On (a) prior computer(s), I had a simple program that recorded a video file from the webcam. That's all it did; nothing else. I couldn't remember what it was called, and all that I could recall was that it wasn't really intended to be a "product"; it was more of a simple demo along the lines of, "this is how you write a program that captures the webcam input". I even went through my archive of the files from that computer (which included the software in Program Files), to no avail.
OK, so, supposedly, no big deal; look for a replacement. I figured Download.com was a reasonable start. The larger names that appeared in my search, e.g., MSN Webcam Recorder & Yahoo Messenger, were "too much"; I didn't want chat and all of these other features, plus I admit that I was hesitant to install a Microsoft video app. (And how come Windows 7 itself doesn't offer something native itself, parallel to their Sound Recorder?) A lot of the free software had various "gotchas", such as a forced watermark, or nagware/trial versions. And I got the uneasy feeling that tiny vendors may have added spyware to their video capture software; the temptation would seem to be too great.
Then I stumbled on the point that the VLC Media Player actually has the ability to record video, as well as play it. They're a well known product, and I trust that nothing funny is going on under the hood. I found a video that explains the basics, and also learned that one has to enable the record button by selecting View > Advanced Controls (which is off by default). Now all I have to do is figure out how to disable audio output while I'm recording, to prevent the echo feedback, and I should be good to go.