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My biggest thread so far is this one:
mastodon.social/@ifixcoinops/1
which started off as me snarking about a Reddit community and ended up a multiple-thousand-word Thing-In-Progress about the weird stuff you learn about moderating online communities when you do it for fourteen years.

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Hello, I fix arcade and pinball machines professionally, and if you're near Western Pennsylvania, USA, and have a busted game, DM me for my rates.

I also run one of the Internet's longest-surviving text adventures at improbableisland.com.

On here I tend to talk about woodworking, online community management and pinball/arcade fixin's.

If you suffer from incurably morbid curiosity, my After Dark account is at @funpit, be aware it is NSFW and often quite alarming.

So he says have the box sort the coins, anything to up the complexity.

This was an ancient cab with mechanical coin mechs so it only took 10p and 50p pieces, and the box was gonna live inside the cab so it didn't have to look pretty.

My dyspraxic brain stared at the plywood side panel and placed a thin wooden runner for the coins to roll down. And then stared for a few more hours before settling on the sorting mechanism.

It was one carefully-placed nail.

FAR too simple! "U" grade for you!

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So this was actually kind of an injustice. The task was to make a box of some kind, we got to choose. I had a couple games on route even back in those days (my first cab was £20 out the Loot free ads paper and I spent a summer fixing it up) and one was missing a cash box, so I went alright we'll do that then. Teacher said nah, an open-topped box ain't gonna cut it, all the other kids are doing lids or drawers or such, it has to be more complex.

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Lol I forgot that GCSE results go down to G

Remember when Bart gets an F and he's bummed out about it, imagine Ms Crabapple handing him a friggin' G. Like, you're THAT bad.

Aye I didn't even manage a G. A U is, like, you were too hungover to turn up for it. Except I did. Think I remember being told ah it'll be reet lad, just tell folk you forgot what day the test was

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Haha thinking about it now that's how I got even basically alright at kung fu, I just went twice a week when the other students went once. Same with pinball repair and soldering, I just did it for hours every day for years and years.

Dyspraxic folks can get great at fine work and physical stuff if we accept that it takes longer for us to develop the habits of motion, and just start earlier and do it more often than neurotypical folks.

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Turns out I love woodworking and I'm pretty good at it; but I'd never know that in school, because a couple hours a week just isn't enough TIME for a dyspraxic lad to get good at it.

Outside of those time constraints and expectations, woodworking is lovely. If you're young and have dyspraxia and hate working with your hands and feel bad about it, don't worry too much; once your hands have time, they'll catch up.

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People with dyspraxia have a heck of a time planning out multiple steps in 3D space. When I was a teenager struggling with woodworking, I got a couple hours a week to do it at school, and in the absence of very concentrated supervision I'd spend most of that time staring at the materials and trying to puzzle out how they'd be cut and assembled, while the other kids just Sorted It Out.

Couple hours a week, and pressure to grab tools and crack on. No bloody wonder I couldn't do it.

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Went and got Yet More 3/4" ply today, to build a bookcase for my daughter, and whoa. I can build stuff now and it's no big deal.

I got a "U" in my GCSE CDT. A "U" is what you get when you can't even scrape an F, a "U" is a "You've dropped below a failing grade, let neither of us speak of this again" type of situation.

Well heck of course I got a U in woodworking, I'm dyspraxic!

What if a gimmick Fps game where your only weapon is a single barreled shotgun, but you can get powerups that give you a "damage multiplier" in the form of actually being a BARREL multiplier which can keep stacking to nearly NIS levels of ridiculousness, but each additional barrel means extra ammo usage, additional physics pushback, AND additional damage potential due to how many pellets are fired?

Could be called "Superlative Shotgun"

"chimneys are just toilets for very tall people."

-- fred dibnah. toilet abolitionist (1938-2004)

Haha sudden realisation that I've been computer programming for like 30 years and professionally for 20ish and I never post about it

Only thinking about this because people are Vaguely Alluding to monads and I thought they were talking about a computer programming thing

Have a picture of Stewart, the Official Cat of Improbable Island.

(classical music fades out) good afternoon, you're listening to Thinking Allowed on BBC Radio 4, where we'll be talking to broadcaster Horence Chumley about his new book, "The Me Of I" (10 minutes later) how is that racist? i challenge you to find anything racist in what i've just said

I do kinda wish we'd all gone for "home server that you connect to to access your private stuff when out and about" instead of "store all your private shit unencrypted on our servers, by the way if we get a court order for your stuff we will hand it over with no objection"

oh well

We still know yards and miles 'cause of signs, but walking feels more natural in metres. It's more human-scaled. A four-year-old can walk 1km with you to the playground when it's 20 Celsius, but a mile would be too far.

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The machines that make jam jars must be built by the Old Ones, 'cause you can still buy 454g of marmalade. In my headcanon they look like my nan's sewing machine, all cast iron and pride, and it'll be another century before they break down hard enough that we get 500g jam jars.

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And then you know that people notice price hikes and let's be honest it's not the raw materials that cost the money, and you're saving money on labour with the new metric machines anyway - so a young lad in the middle of a metric conversion gets used to seeing weird numbers of grams get rounded up, and big yellow stripes on the packaging saying "9% EXTRA FREE!" or some other counterintuitive percentage.

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The machines that pack food and drink need maintenance, and parts made in imperial measurements become more of a specialty item over time. When a machine's knackered enough that the parts cost is getting prohibitive, and the new machines are so much quieter and take less electricity and don't need greased in as many places and don't use weird exotic sizes of bearings, you've gotta decide whether to pack 900g or a kilo when you'd previously packed two pounds. 908g is just weird after all.

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Temperatures were in centigrade when it was cold, and fahrenheit when it was hot, until enough old people had passed away that we could all agree that 30 degrees was hot.

In the 90's, when I was just a boy, nobody under 40 knew what freezing point at Fahrenheit was. In the 2000's, nobody under 50 knew it. In the 2010's, nobody under 60 knew it, and this is a slow and lazy way to transition to international measurements; just teach the kids that 0 is freezing and 30 is too hot, and wait.

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