FAQ

Generic Site FAQs

Owner Questions

Why do you do this?

The Why link will explain in more detail. However, as a summary, I do this because it's fun. It's a great way for myself and others to meet people, and makes a nice demonstration of what can be done with webcams and home automation equipment.

Do you do this all day?

During the week, on days that I'm not working, I will spend about 4 hours in front of the camera, although not all at the same time. On weekends, it might be more or fewer depending on what I'm doing that day. However, just because you see me does not mean I'm actively involved with the site. When you ask if I "do this", the operation of the site is not something that requires my undivided attention. I'm normally either working or doing something of an entertaining nature while on the computer, and I only pause to respond to questions asked by those on the site.

Is this all you ever do?

Assuming you mean, is sitting on the webcam, doing nothing, waiting for people to turn the lights on and send messages, and replying if they do so all I ever do? In that case, no. First off, I'm only here a few hours a day. When I AM at the computer, which is what I'm really doing when I'm in front of the cam, I'm usually doing one of the following: I'm programming, either for the site or for one of my customers. I'm playing a game. I'm watching a movie or a tv show. I'm reading, doing research, or performing some other effort toward expanding knowledge, using the internet to do so. And yes, when someone sends a message, sometimes I reply.

I see you're at home, how can I contact you?

For a simple message or to ask a simple question, just use the message textfield to the right of the camera image. You will get a response in the yellow box. If you wish to have a lenghty conversation or have lots of questions, please join the chatroom. If you want to send me something, my email address is restil@drivemeinsane.com. Although I have AIM and Yahoo instant messengers, I rarely use them and usually ignore messages from people I don't know.

Why are you picking your nose?

I'm just scratching it.

Why won't you do anything fun for the camera?

I will tend to accommodate one simple request for everyone, such as a wave or a thumbs up, or such. I'm usually working on something and will avoid doing anything that requires a lot of effort on my part. Other cams on the site might have people willing to be more entertaining.

Do you ever meet anyone from the site

We periodically have get-togethers amongst the regulars. Typically about once a year. Most of the regulars are welcome to attend if they can travel to it.

I live near you and want to know if I can just drop by sometime?

When I was single and lived alone I probably wouldn't have minded, however I'm married now and have kids and would prefer to not have uninvited guests dropping by unexpected. Pay attention to the news as there will be opportunities to meet with us on occasion

Don't the lamps turning on and off all the time bother you?

The lights don't bother me anymore, as they're fairly easy to get used to. Some of the other site features can be attention getters at times.

Doesn't it bother you that people all over the world are watching you?

This is one of those magical webcam questions that I'm sure everyone who has a webcam gets asked constantly. No, it does not bother me. Having an inconspicous little camera sitting on top of my monitor looking at me does not present me with an unnerving experience. I don't sit here dreading all the people in the world who are watching me at this very moment (although I do make some effort to stay fully clothed just in case). If you really want to know what it feels like, set one up yourself. You don't require a deep rooted philisophical reason for having a live camera pointing at you, even though many webcam owners have tried to come up with one to justify it. Its a cool computer toy, just like all the other computer toys I like to play with. There's really not much more to it than that.

I don't like your layout and I know I can do better. How can I help?

First off, there is more than one layout. Click on the themes link on the sidebar to see what else is available. If you still don't like any of the themes, you're free to design your own. Check http://drivemeinsane.com/themes.html for instructions.

What's your relationship status?

I'm married to the beautiful Gertie.

How much time do you spend doing this?

I work a full time job, and I get at least 6 good hours of sleep each day. A few hours a day are typically spent doing various household activities. Therefore, I typically spend about 3 hours per day in front of the computer on weekdays, and maybe 5-6 hours per day on weekends. However, although I'm in front of the cam, I'm not always actively working on or participating in the site itself. However the lamps and main cam are always on, unless there's a power or network issue.

Who is that behind you?

Sometimes variably asked "with the axe" or somesuch. Don't worry, I'm not going to fall for it. I'm not going to turn around. I can assure you, I am perfectly safe.... and nothing like that will ever happen.

Will you discuss politics or religion

No. Both subjects have a tendancy to create unnecessary conflict amongst people that otherwise get along fine. If I have to choose between pissing half of my visitors off or simply not discussing it, the choice is clear.

Don't you get bored doing this?

I'm not sure why people ask this question. Best I can figure, people seem to be under the notion that sitting here, in front of the webcam, watching the lights flash on and off, and talking to people is ALL I EVER DO, and I therefore must be bored of it by now.. This is not the case. The site runs in the background. It's always on, but it exists without constant attention from me. I can no more get bored by it than I would get bored by the kitchen sink or the sidewalk. There are possibly other emotional reactions that various features of the site might instill, but boredom is not one of them.

You really should be using #### distro because it's better than whatever it happens to be you're using.

Thank you for the advice. Of course, I've been working with various flavors of Unix since the early 80's. System V, AIX, Coherent, Xenix, Minix, Free/Open/NetBSD, and a dozen different distros of Linux, including Slackware, Redhat, Redhat Enterprise, Fedora, Debian, Mandrake, CentOS, Caldera, Suse, and I've tinkered with a few others, including rolling my own. Also, keep in mind that of the 9 linux boxes I have in service right now, I use the desktop on exactly ONE of them, and that's only to run mplayer. All of my personal access to these machines is through a text terminal. While I'm all for experiementing with new distributions and operating systems if I have the time and available equipment, your favorite distribution of choice is unlikely to work any better for me than the ones I've been using consistantly for the last several years, and will only add an additional learning curve that I would rather not bother with without a good reason. So while I might not be using your favorite linux distro of choice, realize that I AM still using Linux, so my heart is in the right place.

What do you beneift from this

While the site, small though it was, was originally set up just as a fun hobby, it has over the years provided me with enough reasons to keep it going. I'll name some of the more important ones. First off, most importantly, it's how my wife found me. Prior to that, several other less fortunate candidates were able to use it to lobby for the same position... unsuccessfully. In addition to the chick factor, is has also been a source of many good friends. Secondly, it has been a financial benefit in a variety of ways. While advertising on the site has been rather meager, it has served well as a type of interactive resume and I have recieved several jobs as a result of this site being in existance. Third, it gives me the opportunity to learn and use various programming skills in a production environment (sorta). Fourth, it's just lots of fun.

Will you dance?

No. First off, having me act like a trained monkey is not what this site is about. There are other webcam sites that will probably be willing to entertain you in that way. This one is about the lights. Secondly, I work on my feet 10 hours a day and for those few hours a day when I can sit down and ... well.. not stand... I'm not going to spend that time dancing for you, which cuts into my relaxation time, and is also quite painful.

Do you like being watched

Although there was a certain novelty to it when I started this site, over the years, the idea of being watched was just a given, so I don't really think much about it anymore. I just respond when someone says something

Anything involving alcohol??

I don't drink regularly. I HAVE had alcohol before in my life, but never in great quantities. I've been marginally tipsy once. I don't drink beer. I don't drink alone. I don't drink if I'm not home. I don't drink if there's any possibility of me having to drive anytime in the near future. I don't drink if I have to be useful in any regard for the remainder of the day or anytime during the next day. Pina Colada is my favorite drink. I drink approximately 2-3 shots of alcohol per year.

What do your neighbors think of this

I'm fortunate (I suppose) to not have many immediate neighbors. There is a non-residential building across the street from me, the house to my right is vacant and none of my windows faces the house on my left. As such, there haven't been many opportunities for any of my neighbors to notice anything strange.

Do you play WOW?

No. Don't get me wrong, I'm sure it's a fun game and I certainly would play it if I had an extra 12 hours in the day and nothing useful to spend that time on, but I already sacrificed 6 months of my life playing an MMORPG (Ultima Online), and I have no desire to repeat the experience. Since then, any gaming I participate in either have to be of the type that I can start and stop easily at frequent intervals, finish in a short period of time, or for online games, have a limited session duration. Recently, games I've played are Starcraft 2, Portal 2, and Crysis 2.

What do you do on here?

The office and South Living room cams are in my house, as are the critter, IPcam, hallway and whatever other cams may be online at the time. I live in this house, and if I'm currently at home, not sleeping, not working on the house, or doing chores, or other activies that require facilities not in one of the rooms that have cams, I will likely be in the office, sitting at the desk, my chair placed in view of the office cam. On weekdays, I will likely be here 2-3 hours a day, weekends a few hours longer. While I'm in the office I may be engaged in any number of possible activities. These include, but are not limited to: watching TV shows, videos, or movies, listening to music, chatting, programming on the site, talking on the phone, writing, drawing, talking to Gertie or guests. I might be playing games, including SC2, HL2, Crysis 2, Portal 1 and 2, Doom 3, Trine 2, and Rogue. If I'm sitting at one of the tables in the back or side of the room, I'm probably working on some electronics, likely part of another project for the site. Sometimes I just nod off in my chair. All of this happens irrespective of the fact that the cams, lamps, sign, and critter are active. I just go about my business and have little personal interaction with the site itself. I will occasionally physically or audibly respond to simple requests if I'm in the mood and not otherwise busy, and I will usually respond to all text messages sent from the site and usually engage conversation in the chatroom.

What kind of pizza is that?

I almost always eat one with hamburger, onion, mushroom, black olives, and extra cheese

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