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Intuit dropping the ball? 2002

Hi everyone, had nice holidays I hope?

Has anyone tried the latest version of Quicken for the Macintosh? Is it any better than Quicken 2002 Deluxe?

It pains me to say so, having been a loyal Intuit customer for at least 11 years and having evangelized about their products to many an individual and small business, but Quicken 2002 Deluxe is crappy software. It's buggy as batshit and very poorly adapted to OS X (e.g. minimized windows can't be retrieved by clicking the links & buttons that refer to them in Quicken, you have to go to the dock and select them. Pathetic). That last fact really gets my goat as they used to make great products for the Mac.

Any inside info out there? Have they given up on the Mac just as it's going through a resurgence? Have they lost all their talented programmers? Are the executives under some sort of illusion that people will keep buying their stuff because of its name even if it crashes all the time - and by all the time I mean total crashes about half the time upon deleting a transaction and quitting the program via the menu command results in a "The application Quicken has quit unexpectedly" error message. Sweet Jumping Jeebus, what did they do to their lovely program?!

*sigh* Anyone know a good alternative? Especially one that permits me to connect to Wells Fargo and download my transactions?

[Oh man. I just read all the reviews for Quicken 2003 for Mac and I'm even more ready to wave Quicken bye-bye. "more bugs than the 2002 version" hardly seems possible. This is sad news indeed. Intuit used to be a good company, but I don't see how I can really trust their products anymore, particularly with my money. I think it may be time to write a little software requirements document and buy my codin' sweetheart some dinners at Frjtz...]

Posted on December 30, 2002 at 10:50 PM in tools | Permalink | Comments (4)

http://mirrors.creativecommons.org/

Posted on December 25, 2002 at 08:09 PM in random synaptic firing | Permalink | Comments (0)

A new holiday: Discardia 2002

I've decided to invent a new holiday called Discardia. It takes place in the time between the Solstices & Equinoxes and their following new moons. Discardia is celebrated by getting rid of stuff and ideas and habits you no longer need. On the Discardian new moon you don't buy anything or bring anything into your home and enjoy the fact that you have enough. We have a nice long Winter Discardia currently, lasting until the new moon on January 2nd.

The other celebrations of Discardia this coming year are:

Vernal Discardia: March 20th - April 1st (a double celebration of the Vernal Discardian new moon and St. Stupid's Day)

Summer Discardia: June 21st - June 29th

Autumnal Discardia: September 23rd - September 25th

Winter Discardia: December 22nd - December 23rd

[thanks to Google for leading me to Theresa who has the dates I needed in her calendars. She looks like she has a lot of saucy fun making those! Check her out, boys!]

Posted on December 25, 2002 at 03:41 PM in holidays | Permalink | Comments (1)

This is not okay. 2002

Hundreds of Muslim Immigrants Rounded Up in Calif.

Hundreds of Iranian and other Middle East citizens were in southern California jails on Wednesday after coming forward to comply with a new rule to register with immigration authorities only to wind up handcuffed and behind bars.

Shocked and frustrated Islamic and immigrant groups estimate that more than 500 people have been arrested in Los Angeles, neighboring Orange County and San Diego in the past three days under a new nationwide anti-terrorism program. Some unconfirmed reports put the figure as high as 1,000.

What the hell is being done in the name of American citizens?!

And why can't I find this Reuters story on CNN?

Posted on December 19, 2002 at 06:42 PM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (2)

We got the place! 2002

Soon I will be a resident of the Castro. Oh yes...

Posted on December 18, 2002 at 06:13 PM in San Francisco | Permalink | Comments (2)

Simply ripping! 2002

I got my present from my secret Santa today and, being a greedy little monkey, I opened it right up. The good thing about having a huge wishlist is that you really have no idea what someone will pick. I was delighted to receive the "Gosford Park" shooting script. (Yes, Mum, I'll lend it to you and then we'll watch the movie again).

Posted on December 18, 2002 at 01:24 PM in Books | Permalink | Comments (0)

Still here. 2002

Thanks for all the supportive letters and comments. I appreciate it.

My silence this week is not political or due to anything bad; I've just been very busy at work and distracted by exciting possibilities for a new apartment on the home front.

In lieu of personal content, here's some fun links and quotes:

Silly foreign Nike ads [thanks, Jun]:
http://www.setthemfree.com/movies/young_love.mov
http://www.setthemfree.com/movies/scary_cat.mov
http://www.setthemfree.com/movies/angry_chicken.mov

I was bemused to receive random greetings from someone at idrankwhat.net. [thanks Chad]

"Most people spend their lives going to bed when they're not sleepy and getting up when they are!" --Cindy Adams

And with that quote [thanks, Larry], I'm off for a shower and then bed. Not at all sleepy.

Posted on December 11, 2002 at 10:22 PM in Weblogs | Permalink | Comments (0)

Exposure 2002

I'm thinking a lot about privacy today. I had a conversation with someone this morning which left me in an internal debate. We were talking about holiday shopping that he needs to do soon so that he can mail presents and I suggested he just buy stuff at Amazon and have it shipped already wrapped. He said he doesn't want to have his every activity tracked by the new Homeland Security database and so uses cash now. It's not that he's sending people uranium for Xmas; he just believes that consumer tracking is America's form of totalitarianism.

My first thought was that he was being a little extreme, but on further explication his reasoning seems sound. It goes like this:
If all your consumer activity can be tracked, a profile can be developed and you can be more effectively marketed to.
The more you can be convinced that you have needs, the more you will spend your time and money meeting those needs, and the less of your time and money will be available to activities which corporations or government would consider undesirable, such as self-sufficiency or activism.
Further, if all your online reading can be tracked, the profile can be expanded to associate the consumer profile with an intellectual profile thus permitting easier identification of those whom the government finds to be intellectually of concern.

So. Where does that leave me?
I like the technological and design challenge of making these networks of connections.
I enjoy the convenience of my Amazon wishlist and my Netflix rental queue.
I've spent the last 4 years exposing my life in great detail on the web and it's all captured in Google's cache.
Anyone reading that could easily associate my entertainment habits with my liberalism.
And if I ever got off my ass and upgraded my installation of Movable Type, TrackBack would help in identifying similar individuals.

So now what?
Should I change my habits? Stop using credit cards? Stop buying online? Encrypt my email? Encrypt my site? Should I attempt to vanish?
Or should I keep it up? Increase it even?

There's a risk there, definitely. If "potential enemies of the state" can be identified, and they can, believe me, then how hard would it be to convince the government's corporate partners to start making life hard for them? Nothing too obvious, just excruciatingly slow processing of DSL installation requests, erroneous charges on credit cards that require wasting hours on the phone with customer service, anything small and annoying and time-eating to pull their energy away from building opposition to the present administration's goals (a big oil grab in Iraq and Afghanistan and lots of corporate handouts to ensure the current rich stay rich, in case you forgot).

It's an interesting conundrum. Vanity makes me reluctant to abandon the site (and believe me, I'd make a ridiculous number of backup copies of all this work). However, realism is bringing it home to me that I'm sticking my neck way out. Should I consider it activism? Am I providing a useful service in being visably opposed to the Bush administration? In publically stating that I'm a woman who has no intention or need to bear children? In reminding the world that not everyone believes in God? In saying that my life and personality would change very very little if I was suddenly male instead of female? In being, in short, a stinkin' liberal freak?

Plenty to think about...

Posted on December 8, 2002 at 11:54 AM in politics & philosophy | Permalink | Comments (9)

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