|| Ever wonder?
||Nov. 10th, 2004 09:49 pm|
Meme hoiked from tephramancy and provided as an optional public service. I thought I'd done this one (or a similar one) recently, but I can't find it in my memories as a poll or meme.|
However it's exactly my sort of "raging curiosity" (yeah, bad idea for cats) meme, so here you are:
The problem with LJ: we all think we are so close, but really we know nothing about each other. So I want you to ask me something you think you should know about me. Something that should be obvious, but you have no idea about. Ask away.
Then post this in your LJ and find out what people don't know about you.
Now, to complicate this needlessly (the Wechsler variant):
Comments are screened, but I will assume that questions and answers are public unless you indicate otherwise, and will unscreen your comments.
If you want a private reply, make a note to that effect and leave an email addy for me to reply to.
If you just want an anonymous reply, say so and I'll leave the original screened and copy the question into a new comment.
Open to non-friends but I reserve the right to ignore offensive or inappropriate questions.
Well my usual excuse for my geek side is that my second- or third-form english teacher found my handwriting so bad that he wanted me to word-process my essays.
In fact I started with computers when I was about 7 or 8, at a rough guess - my dad bought us a spectrum ZX81 and I started coding absurdly simple stuff on that. (Usually just drawing graphics with its inbuilt glyphs). Shortly afterwards we got a BBC model B and I started writing more interactive programs, and writing listings in from magazines and so on.
After that we got an Amstrad 1640, which was a decidedly pointless and inflexible device, and eventually I persuaded my dad to buy a Watford Electronics 486sx25 (ISTR we shelled out for a 170MB HDD on that one, and probably about 8MB of RAM - the latter being 30 quid a MB around then).
That gave me a bit more to work with, and get into the guts of - I upgraded that one a few times and I suspect that being able to look inside the beast and tinker with it seeded more of my interest in how they worked. Plus, back then, to get *any* blasted game to run you had to hack around with the system boot scripts to balance drivers, extended and expanded memory, giving you a painfully rapid introduction to computing OS internals. This is one aspect of DOS-based systems that I really don't miss.
Shortly afterwards we got a modem and I started clocking up disturbing phone bills messing around on BBSs (consumer internet not being in existence at that point) and trying to download stuff over a dodgy phone line at painfully slow rates (mind you, I think we got the luxury 9600 baud model). Eventually I got an email address on MKBBS, and I think we even manged an internet connection briefly, but I never found it worth it before I got to Uni.
In parallel with all of this I'd been building weird robots and armed tanks from lego technic for years, and fiddling around with those cardboard-and-spring electronics kits, which eventually gave way to veroboard, Maplin self-assembly kits, and drawers full of random components. This was probably what pushed me to try and study electronics at Uni (although in hindsight I'd have been better with CompSci).
At uni I fell in with the CompScis rather than the electronics guys, discovered Linux, and generally ended up competing with them in the coding lectures (and using their computer labs instead of the elec eng ones). The drift into programming continued at my sponsored work, where I found myself coding for an electronics development company, rather than designing chips and circuits as I expected.
The fact that my dad was an MEng, and a keen DIYer, also helped drive me in this direction.