having Asperger's Syndrome Roger Dymond shone in one area: computing.
1981, when he was made redundant from his horticultural apprenticeship,
he faced a daunting period of unemployment.
Dymond's original ZX Spectrum computer
his redundancy coincided with the launch of the first affordable
home PCs, which
gave Roger the inspiration to teach himself computer programming
using a Sinclair ZX81. From this he went on to design some of the
first games for the newer Sinclair ZX Spectrum.
parents remember how he was quick to see the potential for writing
computer games and selling them to the new generation of computer-gamers
keen to test their skills on the new Spectrum machines.
its launch at the Earls Court Computer Show in 1982, Roger waited
ten weeks for his ZX Spectrum to arrive. Soon after he wrote his
first game: Roulette.
comparison with today's computers, Roger was working
with fairly basic equipment.
for £175 (about £400 in today's money) the
ZX Spectrum enjoyed 48 kilobytes of memory (today's
PCs can have a gigabyte of memory), colour graphics
(displayed on an ordinary TV screen) and sound.
also produced a compendium of children's games, which included Fox
and Geese, Snakes and Ladders, Noughts and Crosses,
Beetle and Ludo.
Webb, the curator of Swindons' Museum of Computing, has created
an exhibition dedicated to Roger Dymond's work.
told BBC Wiltshire: "What Roger achieved was fantastic. The
Roulette game has smooth, scrolling graphics, which didn't
come along until much later, so Roger was way ahead of his time."
care Roger spent creating his programs, the way he taught himself
machine code to improve the speed and smooth-running of the graphics
and his attention to detail meant that potential buyers were soon
queuing-up to buy Roger's games.
came from all over the world, including the Middle East, South Africa
by his parents, Roger sold around £1000 worth of games but
the cost of advertising meant further sales would prove difficult.
1984, Roger used his self-taught computing skills to work on creating
a computerised auction system for a stamp dealer and after gaining
further qualifications at college he went on to work in the IT department
of the Dumfries and Galloway Education Department where he worked
until his unexpected death four years ago.
and Josephine Dymond
recalls: "Roger died very suddenly from a heart condition and
went to his grave thinking he was a failure at life. No amount of
talking by me or his father would change his mind, but he was someone
very special - not only to us but to a lot of other people; there
were about 150 who came to his funeral and everyone told us how
respected he was both at work and leisure."
seeing the Swindon Museum of Computing featured on breakfast television,
Roger's parents thought that the museum would be a fitting place
to leave their son's Spectrum and the games he developed.
doing so they hope that others will find inspiration from their
son's experience and learn that despite life's hurdles, anyone can
achieve anything if they are willing to stay determined.
Click here to listen to
Roger's story. (Audio
requires Real Player)
download guide • Free
See Also: Historic
computer games go on show.
Visit the Museum of Computing's website.
The museum is situated with the University of Bath in Swindons
Oakfield campus, Marlowe Avenue, Swindon. It is open Monday
to Friday 0900-1730 and Saturday 0900-1300. For more information
call Simon Webb on 07939 582544.
your comment to this story
"Yahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhllllllleeee!!!!!!! Bless you, Rog!
great and insporational
A lovely tribute to a talented, clever man, amazing stuff Roger.
Jose and Barry Dymond are my next door neighbours.I have heard their son Roger's story and I think it is a fitting memorial to their very talented son.
A very moving story which will be a wonderful memorial to Roger.
Roger was my uncle - I was never bored around him! I look forward to seeing the spectrum in action - get it going grannie!
Joy & Bernie Prewett NZ
Privileged and thrilled that we actually met Roger, Jose and Barry Dymond's talented son. A very sad loss indeed but he definitely left his mark for society's benefit.
As Roger's boss in Dumfries and Galloway Education Department I am delighted that he has been commemorated in this way.