* Posts by Sam Penny

15 posts • joined 10 May 2006

Working with Asperger's in tech: We're in this together

Sam Penny

Introversion is orthogonal to Asperger's

I have Asperger's (slash high functioning autism, pick your term) diagnosed about three years ago at the age of 33.

I'm also an extrovert, which makes some of the common generalisations of Asperger's not so closely applicable to me. While I do have a very real need for alone time and a definite draining effect from socialising with strangers, I also have a very strong need to socialise with people close to me, without which I feel like I'm literally losing my grip on reality.

I think the key difference between draining socialisation and regenerating socialisation is, typically for an aspie, more to do with predictability and certainty with regard to social roles and expectations. With strangers I have to be constantly on guard to ensure I don't upset somebody by missing a social cue and worry that my subtle oddness will unnerve them.

With people who I know well, it's easier to read their body language and avoid clumsily stepping on their emotional toes. Critically, I also know that if I do get it wrong, these are people I can trust to know that I didn't mean it as an offence or at least to just ask me to clarify.

The other kind of socialisation I can find much easier, even with strangers, is when there are clear social roles in the conversation. That way I can "play the part" of the role I'm in and interact in a way that sidesteps many of the easy pitfalls. For example, if somebody is asking for advice on a subject where I'm seen as an expert, then the interaction is less about me personally and more about my place in a predetermined almost prescripted routine - much less demand on those complex social subtleties. And when it's a scenario where my role comes with some degree of automatic respect, it can even be an ego massage! Of course, the temptation is ever present to steer conversations into that arena because it's easy, but it's not a good way into a deeper, more personal kind of relationship, so it comes with risks.

I don't know how many others reading this are in a similar category, but perhaps my perspective might be helpful to some :-)

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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HBase: Shops swap MySQL for open source Google mimic

Sam Penny
Stop

First microsoft use of open source?

quote:

The HBase-based Powerset was folded into Bing, making the search engine one of the first "shipping" Microsoft product to actually include open source code.

/quote

What about the BSD Networking stack, wasn't that the basis of all windows' networking stacks from way back in the days of windows 95 (or maybe even 3.11)?

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Windows XP SP3 leaps into the tubes

Sam Penny
Linux

"Buggy" and "non-Buggy" the same?

I think the only thing that's changed is the "helper" that stops people affected by the bug installing SP3. The bug hasn't been fixed, only bypassed for those affected, allowing everyone else to beta-test SP3...

I expect there'll be a hot-fix or something to allow those using RMS to install SP3 without being hit by the bug in question, but as it's only one application, it seems sensible to allow others to go ahead as normal...

Not that it affects me, I only use a windows machine because my employers want to keep it around for dreamweaver and I got the short straw in having to have that machine as my workstation and I won't be installing any SP until it's been out and tested by cynics for a month or two!

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

(penguin because some operating systems don't suck)

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Most spam comes from just six botnets

Sam Penny

Tracking down the controllers...

So, if I have a compromised machine (easily done, just connect an unpatched windows machine to the internet and run a few unwisely chosen downloads) which then receives instructions from somewhere to send spam, shouldn't it be relatively easy to see where those instructions are coming from?

I must try this some time...

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Left-handeders finally unlock the closet, researchers find

Sam Penny

Definition of Left / Right Handed?

I'm not convinced that it's all that useful to describe people in such simple terms as "left handed" or "right handed".

My brother is clearly somewhere in between. Some things he does with his left hand, some with his right hand, some with either hand, and some with *both* hands (e.g. when painting, it's not uncommon to see him with a paintbrush in each hand!)

I on the other hand (ho ho) can hardly do *anything* worthwhile with my left hand, so I'm clearly more right handed than a lot of "right handed" people.

On the subject of left handed mice, I have no problem using them, it's only switching between the two arrangements that gives me pause to curse the lefties who insist on them. I'd be quite happy to use a left handed mouse all the time, or for them to use right handed all the time, but switching is just a pain in the neck...

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Climate change: looking for a haystack, not a needle

Sam Penny

Half-Life

Just a quickie, a radioactive element with a half life of one hour will take one hour (not half an hour) to lose half its atoms to decay, that's why it's called a half-life. Easy mistake to make, but then again an easy enough one to put right :)

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Dutch students brew up powdered alcohol hit

Sam Penny

Enough with the speculation...

Where's the HOWTO?

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Royal Marine helmet-cam auteur hit during Afghan gunfight

Sam Penny

(w)here it is

Erm, am I doing something stupid, or is there no link there to the video?

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Shocking news on lunar surface

Sam Penny

Ouchie

I've been zapped with 5,500V before (apparently the cables I was using for my A-level experiment weren't certified for more than 440V - my teacher told me *after* letting me use them!)

It smarts somewhat, but it didn't do me any lasting damage :)

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Is an artificial eye close to reality?

Sam Penny

Miopia

I'm long-sighted and have been since I was a kid (I'm now 27). Does that mean I don't have anything to worry about re: miopia? Does it mean I'm better off trying to encourage miopia? Does it not really mean anything?

I'd love to know...

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Why do you sometimes lose bowel function when scared?

Sam Penny

Am I the only one...

Am I the only one who thought that was a complete non-answer? "Scared people sometimes lose bowel control because losing bowel control can happen when you're scared"

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Microsoft needs 'off switch'

Sam Penny

Paying for Marketing?

"modifying the rules so people pay to be marketed to, paying-now-for-the-chance-to-pay-later, is inspired from a marketing department perspective."

People've been doing this for *decades*

http://froogle.google.co.uk/froogle?q=nike%20t-shirt

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Why can't we agree on the names for phobias?

Sam Penny

Latin / Greek

Most of the names can be thrown out as nasty bilingual cut/shuts, anything that starts with a latin-derived word and ends with the greek "phobia" suffix, ought to be replaced entirely with the greek equivalent, if one can be found. (Aquaphobia,Felinophobia,

Several others appear to mean something entirely different from others that you've called them synonymous to. E.g. verminophobia presumably has to do with vermin, rather than dirtyness per se. Bathophobia, meanwhile, I think ought to be fear of *depth* rather than height?

When there are multiple forms of essentially the same word (Eremiophobia, Eremophobia for example) presumably somebody who knows greek better than I would be able to give a reasonable opinion on which form would make more sense.

Perhaps the lists could be shortened somewhat by applying these filters.

I'm also entirely unimpressed by one that I see bandied around all over the place "hippopotomonstrosesquippedaliophobia" which is clearly the entirely reasonable "sesquipedalophobia" with "horse monster" prepended for no reason other to make it more "ammusing"

ho ho ho indeed.

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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Why do I get eye strain?

Sam Penny

Cure for age-related sight problems

Given that our pupils naturally shrink as we get older, thus causing difficulty in seeing clearly in poor lighting, clearly the sollution is to spend your pension on pot...

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

PS, no of course I'm not being serious!

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Why doesn't my belly button heal over?

Sam Penny

What's between the navel and the stomach?

I'm not an anatomy expert, but surely there's a little more than "a few thin layers of skin" between the navel and the somach, I make it about 4 inches, when it's not sagging down due to being full... (see gray's anatomy - http://education.yahoo.com/reference/gray/subjects/subject?id=247, or the wikipedia entry on the stomach - http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stomach) Not to mention the peritonaeum, musculature of the abdomen and however much intestine is sitting in that ~4 inches...

Or am I misreading the anatomy diagrams I'm looking at?

Cheers & God bless

Sam "SammyTheSnake" Penny

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