Category Archives: Great People

These are people I admire for their achievements.

Sarah Parsons

Sarah Parsons

Just a quick post.

Sarah Parsons

Sarah Parsons

I recently came across a youtube channel by Sarah Parsons, a twenty something lady with Aspergers Syndrome who has kindly created a channel discussing her experiences and thoughts on being an Aspie. Sarah shares some very interesting insights into the Aspie mind in an honest and very open way. It is well worth a look, especially for those coming to terms with diagnosis, or those who have loved ones who have recently been diagnosed.

You can find Sarah’s youtube channel here: http://www.youtube.com/user/sarahparsons87

You can also follow Sarah on Twitter: https://twitter.com/sarahparsons87@sarahparsons87

 

alex-higgins

RIP Alex “Hurricane” Higgins

Alex Higgins

I just wanted to write a quick post dedicated to Alex “Hurricane” Higgins. I love snooker and although I am not old enough to have appreciated Alex Higgins in his prime (he was world champion from 1972 to 1982), I do remember the latter part of his career and he was a truly exceptional snooker player.

The one thing you could always guarantee with Higgins was entertainment, when he wasn’t busy being a genius on the table he was busy giving the finger to the elitist and rather stuffy sport snooker had become. Higgins popularised a sport which takes incredible natural talent combined with excellent hand/eye coordination, extreme concentration, a natural talent for strategy and mental endurance. Higgins had all of these things in spades.

Obviously Higgins had his darker side too, and that was in no short part due to his alcohol problem, but one thing is certain, Alex Higgins made snooker a game worth watching. He was a breath of fresh air who inspired a whole new generation of players and I doubt we will see his kind again, which is a shame, as snooker is currently at its lowest ebb, as none of his protégés had his style or charisma.

As Alex Once said: “Snooker has gone down the tubes. It has been run by friends of friends who couldn’t organise a raffle.”

RIP Alex

ZenEmu

sid_meier_aufmacher

Sid Meier

It is a rare thing to be able to point at someone and say” He created an entire Genre of video game”.  Sid Meier is a Canadian programmer who was born in 1954 and he is a bit of a hero of mine. I am a geek, I fully admit that, and it doesn’t bother me at all. Sid is a geek too, but he is cool, because he was a geek when nobody else was. Sid has written or has been in some way involved in a large percentage of my favourite games over the years.

In the good old days of the 8bit computer, when I was young and carefree and the happy owner of a Commodore 64, there was a company that created rather stunning games called Microprose. My personal favourite was Silent Service, which was a rather spiffy

Silent Service

Submarine Simulator set in the Second World War. I spent hours blowing U-boats out of the water, hunting down Nazi cargo ships and protecting convoys. Silent Service was such a good  game was so good, that twenty years later I am still convinced that if you put me in a submarine I could drive it quite easily. Sid taught me how when I was eight years old.

Gunship 1986

Lets not forget another Microprose creation either, the fantastic Gunship – 1986. Thanks to Sid, I was flying the AH-64 Apache Attack Helicopter when I was nine years old. By the time I was ten years old, I could shoot just about anything out of the sky and take down enemy tanks from nearly two miles away. It turns out that flying the worlds most advanced Attack Helicopter is actually pretty easy once you read the manual and you get a bit of target practice. In fact they practically fly themselves. Death defying piloting skills haven’t been much use so far in my adult life, but it is reassuring to know I can blow up an enemy weapons depot should I need to. You never know when these things will come in handy do you? Cheers Sid.

Civilization

A couple of years later, Sid taught me everything I could ever need to know about business in Railroad Tycoon. I am not a millionaire yet, but that is simply because I haven’t had time to deploy everything Sid taught me. Instead I have been practicing to become God, thanks to Civilization, which is Sid’s most famous creation. Civilization is just what it sounds like, you are given control of a civilization and your job is to make it thrive, grow and prosper. You have the choice to win your enemies over with diplomacy and trade, or simply to go to war and wipe them off the face of the map. The choice is yours.

Of course Sid has been teaching us to be deities for a long time now, and Civ has been though many incarnations / sequels (at least seven different versions each on different platforms by my count), and a new one is due out later this year:  Civilization V – I can hardly wait!

There can be no doubt then that Sid Meier is a very talented chap. I must admit though, that I didn’t understand just how talented he was until I saw the video below. Sid’s old university runs an annual competition for students who want to become games programmers / writers. The contestants are given 48 hours to design a fully working, bug free video game. Every year Sid is one of the judges, and this year he decided to have a go himself, although his entry wasn’t going to be judged. Take a look, I think you will be very impressed, I know I was.

Enjoy!

ZenEmu

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