I am looking for some advice from any embedded software engineers and/or mainframe programmers out there. Where should someone looking to develop real time systems really begin? I am turning 20 in August, figured I would really try and buckle down on something and this is it. I haven't gone to university at all because I still need to get my GED so until then specialized schooling is not an option. Since leaving high school I managed to pick up Perl, C, Lua, x86 (to some extent) and 6502 assembly but I'm not exactly interested in programming for video games anymore despite finding some small successes there. I find engine development and optimization on microprocessors to be much more fulfilling despite the mundane aspects of such tasks. The real question is, is there anything else I sould be doing to try and accomplish this? Are there any excersises I should be trying or particular languages (like learning to write ARM asembly?) I should highlight? Any other tips would be greatly appreciated, thanks!