Alo Alo… Alo Vaikeli

I enjoy occasional Mugu baiting.  This was my first non-Internet attempt.

I recently had need to find a tenant for a rental property.   As the timing of this rental was off (it came available just before Christmas), there was not a lot of immediate interest in the property – however I did get one very keen applicant.

The year was 2013, and he introduced himself as Alo Vaikeli, providing a business card for Birkenhead Quality Fencing Limited, listing himself as a specialist and Director of the Company.  The phone numbers on this card were 022-1549264, and listed a company landline 09-482-2194.  (FWIW the card did not have a picture of him, otherwise I would have scanned it.)

Although badly dressed, this guy posed (badly) as a model tenant.  For a start he claimed to be a pastor at a church, and wanted to rent the back unit out for me as well, he also had 2 rental properties in South Auckland so he knew what it was like to be a landlord.  He had just sold his Birkenhead property to buy a large businesses and was planning on being a long term (very specifically 7 years in fact) tenant.   And here’s  the thing – he needed a place URGENTLY to move into because he had to move out of his house.

If Pigs could fly and his story was true it would have been any landlords wet dream – a long term, stable tenant with good community roots and money, wanting to move into a vacant property immediately.   The only concerns about taking on this tenant was that his English varied from quite good – when what he said made sense, to almost non-existant when questioning something which did not add up.  Oh , and that pigs don’t fly.

I decided to check him out, and play along to see where it went.  (Who knows, maybe GE pigs can fly and no one told me ?).    First stop, check out his company.   Well, good news.  His company does exist, and he was, indeed the sole director of it.   Bad news – it was struck off in 2008 – http://www.business.govt.nz/companies/app/ui/pages/companies/1915781

As he wants the tenancy urgently, I advised him to bring references etc with him so he could fill out the paperwork and I could approve his application the following day.  He failed to do so.    He was definitely interested, and wanted to pay 2 weeks bond immediately + 1 week up front and move in (with the remainder coming later).   In fact, he wanted to move in on the Wednesday morning and pay the bond and sign the tenancy on Wednesday night….  I think he was upset when I would not let him move in until the bond and payment had been paid.

After chasing him to provide the application form if he wanted the property – he was keen-as – I received a form which was very cleverly filled in – Mr Big Business claimed to be earning $800 per week, but able to afford a $490 per week property – and yet, somehow, “forgot” to sign the application form… the bit which said I could do credit and reference checks and the like.    Strangely his form did not mension his Company, his address, his houses, the church where he was a pastor.

Also of interest, Birkenhead Quality Fencing Limited, despite having lots of staff has neither Internet nor a scanner – Its director had to go down to the Birkenhead Public Library to scan me the application form.  Also no email address.  Yet it lists on on Trademe – and touts for business there.

So, Of-course, I call Alo Vaikeli  to get more information – at which point it all falls apart for him.  The trigger was my casually worded comment “I need to do reference checks, after all, I don’t know that you are not a scammer” – which sent him into an angry tirade of accusing me of not trusting him, and he is as good as his word etc.   Unsurprisingly, he agreed with the BS I made up about reference checks required for insurance purposes – which he of-course would understand, owning mortgaged rental properties himself), but still would not sign the form, eventually, angrily backing out of the deal (more or less – I’m sure he would have been in like a shot if I had agreed to drop due diligence)

FWIW, BQF Limited (actually struck off) currently is advertising on Trademe – The associated login ID is manse6 and contact persdon is Alo Vaikeli – I’m not entirely sure why Trademe have not pulled his listing as of today – but it can be found at http://www.trademe.co.nz/Members/Listings.aspx?mcat=9334-&member=4319458

Also of interest might be the post from this unlucky person – http://www.dirtydebtors.co.nz/description.php?descriptionID=96&alpha=V who was obviously upset enough to pay money to let the world – and me know.

Anyway, the idea behind this post is that if anyone googles Alo Vaikeli, director of Birkenhead Quality Fencing Limited – there are now at least 2 posts warning them to steer clear.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Getting UDEV and Touchpad to play together

One of the downsides of the HP Folio 13 is that the built in touchpad sucks – at least under Linux.  While there are some tweeks that can be done to make it “less bad”, the experience is never better then “OK in a pinch, but only just”.

One of the particularly irritating things is that the sensitivity – quite frequently I brush the touchpad while typing, which moves the cursor.

I have finally found a workable solution – leave the touchpad disabled when a mouse is plugged in, and enable when the mouse is removed.   Although conceptually simple,  the devil proved to be in the details with getting UDEV to “play nice” with my mouse.  I eventually came up with a very simple solution (this is for Ubuntu 12.04, but no doubt will work with other distro’s and versions – provided the file is correctly placed)

I created a file /etc/udev/rules.d/95-mouse.rules with the following content:

ACTION=="add",KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]",SUBSYSTEM=="input" RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/logger TouchpadOff; export DISPLAY=:0;/usr/bin/synclient TouchPadOff=1'"
ACTION=="remove",KERNEL=="mouse[0-9]",SUBSYSTEM=="input" RUN+="/bin/sh -c '/usr/bin/logger TouchpadOn; export DISPLAY=:0;/usr/bin/synclient TouchPadOff=0'"

This worked a treat. It should be practical to remove the usr/bin/logger TouchpadXXX; part – this simply logs the action to Syslog.

Some lessons I learnt along the way:

  1. Beware of ==  vs =   – It took a while to work out that “invalid rule ‘xxxxxx’ was occuring because I used = rather then ==
  2. Ensure the filename has ends “.rules”  – Somewhere along the way I landed up renaming it to “-rules”, and it silently stopped functioning.
  3. While you can identify the mouse using Attributes ATTRS{bInterfaceClass}==”03″,ATTRS{bInterfaceSubClass}==”01″,ATTRS{bInterfaceProtocol}==”02″ you can’t remove a device based on attributes – you need to use environment variables which UDEV sets instead.  (This was not a good solution here as it made the solution mouse specific)