Although I am not officially diagnosed Aspergers although I'm 99.9% confident I am and still awaiting my first assesment I cannot help but think my love for Mathematics and Computers and playing chess could be related possibly to being an Aspie.
I have always found Maths interesting and although never an expert on it would consider myself good at it. Last Semptember I enrolled on a Maths GCSE course at my local college it lasted about 9 months I skipped a few weeks and end of year revision classes but still managed to pass and found out only 22% of adults aged 17+ actually passed the maths GCSE this year so I was really proud when I got my results a few weeks ago.
I also enrolled on an computer course level 1 and passed this too all with working full time and living with a wife and kids. It was hard and stressful mind as I couldn't find my much needed time out but the enjoyment of working my brain made it worth while. I don't know if any of you are the same but I love working things out or fixing things or playing games console to keep my mind ticking feels great.
Anyway I also love chess I was in chess club at school and even beat a chess player whilst on holiday who kept bragging he was the "chess master". I find it hard playing chess on a games console for some reason and alot easier on the actual board game maybe because I'm up close and get a better view.
Anyway my point of this short story is I'm thinking maybe why I excel at things I enjoy could be related to being an Aspie and it would make sense.
Do any others on here enjoy Mathematics, Computers and Chess?
I was given twelve BBC computers, each had the ability to change chips, I had a selection to play with, maths dedicated chips and one for. Musical applications, it had an overlay to turn the standard key board into a musical key set, plus tapes of games in code which took forever to load and often failed,
I do remember when using the 286 based machines there would be many 5 1/4 disks just to navigate a simple environment in a child’s game, “ Please insert disk 3, go off make a cup of tea and hope tat disk threee had loaded, only to find out disk three was to take a wrong turn,
Ah the good old days Lol.
) ( said:I find the sharing of stories here fascinating
Yes, likewise; it's very bizarre sometimes to discover these commonalities through the forums. Especially the similarities in childhood experiences; our innate talents, traits and favoured learning styles may be very different, but so often still directed at that curiosity about how things work, whether technology or people.
I did a huge grin reading about your ersatz tools and shocking experiences ('scuse the terrible pun!) I used to do exactly the same; I remember that whole-body hit-your-funny-bone feeling very well! In my own way, I have the toolmaker calling. A great deal of the code that I've written over the years has been library code of one form or another, not intended for a particular end use, but components for solving generic problems, debugging tools, test frameworks etc. The closer I am to the nuts and bolts, the happier I am, usually.
) ( said:I do remember when using the 286 based machines there would be many 5 1/4 disks
Ha ha. Still better than trying to get a ZX Spectrum to load from a cassette that was a fourth-generation tape-to-tape copy you got off some fellow geek in the playground!
I find people's impatience with computers very amusing sometimes (including that of other programmers, and of course, myself.) I still haven't lost that obsession with trying to save every tiny little bit of memory that I can, and spending hours optimising everything to death, that I developed working on those early machines. I like to muck around on some of the emulators for vintage machines every once in a while just to remind myself how lucky I am!
) ( said:Musical applications, it had an overlay to turn the standard key board into a musical key set
When it comes to music making, the change has been phenomenal. I started out tape-bouncing between two domestic hi-fi tape decks, then the classic 4-track cassette porta-studios, then 8-track reel-to-reel with analogue mixing and outboard, then digital 8-track. I got into using the PC when the VST standards first came out; my Pentium 200mmx could just about manage a couple of tracks of audio and one or two effects processors, so I still had all the "fun" of syncing up the multitrack recorder to the PC. My studio is now pretty much just an off-the-shelf laptop, a few nice microphones and pre-amps, and my instruments - I can literally carry everything I need in a rucsac. There are aspects of the analogue ways that I miss, but I would have killed to have the resources I have now back when I was still regularly playing in bands.
Trogluddite said: I'd even done a bit of work experience in a professional laboratory working on semiconductor fabrication (Plessey, if I remember rightly.)
I used to run a production line building semi-conductor quality verifcation equipment - DLTS & Hall Effect test systems along with CVD coaters. We used to make all sorts of weird specialist equipment like fourier transform infra-red spectrometers, sputter & carbon coaters, laser microscopes etc. - it was a great place to learn about the fundamentals of matter. Later on, I literally got into mass production by smashing atoms around.
Trogluddite said:Control Technology" (I got the O-level, but never met anyone else who even remembers this subject.) We did the basics of external interfacing and a little robotics, so I really enjoyed that subject (partly because it involved lots of motorised Lego!)
I've got LOTS of Technical Lego - tons of it - I build off-road trial trucks - I'm fascinated by complex suspension & transmission systems. You never, ever grow out of Lego.
Plastic said:I've got LOTS of Technical Lego
Now you're really making me jealous!
This is probably going to sound daft, but I have this weird mental block with Lego, Meccano, Airfix kits, etc. I would absolutely love to spend hours absorbed in them just like I did as a kid, and with bonus craft and engineering experience I've gained as a adult; but I just don't dare let myself. The fact that some might think it "immature" doesn't bother me, it's more that I worry just how hopelessly addicted I might get to it (far more than my income would allow, for certain!) It would also mean never getting any hoovering done, as I no longer have the kind of bed that I can just sweep all the Lego under so that I can pretend I've put my toys away properly when I get told!
A typical Christmas day when I was a kid usually meant ripping open all my presents as quickly as I could get away with, bundling any and all Lego straight up to my room, and not coming out until I'd built all the things shown on the boxes. Then I'd sit around sulking for a bit because I had to speak to relatives while my brain was zinging with all the new possibilities for combining the new parts with my existing kits. I was glad to see my childhood collection go to good homes, at least; it would have been unbearable to think of it just getting dusty in an attic.
P.S.) It's so nice to talk about this on a British forum for a change; my eyes hurt every time I see the word "Legos", as if a single brick is "a Lego". It's sacrilege, I tell you!
I never really mentally went above 16 so people thinking I'm immature is a bit lost on me.
My AS means that I instantly become an expert at whatever I focus on (like Neo in the Matrix - I know Kung Foo) - I do ebay so I get my Lego at silly-cheap prices from the fools who do bad adverts. I never got into Meccano - it was always too expensive to build anything I wanted. I've got a ton of Scalextric (good for a beery evening with competitive friends) and I buy & sell large model boats - this is from when I used to go into model shops and drool over the expensive models on the top shelf (like in WHSmiths too) that I can now afford. I build them and sell them on to fund the next one. My wife is into train sets - she's done all the Hornby stuff so she's collected a few of the Lego ones. She does the large Lego sets like the Disney Castle - I always wanted the Star Destroyer (10030) but missed the boat before they became too collectable.
Using ebay, I'm gradually working my way through all the things I coveted as a child that my parents couldn't afford.
Lego and an Acorn Electron! (I know! ... cassette tapes for the latter but enjoyed coding on it).
Apart from that, hiding behind books or up trees!
The Electron was interesting - but they just missed the peak of the market that was dominated by the Spectrum. I remember those days of a multitude of compluters hitting the market like the Oric, Amstrad, Vic20, Jupiter Ace, Dragon32, Lynx and the rest - all almost totally unsupported with no games apart from what came in the box .I remember you could go into Smiths and 'test' them all in their fledgling tech centre (a grubby corner of the shop) where you could buy a calculator for school and the elderly staff had no clue about all this weird new stuff.
I wonder what happened to them all? There must be millions of useless computers in lofts or landfill.
I would find old unknown to me games consoles, the drop a cartridge in type that connected to the tv, as you say hardly any other games available, they were early machines and clunky, the joysticks were limited, but I had fun setting them up and some were quite good fun,,,wish I had kept them as some are considered collectors items due to limited amounts being distributed and they all played a part in the start of computer games tech, a timeline of advances,
I do have two Gamegears, lots of games, tv add on adaptir but no signal to tune into these days, they got hot due to having an analogue tube type screen. Both suffered in the end with total sound loss, apparently they can be repaired, one guy fixes them, way ahead of the pocket game machines,
For several years the only school computer where I was. I actually got sent to play on it on my own instead of going to maths classes. I wish I knew what had been going through the teachers' minds when they decided I didn't need to learn maths; was I that obviously bored? So I effectively got Computing O Level early by self-tuition, as well as maths with about half the classes. Probably appropriate decisions by the teachers, but of course back then they only focussed on academic things, and missed intervening around the social differences (i was luckily reasonably popular, I suppose, so even if they thought it was a problem, it was outside their scope).
I probably remember rather too much about the 380Z. It had a 4K ROM based at 0xE000, including the tape loader, video I/O and a software 'front panel' you could always access with Ctrl+F (actually a great idea - you don't need to run a program under a debugger). I wrote a Z80 disassembler in RML BASIC, using the opcode list provided in the ZX80 manual (CD=call, C9=ret etc), so I could take a printout home and spend the weekend reverse-engineering some assembler. 4K may not sound like much, but it probably took a few days. Other students were inordinately excited when it got a colour graphics card; I used that for some games and various purely decorative, 'stimmy' effects. And that ZX80 was cheaper bought as a kit, but I don't know anyone who actually managed to solder the components in correctly - had to send it back to be fixed and pay the extra. Do people appreciate that their everyday gadgets still use similar processors to those and the Acorn RISC stuff?
Trogluddite said:Unfortunately, the cracks were already starting to show by the time I finished 6th-form, and the social demands of University crushed me completely - I turned from a model student to a severely depressed alcoholic within a few months, and quit my course a term or so into the second year to go hide from the world. I view it stoically these days.
Pretty much the same here, minus the alcohol.
) ( said:went flying across the room
A couple of mains shocks here, not quite flying. Evidently didn't learn my lesson the first time.
Plastic said:We used to make all sorts of weird specialist equipment like fourier transform infra-red spectrometers, sputter & carbon coaters, laser microscopes etc. - it was a great place to learn about the fundamentals of matter.
(relating to particle accelerator)
Trogluddite said:I have to admit, this does make me a little jealous (though, no doubt, I am idealising it somewhat!)
Yeah, is it possible this is what the tech was really meant for, not cat pictures?
Cassandro said:Yeah, is it possible this is what the tech was really meant for, not cat pictures?
I'm getting used to the fact that my attitude to technology is getting anachronistic. It fascinates me how I know so much more about the inner workings of the machines than most people I know, and have been familiar with them for so much longer, still code in several up-to-date languages, build my own PCs etc, yet lag way behind in why I use them, where I use them, and how I use them.
Something that has astonished me most about the rise of "social media" and smartphones is how readily people of my own generation and older have taken to them; people who grew up in a time where few homes had a computer, and to even want one for your own pleasure really marked you out from other people; a weird mix of awe and suspicion.
Yet I'm the one with no desire to have a computer on my person at all times, unlike so many folks who were sure that they'd never want to touch one at all. I have a £10 brick of a phone, and didn't have a mobile at all until around a year ago. I like being able to communicate with people using text, but have no interest in Facebook etc. Playing with a computer was always a refuge from human concerns for me, and writing is a way to communicate without being rushed. The rating system, counters, and rolling updates even put me off using this forum for while when they were introduced.
As long as I live, I'll never get touch-screens to do what I actually mean them to; the lack of tactile feedback just doesn't work for me at all (my bass-playing callouses probably don't help!) I even still delete text very often by laboriously backspacing when my fingers forget that mice exist.
I enjoy tinkering with computers as much as I ever did, but I still find it strange when people expect me to have adopted every new technology just because it's computer related. I have never bought the highest-spec PCs, never had more than one desktop and one laptop, and I usually get 8-12 years out of each one without ever fretting about upgrading - eeking out every drop from a clunky machine is all part of the fun. My phone is just a phone, and my cameras are just cameras. I'm an old fogey, really, using modern technology with just the same motivations as I had when I was a teenager; my Mum's a more typical computer user than me.
Oh, and since this post has unintentionally turned into a geek confessional, there's something unforgivable that I should come clean about...
When I was seven, I was taken to the pictures to see Star Wars. That is the only time I have ever watched a Star Wars film all the way through!
(I have nothing against Star Wars particularly, but many self-confessed geeks seem to find my super-power for being apathetic about movies featuring robots and space-ships almost miraculous (or diabolical), which amuses me for some warped reason; it's so like the reaction I used to get when I bored people to death about my ZX Spectrum all those years ago. I always preferred my sci-fi with a tad more "sci-".)
Maybe I'm of a particular category of geek that needs it's own name (it is partly why I spell my username with 'luddite'.)