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ggreig: (I Need Dis)

A Harvard University human motor systems test that attempts to guess your age knocked 16 years off me today!

The test is based on how quickly you can click on dots on the screen – it’s a bit like that eye-test where spots of light are shone on the inside of a hemisphere and you have to react to them. I wouldn’t say my reactions are particularly good, so why did I do so well?

I think it’s because I was using a trackball. The basic assumption of the test is that you’re using either a mouse or a trackpad, although it does provide an “other” option as part of a survey after the test’s completed.

I switched from mice to trackballs a number of years ago – not sure how many, but long enough to have had to replace one. People visiting my desk hate using the trackball (so much so that I have a “guest mouse” for when people come by), and adjusting to it was hard. In fact, for the first week, it was physically painful as I got accustomed to an entirely new set of movements. After that first week though, it was full speed ahead and I’ve never looked back. A trackball’s quicker and more accurate than a mouse, and my burgeoning RSI from dragging a mouse around went away.

My trackballs are thumb-driven ones from Logitech; for some reason finger trackballs seem to be more popular, but I wouldn’t have thought they can be so quick and efficient and surely must suffer from some of the problems of mice. The thumb’s a “spare” digit from a mousing point of view, but it’s great for driving a trackball; strong, and capable of fast, sharp and quite precise movements.

If you don’t believe me, give the test a go and see how you do!

ggreig: (Default)
There's a story on the BBC about a trainee surgeon in Scotland realising it's possible to print models of bones from 3D CT scans relatively cheaply, for inspection before surgery. Still a bit on the pricy side for personal use, but cool to see technology helping to make lives better.


May. 5th, 2011 10:24 pm
ggreig: (Jailbird)

You may not have noticed I was gone, but I’m just back from an impromptu stay at Ninewells that started on Monday; my first experience of hospital as an inpatient.

The reason sounds a bit silly. It was a nosebleed (spontaneous). But it started around 6 in the morning, and didn’t really, fully stop for the rest of the day, although it was brought under control in the afternoon. I was put on IV fluids, but no blood transfusion required.

There wasn’t a definite resolution to the problem so it may occur again, though hopefully not. For now, I’ve to take it easy to avoid unnecessarily triggering a repeat. A repeat would probably mean surgery.

With help from [livejournal.com profile] qidane, I made it home in time to vote without an emergency proxy (which was also an option thanks to [livejournal.com profile] qidane), though far from being my usual first or second at the polling station.

ggreig: (Three)

It was interesting to come across an old article containing the Autism-Spectrum Quotient Test, which is apparently used as a measure of the extent of autistic traits in adults. There are also warnings from the authors that it’s not a diagnostic tool, so I reckon it falls into the category of “interesting toy that might have indicative results”. Speak to a real medical professional if you have any concerns.

Anyway, the average score for a control group was 16.4, with a score of 32 or more indicating “clinically significant levels of autistic traits”. Don’t read too much into it, you can score more than 32 and still live a normal life, etc.

I scored 33.

I’m quite happy with that. As I have at least the self-awareness of a bollard, I know I’m not the world’s most socially capable person, but any other symptoms would be relatively mildly displayed. I like order, and I can get into routines, in ways that can no doubt be annoying for others, but I’m not seriously obsessive about them; just more comfortable. My liking for order is selective; I can still be pretty messy and disorganised!

I’m happy to have a borderline score because that’s pretty much where I would see myself; somewhere near the edge of most people’s social scale, but fully functioning. I’m also quite happy being a software developer, a profession where people seem to reckon such traits may be more common.

I’m mildly relieved the number wasn’t higher, partly because I don’t want to think of myself as having a “condition” with its accompanying labels, but mainly because I don’t want an excuse. If I’m difficult to deal with in some way, that’s my responsibility and my fault (or maybe yours ;-).

Edit: Realized that the last paragraph could read as being dismissive of the condition of autism. That's not my intention.

ggreig: (Blockhead)

With [livejournal.com profile] scottymcleod’s permission, here’s a photo from when I was down south. For all those of you who haven’t had a chance to see him for a while, especially since the accident in January 2008, this is Scotty walking again!

Photo )
ggreig: (Blockhead)

I’m back from three weeks’ break in California. Work starts again tomorrow, but today I had some light relaxation in the form of my first physiotherapy appointment for the arm I broke in December. The physiotherapist seemed quite pleased with my progress already, and reckoned with exercise I should be back to 90% strength and flexibility by the middle of the year.

Since I’m not feeling like posting anything substantial at the moment (<snore>), here is a meme courtesy of [livejournal.com profile] pink_weasel: tell me what you think of me using my Johari Window.

Cast Off

Jan. 19th, 2010 12:21 am
ggreig: (MoonFrown)

My cast came off this morning. Things are not completely right yet, of course, but on the whole it feels good to be out of the restraint. And I have just had a bath in which my left forearm felt the caress of soap and water for the first time in six weeks, which is quite a relief.

I need to work at it to get the full use back. Most noticeable at the moment is that I can’t bend my hand back very far, and I can’t rotate my arm clockwise to get the hand flat (at least not easily and comfortably). However, I’ve made some minor progress on the first even today, and I will need to make progress on the other to manage comfortable typing, so there’s motivation.

Behind the cut, there’s a “before” picture – an x-ray of the break. For non-medical viewers, my hand is at the top of the picture, and you’re looking at the arm from the side. An x-ray winna gar me grue )

For very medical viewers, [livejournal.com profile] hobbitomm, I passed on your regards and they were reciprocated. I would have done so earlier, but I didn’t see the same chap last time I was in.

ggreig: (Crazy or smart?)

Apparently given the way that my arm broke, there was a better than usual chance that it could have come out of position after being set. I had an appointment this morning to check up on it, and it seems that it’s held its position fairly well, so no further action required, and longer before the next check up. Hurrah! Now back to being driven nuts by the plaster ;-)

ggreig: (MoonFrown)

Well, a farewell to one arm for six weeks or so, anyway.

I bust it yesterday, when leaving work. It turns out it was a bit icy underfoot. For me there was no warning; one minute I was walking towards the bus stop, the next I, er, wasn’t.

I fell backwards and landed on my left arm, quite heavily, giving myself a Colle’s fracture. I knew it wasn’t good news, but at the time I didn’t know it was a break. I headed back to the office, got attention from the first aiders and then a lift up the hill to Ninewells. When I got my coat off for examination there, it became obvious the arm wasn’t the right shape any more.

Broken bones are new territory for me, so I was particularly pleased to discover that local anaesthetics are highly effective. They’re happy with how it’s now positioned, but will need to check it hasn’t shifted next week. The consultant at my follow-up appointment this morning said, “You don’t do things by halves do you?” Arms aside, it would seem!

If you haven’t yet tried a broken limb, I can’t say I would recommend it, but – so far at any rate – it’s not as bad as I might have imagined, and the setting was completely painless.

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