Pumping gas and I18N.

Well arrived safely in Los Angeles last night after a very long drive down from Ashland. I made a few stops along the way for a bite to eat and to fill up the car with fuel. Interesting filling up the car has been a bit of a challenge on this trip – and its all down to a localisation (I18N) problem in the software used at the pump.

I assume that drive offs at the pump is a bigger problem in the USA than it is in Australia. Typically in Australia you’ll only encounter a locked pump later in the evening unless it is a particularly large station where the counter operator can’t keep an eye on all the pumps. By contrast, in the USA I am yet to encounter a pump that I can just start pumping then go in and pay.

Fortunately, most of the pumps support some kind of electronic payment mechanism such as a credit card. Unfortunately for me I don’t live in the USA, and can’t provide "my five digit zip code" as validation for credit card.

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