amck is currently certified at Journeyer level.

Name: Alastair McKinstry
Member since: 2003-06-08 16:13:05
Last Login: 2006-10-30 18:45:26

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I'm a software engineer, living in Galway, Ireland

I'm a Debian developer; Recently I've been hacking on the Debian Installer in my free time (in particular non-X86 ports and newt/gtk frontends).


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Warning: New fraud in progress

A new fraud from our Nigerian "friends" is happening in Ireland at the moment. In the case I know of, it was to an Indian student.

The student was selling an item on a small ebay-type site in college, worth around 100 Euro. The fraudster pretended to be a purchaser in Holland, 'Currenly at a conference in Thailand', so a 'friend in Ireland who owed her some money' would send on a cheque.

The cheque was for 2000 Euro; it was sent via Fedex from an Irish address. The dupe was to send on the balance to Nigeria.

So the victim, being suspicious, waited for the cheque to clear before sending on the money and item. Once the money appeared in her account (on her ATM statements), she completes the transaction.

Then the cheque bounces. The cheque, having physically looked valid, was "lodged" by the bank "in good faith", until the money is transferred from the (overseas?) bank. Hence it only looked like the cheque had cleared. It hasn't; she is now out 1900 Euro.

This happened yesterday, I believe (September 20); so this is a current technique. Most people are not aware of this subtety of cheques; the only party the victim trusted was the bank, who is now demanding she honour the 1900 Euro overdraft ...

Beware, and warn friends.

Ok, so I've uploaded iso-codes to Alioth; Try here to get some details. I'll post up a tarball of the latest version and do an upload tonight, now that 0.24 is in Debian testing.

Translations and Irish
I've been localising Gnome to Irish recently on the train; its a task I can do on the old pentium-class laptop. Translating throws up interesting conundrums.

Firstly, Irish has no words for the abstract concepts "Yes" and "No". This means you've got to phrase a lot of the dialogs carefully : "Do you want to do X? " "I do" "I don't", so you use the same verb each time.

So, discussing this with friends, we wondered, whats the first word a native speaker of Irish learns (I learnt English as my first language); normally for babies, its "no". In Irish, we reckoned, it would be "Don't!" :-)

But, A Friend Isolde is an Old Irish (languages, that is) scholar. It turns out, Old Irish did have words for yes and no. How do you forget and drop constructs like "yes" and "no" from your language?

I should have known better than to even hint that life was getting back to normal. We're back on weekends and overtime at work.

Personal life is also a bit hectic. So, Debian stuff is postponed in favour of sleep in most cases. I'll clear what bugs I can, but new code is at the bottom of the list.

On the good side, my daughter Caoimhe, started Walking! Its good to get home and see the kids. Spring is coming. I'd like to get out and see some of it.

Ok, well, death march at work effectively over. There are still demands for weekend work to get other releases out, but we will get a chance to recover.

And hopefully I get to clear up bugs in debian-installer and newt.

In particular, hacking on newt / slang to properly support UTF-8 (multibyte characters, wide-characters on entries, etc), and BIDI (Add fribidi support).

Oh, and breakage in console-tools due to 2.6 input-layer kernel changes continues, and some fixes for kbd-chooser (debian-installer) needed.

I hope to do an upload to debian experimental this weekend of these newt changes. Lets see if I get the chance this time.

Nearly six months. Should update this.

Ok, So I've moved to Dublin, Ireland to get work. I'm now living in Maynooth, so I've got ADSL (yay!) and even in range of IrishWan. Joining is on my list of things to do someday.

Only, work is insanely busy right now, so priorities are family and Debian commitments. In Debian, I'm working on BIDI for the Debian Installer, and console-* bugs.

The MEng in SW Engineering is also postponed, at least until Debian Sarge is out the door, and work pressure eases off.


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