George V. Reilly


When I was a boy, anytime we said ‘Dundrum’ (a suburb of Dublin), it was with a snigger, because it was synonymous in our minds with the mental asylum located there. Nowadays, Dundrum is much better known as the home of a large shopping centre. I'm so out of touch with Dublin that I hadn't realized that there was a major new shopping centre there. I assumed that people were talking about the unim­pres­sive little centre that I remembered there from my childhood. Until today, when we went there to return the mobile phone that we had given my mother for Christmas.

Dundrum was, indeed, a madhouse. There's much talk of a continue.

Usability testing dasBlog installation

I've been hanging out on the dasBlog de­vel­op­er­s' mailing list for the last couple of months, and I've made some minor con­tri­bu­tions to the code.

I sent the following email to the de­vel­op­er­s' list last night.

My wife has decided to start a blog for Team Ireland in the 2006 Knitting Olympics, and she asked me to install dasBlog on her site. I decided that this was an excellent op­por­tu­ni­ty to do some usability testing on the in­stal­la­tion in­struc­tions for dasBlog. I asked her to try installing dasBlog, while I watched. I promised that I would bail her out if she got mired too deeply.

Emma has worked as a black-box continue.

16-digit credit card numbers

I cannot look at a 16-digit credit card number and tell whether I've mistyped it or not. And neither can anyone else. I can, however, easily examine four separate four-digit numbers and spot typos.

1341329913245890 or 1341 3299 1324 5890? The choice is obvious. Yet most websites will not accept anything but the 16-digit string. It's a trivial matter to strip the spaces and normalize the credit card number, and it speaks to the in­com­pe­tence of many website developers that they don't do this. The cognitive burden should be pushed onto the programmer, not the user.

On a related note, Irish people write phone numbers as a seven-digit string. I can't continue.