On 20th Jan, I received an email from a Lynn Goh Lee Yin (using her hotmail address) who urgently wanted to convert a Delphi project to C#.

Doing an IP lookup on the sender address, I uncovered her as either a student or staff from the National Technological University of Singapore, and agreed to meet her up at Bukit Batok's West Mall's Deli France cafe at 9pm.

The story which she told, and which I partially deduced, is as follows.

She is working on a DVD copier project, either as a team, or as a group, with a student of a Master degree. Instead of being original and designing the entire software by themselves, they took to the Internet and downloaded an open source software written in Delphi.

No one did anything for a total of 6 months, and now that the project is due in less than a week, she wanted me to get the entire Delphi project converted to C# in 5 days. She has tried renting coders, but unfortunately, those coders either charge way too low, at US$50, or way too high. That, and the fact that those coders were not physically located in Singapore.

Sensing this as plagiarism, which I totally hate (read story below), I quoted her a commercial project pricing. She told me that the pricing is out of her budget and she has to discuss with her project mates.

I gave her my name card, said some pleasantries and left.

I doubt I will see her again.

In 2000, when I first did my University thesis project, I had a total of 5 years of experience in Delphi (plus 13 years background in Turbo Pascal). It took me 6 months to design, code and implement the entire project and about 1 and 1/2 months to document it. And how much marks did I get for the original project? 48 marks. However, it was sufficient to pass the project.

A friend, who goes by the name of Luke Ong, took about 2-3 days to copy and modify an essay, and submitted it as HIS project. Guess what he got for his ingenuity? An upper second class honours.