I thought I’d have a little fun tonight… 🙂
I toss the term “operating system” around fairly frequently when talking about Asperger’s/autism. This is because that’s how I think of it. It’s akin to a different operating system (a concept which is fleshed out more thoroughly in this post). It’s not a lesser operating system; it’s just different. It has different “specs”, “requirements”, “code”, and even “bugs” or quirks. It has its own programming language. It even has its own “apps”. It runs on a different platform altogether, kind of like Mac and Windows.
Some Asperger’s/Autistic Operating Systems (AOS’s) come with different “apps”. Some are part of the original AOS, whereas others have been added over time, and still others must be added by the individual aftermarket. Depending on multiple factors (the age of the person, the culture in which they grew up, the “manufacturers” or the parents (genetics), etc), as well as “preferences”, “settings”, and the overall health and stability of the “system” and its “parts”, the AOS varies from “machine” to “machine” (person to person), but most of us can “read” each others’ “files” and build a life (more or less) around our AOS.
I thought I’d tell you more about some of the apps that came with my own AOS; maybe you’ve got some of these onboard your system, maybe you’ve got some that I haven’t found yet, and maybe there are some that you haven’t found yet but find that you want to add. It’s all about the “file-sharing” 😉
So here are some of the AOS apps I can think of, and a little information about them:
My “Facetime”/Peopling app (Professional version) runs best in the morning, about 2-3 days per week. It’s not very sophisticated, but it can perform basic functions. It takes a long time to initiate. It gets cludgy and slow after a short time, though, and must be shut down for the day after only light-to-moderate (by neurotypical standards) activity.
My “Facetime”/Peopling app (Home Edition) runs pretty much any time. Its features are limited, and it can only handle databases of a select few people at one time. As I add another person to the app’s database, another might fall off the radar. I like my Peopling Home Edition, though; it’s fun and it can actually relieve stress, although sometimes it can cause stress, during which my Alone Time app is the only restore option.
My Driving app runs fairly well any time I want to open it, but it’s a big drain on my resources and it causes a lot of anxiety to the main system. When it’s running, I have to shut down all other apps except maybe the Music app, which seems to help my Driving app run smoother.
My Alone Time app is amazing and I might run it all day if I could! It’s pretty up-to-date and feature-rich, and I feel very comfortable running it. It has this effect of resetting all the other apps and clearing out the cache of stress that they’ve accumulated on the main operating system.
My Creativity and Systemizing apps are top-notch, so efficient that they run in the background. Even if I try to temporarily shut them down, they pop up at random and start running. I’m not even sure I’ve ever shut them down. They’re pretty integral to the main operating system. Sometimes they add unwanted data, or distract me from running other apps, but they’re fun.
My Independent Work & Analysis app is another resource hog. It, too, takes a while to boot up but once it’s up and running, it’s a pretty powerful little program. It works hand in hand with my Creativity and Systemizing apps, but unlike them, it sometimes shuts down or crashes unexpectedly and when it does, nothing brings it back up; I simply have to wait until the next day.
My Unwritten Social/Society Rules app didn’t come with my basic AOS, so I had to install it separately, later and gradually. It doesn’t actually have any onboard functions or features, but I can write to the program as I come across embarrassing and awkward situations or commit social faux pas. It only writes new information upon the social crash and burn, though, and usually as a result of disapproval from other people. My AOS doesn’t actually write any new information to this app.
My Intimacy app is very outdated and essentially nonfunctional, but that’s OK, because my AOS can function just fine without it. It might be fun to run sometimes, but the benefit is limited, and I have to shut down ALL other apps in order to run it, so it’s usually not worth it.
My Reading app came almost installed with the original AOS; it was installed easily and early on. It’s fairly versatile, and resides in my AOS’s system tray. I can use it for work or pleasure. I usually have to run my Reading app when also running my Independent Work & Analysis app, and it can be required in order to run my Creativity or Systemizing apps, depending on what I’m using the latter apps for.
My Learning App runs selectively – sometimes it runs when I want it to, sometimes it doesn’t, and sometimes it runs when I don’t need it to. It’s pretty random that way. It does require that my Systemizing app is already running. I definitely prefer my Memory app to be running and working well, too. It doesn’t necessarily require my Reading app to be running; in fact, running those two apps simultaneously can make my AOS system unstable, but sometimes it can be necessary to do so. It’s much more efficient with graphics than it is with text; it’s much more image-heavy.
My Memory app is a little spotty, but usually works OK, as long as I’m not under stress, my battery isn’t low, and no one’s trying to install other apps, especially the Multitasking app. Sometimes it randomly shuts down, even for a minute, but can easily boot back up, if the system resources are available. The files are fairly large, but the backup drive used to save them is quite sufficient, and both the drive and the memory files are resistant to degradation, so they can be preserved for decades. Some of those files aren’t wanted, but can’t be erased. Once memory files are saved, they can be retrieved quickly, but are permanent. Sometimes the Memory app can run spontaneously, opening memory files that I may or may not want. Sometimes this makes me laugh or cry out of the blue, which can be a little unsettling. Luckily, this happens mostly while running my Alone Time or Creativity apps.
My AOS also came with a Jukebox app! This one is fun and efficient. Using the Memory app, it can play random songs from a lifelong playlist. Sometimes it plays the song just as I heard it; other times it loops certain parts over and over again; sometimes it will transpose the song to a different key or create its own remixes, and still other times it will create mashup/mixes between songs. It takes few system resources, and can run simultaneously in the background with many other apps, without making those apps unstable. In fact, it can help other apps work more efficiently and stably. Sometimes it even prevents them from crashing or quitting suddenly. It can load music files and start playing them–and shut back down–spontaneously, without causing any damage or instability to the system. It rocks!
Unlike other AOS systems, mine DID come with a Hugs/Touch/Affection app already pre-installed. This often helps me debug my system (calm down and clear stress cache) after using my Driving or Peopling apps for too long. It works with both animals and people, and although it readily accepts certain people, those people must already be loaded into a database specific to the Hugs/Touch/Affection app. My Intuition/Sixth Sense app must already have approved those people in order for the Hugs/Touch/Affection app to work. The app does have a few peripheral functions; it can run in its own “safe mode” in which I can accept touch/hugs/affection from people not in the database, as long as Trust Issues app hasn’t flagged them for some reason.
My Intuition/Sixth Sense app has developed over time; it started out pretty clunky and archaic, but it has evolved into a swift, sleek piece of art over time, through my waitressing years, as well as painful experiences of betrayal, lies, and theft. These days, it comes with its own onboard proximity reader that lets me size up people from yards away, or even from inside vehicles or on TV/video (!). It doesn’t work so well on radio/audio, though.
My Trust Issues app is actually an extension of or plug-in for the Intuition/Sixth Sense app that came available after a few major updates to said Intuition/Sixth Sense app. It essentially functions as an antivirus program that runs in the background whenever I’m around people. It even considers people closest to me, like my partner and other immediate family. No one slips ever its ever-watchful radar.
My AOS did not come with much of an Executive Function app, so I had to add that later, but I could only find a basic version. It’s a little bit of a system resource hog, and it’s pretty buggy. Sometimes I can get it to load, and other times I can’t. It definitely stops working when my battery isn’t completely charged, usually about the same time that my Learning, Creativity, Systemizing, and Independent Work & Analysis apps go away for the day.
My Social Graces/Diplomacy/Finesse app did not come onboard my original AOS, either, but I managed to find a fairly sophisticated aftermarket version from a neurotypical vendor. It works kind of like a translator, filtering most of what I say into socially-acceptable terminology. It can be thought of as almost a neurotypical emulator. There can be a delay, though; emulators by nature tend to run a bit slower. It requires moderate system resources, so if my battery is low, it might not load properly, and if I get stressed out, overwhelmed, or irritated, it might crash unexpectedly.
My version of the AOS came with a two more processing apps (in addition to Systemizing) that are pretty knock-out: a Flowchart app and an image-based ThinkCloud (aka ThoughtCloud) app. Both open “idea” and “concept” “files”. Flowchart can accommodate text a bit better, and is more useful in logical situations, whereas ThinkCloud does better with graphics and can actually animate them, and is more relevant to conceptual, philosophical, and spiritual thought-trains.
The Drama, Competition, and Trends apps are not available for my AOS. You can search for them, but they won’t be there. If you do happen to find them and attempt to get me to install them in my operating system, it will suddenly fill up with space and give you “storage almost full” or “out of space” error messages until you stop trying. (And then, suddenly, my available space will free back up again until someone tries to get me to install these apps in my AOS.)
My AOS did not come with a Multitasking app. At all. Please don’t ask. Even attempting to look for it will indeed crash the system.
Dang…this was fun! 🙂