Friday, 17 August 2007

Quicken Suckens

I've used Quicken for my personal record keeping for more than a decade (on and off), and it can be a very useful tool for tracking expenses, budgeting and maintaing investment records (but takes a lot of time to keep my records 100% up to date). I had a free copy of Quicken 2006 installed on my laptop that I got with a magazine last year, but I hadn't used it much during the past year and it expired in June. I wanted to start tracking my accounts properly from 1 July on my new Dell PC, so I had filled in an online request to be mailed a CD of the trial version of Quicken2007 back in July, but nothing ever arrived. I finally gave up waiting for the CD and downloaded the "Free 90 trial version" of Quicken2007 Personal Plus off the Australian website of Quicken. The download and install went OK, but when I tried running the program it crashed out as soon as it got to the end of the initial account setup process. I tried a second time and had the same problem, so I made note of the error report ID. BUT, when I checked the email account that I'd used to sign up for the free trial there was only the initial download licence email, and no autoresponder regarding the two error reports that had been sent in. I therefore doubt that I'll be getting any response to the two error reports, and don't want to have to spend time on the phone (NOT a free call) trying to find out what's wrong.

I'm sorely tempted to just uninstall the 2007 trial version and try to install an old 1995 copy of Quicken for Windows. I've no idea if it would run OK under Vista, but at least it didn't expire after 12 months of use. It had the same based stock transaction and account keeping functions that the newer versions have, but just lacked the online automatic updates off stock price data and bank account info. Since I track my stock portfolio valuations via my margin loan accounts I don't need that info within Quicken, just the actual contract note details for capital gains tax calculations. I also don't find any use for automatically downloading bank transactions - my main account is a credit union account (that doesn't charge fees and has free cheques), and Quicken doesn't include it on the list of supported financial institutions anyhow. If I wanted to I can download a transaction file from the credit union website to import into quicken, but I tend to enter transactions manually each day and just reconcile them against the monthly account statement.

Copyright Enough Wealth 2007

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