and togetherness. I would fight for my life, only, if they ever attacked us at home, like Pearl Harbor (big on Social Studies that year) and World War II. As a child, I was so anti-war, anti-military, and all about peace, before I knew what it all meant, and that same mentality spilled over into my teen years (70s), and was buried into my unconsciousness in adulthood, while being too busy with life, liberty and the pursuit of the American Dream.

Well, many years later, that security that was ever growing in my subconscious as I grew older, was shattered in a single act of terrorism on 9/11. I remember people trying to tell me what was going on, but I was in denial. I was busy working and didnít have time for such nonsense. The Internet was jammed, and at a standstill, all the television stations suddenly stopped their normal broadcasting and in a blink of an eye, the fortress that I believed my country to be was smashed. Sure, the United States of America has its problems, its deficit, its slue of corruption, deviates and issues, but we are the land of the free and the home of the brave. We are the strongest, most powerful country in the entire world, and no one would be crazy enough to punch us in the face on our own playground.

I recall people going home to be with their families, and parents picking up their children from school (as did my wife at the time). I was in denial. I worked all day and wondered why people were looking at me funny. I wanted it to be just another secure, safe day, but it wasn't. Everything changed, not just for me, but for everyone.

What could I do? How could I give my children a small inkling of the untouchable strength and security of the United States of America, that I believed this country had (real or imaginary) prior to that day?

I wanted to do something. I wanted to go to a survivalist store and pick up supplies and go hunt down Bin Laden and hurt him. I wanted to strangle his twisted, zealot throat. Rambo I'm not. I was too old to join the military, and the responsibilities at home made that impossible. Years went by and the fantasy of contributing anything to the safety of this country, and its people, fell to the wayside.

In 2005, I was given the opportunity to join the Chicago homeland security initiative focused on potential terrorist targets throughout the downtown area. This was a very innovative approach to digital video surveillance using high-end security cameras and equipment interconnected on a redundant fiber optic ring, with centralized storage for video forensics, redundancies and failovers (in the event that one of the locations was destroyed) and video analytics.

The technologies were exciting, and allowed my experience with digital video, networking, wireless, software, mechanics and electronics to converge into a single project. I enjoyed being part of the team, even when discussing malevolent topics such as full functionality if whole skyscrapers were to fall. I contributed and learned, and grew along with the project and its many offshoots.

Early 2010, I was invited to take my experience and work with New York City on their Digital Video Surveillance and Security projects. I was commuting to New York every Monday and Friday for months. Although this isn't the first time I've ever been to New York City and/or Manhattan, it is the first time since 9/11. During my travels, I stayed in the downtown area, walking distance to the Counter Terrorism Bureau Lower Manhattan office. It's been a decade since 9/11, so "Ground Zero" is a construction site of giant cranes, scaffolding and closed streets. Throughout my first month there, unbeknown to me, as my mind was focused on the overwhelming projects at hand, I stayed across the street from where the Twin Towers once stood, and the nice, clean hotels where I lived out of a suitcase, with their scaffolding, were recently renovated, because of that dreadful day. That thought finally hit me on May 1, when the Nissan Pathfinder was discovered in Times Square, where I was doing a site survey, just the day before.

When I returned the next week (flew home for the weekends), I was in a New York Deli where I saw these two photo enlargements gracing the wall. One was of the Twin Towers, burning, and smoking, the other was of a NYPD police officer leaning against that deli counter, head down, eyes closed, covered head to toe in gray dust. He was holding a bright orange Gatorade in one hand.

Thatís when it hit me. It was at that very moment when I suddenly realized I am doing something to help my children, everyoneís children, to feel safer in this new United States of America. Somehow, either fate (or a relentless subconscious pursuit since that horrific day), has given me the opportunity to ward off complacency and do something.

I was helping. I am helping. I may never be able to give my children the idealistic view of the United States of America that I perceived as a child, because I can't change the past, but I can contribute in changing the future, even if what Iím doing is just dropping a DVS pebble in a pond.

My time as part of the New York City project was one of the most monstrous workloads I ever encountered, within an environment of high intensity soaked in an intimate sense of urgency, and the overwhelming project plan pulled me into many directions at once for very long days, but it was worth every New York minute because I was there, contributing to protect what is still the Greatest City in the World.

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Books


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Second Edition of the ultimate guide to digital video security, Digital Video Surveillance and Security (Butterworth-Heinemann), provides a blueprint for the IP-based electronic security system clients need, allowing security professionals to protect their client's place of business or home. The author gives detailed plans on the best camera position, areas of coverage, hardware and software to select in order to maximize the effectiveness of newer lower cost networked technologies. Clear, step-by-step descriptions and detailed illustrations describe the integration of such components as the current or new security system, door and window sensors, or other access controls, instantly launching a video of the area under the surveillance on a computer or HDTV.

  • Vendor-neutral comparisons of camera equipment and recording options
  • Case studies and descriptions of best practices
  • Step-by-step guide to planning and installation
  • Easy-to-read diagrams and schematics.

    Reviews:

    If you are in the CCTV and Video Surveillance System industry either as a student, installer, engineer, designer, integrator, sales or consulting - then this book should be within arms-reach and once it is, you are likely to keep it very close to you for your next CCTV and Video Surveillance Project.--Australian Security Magazine

    Best Video Surveillance Book Ever! -- Davide Schiavon

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Build Your Own Server (McGraw-Hill/Osborne) Build Your Own Server is a thoroughly illustrated how-to build a server book. Explains in detail how to share resources within any office environment--or between two or more computers--by building and maintaining your own server. Maximize the same server functionality large corporations use for better security, improved workflow, enhanced cohesiveness, and data and resource sharing. Give customers or employees secured access to data from their own Web browsers, administer your server remotely, turn your server into a wireless access point for secure, shared wireless networking, and much more. Build Your Own Server is a complete, illustrated step-by-step guide to the skills, tools, and accessories you'll need to build a server with 99.9 percent uptime for a fraction of the cost. Construct the nucleus of an internetworking computer system Choose cost-effective hardware for building and/or upgrading Increase security for all corporate resources Set up, configure, and troubleshoot a server for sharing your printer, files, Internet connection, and more Create remote connectivity to access your workstation from anywhere Restrict access to unwanted online content Automate nightly backups, updates, and maintenance Provide your customers with 24x7 access to dynamic information Configure a Web server for a Web site, Intranet, or Extranet Set up a Workgroup, Domain (Active Directory), and VPN network using Windows 2000 Server and Windows Server 2003

Reviews:

The author is very detailed in explaining hardware, software and configuration issues. An absolute MUST-HAVE even if you have built computers before, because of the thousand new issues that are explained in the book and you never thought of! Very detailed, and a truly simple and basic explanation of all one needs to know. Highly recommend this book to anyone building, or even thinking of putting a computer together. The hardware buying options in the book are sure to save money. --Ramesh Rajagopalan

This book really worked for me. To give you some background, I'm a former web developer (now in business school) who needed a server for both a start-up business of mine and some home stuff that a laptop wouldn't be suitable for. I had never built a box before, but Tony laid out the steps and crucial tips very well. This isn't a "Building a Server for Dummies" exactly, as Tony assumes that you have at least an average to above-average level of computer proficiency (which is a good assumption, otherwise you probably would have no reason to want to build a server). I will agree with another reviewer who claims the book is very Microsoft-centric, and doesn't address the huge costs of Win 2003 server licenses. However, in my opinion, the first few chapters about hardware alone are worth the price of the book, and the topics addressed in the software chapters can easily apply to a Linux installation as well. -- Loren Bast

 

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Visual Storytelling: The Art and Technique (Watson-Guptill) Cross-pollination of film, animation, games and comic books. Visual media artists-comic book artists, film and video storyboarders and animators, and creators of interactive games-must express purely with pictures everything that the writer can't communicate in words. As a result, truly effective visual storytelling must be compelling, dynamic-and have the appearance of reality. In Visual Storytelling, veteran comic book publisher Tony Caputo demonstrates everything the aspiring visual media artist needs to know in order to master sequential art. In Part 1, artists will discover, through clear illustrations and pictures, each stage of the production process, including plotting, writing, penciling and lettering, inking, coloring, and painting. Part 2 shows, step by step, the basics of figure drawing and anatomy, and basic light and dark techniques. Finally, Part 3 details the basics of page composition, layout, and design as well as the art of creating incredible comic book covers and splash pages. Filled with fascinating illustrations by such legendary artists as Mat Nastos, Jim Steranko, Neal Adams, Wally Wood, Andrew Loomis, Scott McCloud, Terry Moore and Jeff Smith, Visual Storytelling also features a ready-to-use guide that helps chart progress and skills in visual storytelling media.

Reviews:

This book belongs in the library of anyone who is or would like to be a storyteller whether it be comics, animation, film or any multimedia field. This is one of those rare books that doesn't get published enough. The fact that it covers more than one medium makes this an invaluable reference title. Besides, how often do you find a book that tells you how Steranko does it? --Antolino Mendoza

I can not find a better guide that spans so many mediums. This is an excellent read as well as resource. Thank you Mr. Caputo on another wonderful book. -- Amazon

 

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