Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Quicken -- It's annoying!

I've been "using" Quicken Home & Business 2007 for about a month now.
I'm still not sure what it's providing me. I have no idea what our
household's cashflow is. I don't know how to make a useful budget. I
hate the interface mostly because I can't just look at stuff and click
a line to highlight it without editing it. It doesn't do the one
click update for a few bank accounts (it tried and repeatedly
crashed), but that's ok because the data is easy to download from
their website. I don't care about using it to make payments on my
credit cards (is that really what people want in their accounting
software?). I want to find out how much money we earn, how much we
spend on necessities, how much we invest, and how much I can waste on
stupid things. Not like I'm not computer savvy, I just can't figure
out Quicken! It's a huge pain in the neck.

Right now, what I want is to try out Microsoft Money (I briefly
attempted using TurboCash and GnuCash and didn't like them because
they used accounting terms that I didn't understand and seemed geared
towards business).

Side note, why must applications use shiny skins? I can't always tell
at a glance what I'm looking at in Quicken (for example, it's not just
them, but their program by it's nature has a whole lot of information
on the screen at any given moment). I've accidentally closed the
entire program a couple times. It's annoying!

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

driving fun

So, last night it's rainy as heck all through West Virginia and we're going 55mph through half the state until we take a break to eat and switch to my turn driving. The rain stopped pouring which was nice, but it was still late, cloudy, and dark as hell. So we're doing our best to still go 55-60 so as to not miss a curve in the road or anything. When we got to Virginia, the cars I was following finally drove out of sight but it was ok because the road was covered with reflectors anyways. So I'm in a cloud going 60 mph and the road is going to stop about 50 yards ahead of me. Not just no longer visible, but it's visibly blocked by a solid gray concrete wall. My wife saw this too and went from panicked at being on cloudy mountain highways at night to a fully catatonic rigor mortis like state of terror. I had faith however that there was not a wall in front of me and slowed down but still drove straight through it. It was like stepping out of an airplane. Every inch of my being said "do not drive into that concrete wall", but my feet said "let's find out what is on the other side of this wall and why it is on the road." And we drove through the wall. Everything was gray. I was in the Doldrums. There was no sky or ground or other cars. Just me and my wife in her car in Purgatory with the only regret being that I accidentally killed us both instead of waiting for old age. On the plus side we'd probably get to heaven together too after purgatory.

It turns out that in Virginia, they don't put the reflective markers ("Bott's Dots" or whatever you call them) on bridges. 20 feet later we came out on the other side scared fecesless, but unharmed. Death successfully averted, our hearts started beating again a few miles later and we journeyed on. It was a fun drive.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Slashdot Subscriptions for Google Ads

Here is an idea. Adblock blocks ads, but then websites don't get their ad revenue.

People pay google (or yahoo or microsoft) a fee that goes into their anti-ad account piggybank. When they visit a page that shows only google ads, they can sign into their google account and say "don't show ads for this web site". Each page costs some small amount like a cent (maybe sites can set their own rate and control with google whether it's an option or not). The money is divied between the site owner and google. If people don't subscribe, they see the ads.

Optional ad free surfing without having separate accounts for each of the websites you like.