It's sort of depressing, really.

2003-06-09 18:00

Intuit was, for a long time, the valiant little company, standing up to big bad Microsoft. But it’s been going downhill, for a long time. First came the spam problem; they started spamming registration addresses. Then came the dubious Mac support. Then Quicken 2002 turned out to be prone to crashes and occasional data corruption. Then I found out they were NEVER going to fix those bugs, and that 2003 simply added flashy features. Then I finally got data corruption that I positively could not get rid of.

So it’s gone. I’ve registered a copy of moneydance, a shareware finance program written in Java.

Is it flawless? Well, no. Optimistic, really; it shows me as the proud owner of $15,700,000 that I don’t have, because of a bug in the import of stock trade data. Which I reported around 3 this afternoon. Within two hours, I had an email pointing me at a newer release fixing one of my problems, and an assurance that the other problem was a bug that should be fixed within a day or so.

Intuit never once responded to anything I said – the closest I ever got to a response was a forwarded copy of a response to the MAPS RBL team, when I submitted them to the RBL for spamming me. Intuit never fixed any bugs I encountered. From Quicken ’98 through Quicken 2002, the program always tended to crash under arbitrary circumstances; simple queries would just sometimes crash. Starting with ’98, and getting progressively worse with time, the program displayed ever greater numbers of ads, which couldn’t be turned off. Every year, around December, it would start pushing Intuit’s tax software. And you couldn’t turn it off.

Moneydance seems to be maintained by this guy. And the thing is, the guy’s actually competent. He actually cares. It’s important to him that his product meet your needs, or that he fix it so it will. It’s important to him that his product be extensible, flexible, and stable. It supports Python scripting – maybe it’s time to learn Python.

My only regret is that I didn’t convert to Moneydance a few months back, instead of buying another useless Quicken “upgrade” that didn’t even fix the obvious crashing bugs I’ve been living with for years.

Tomorrow, when the update shows up on the web page, I’ll import my data again, and I bet it’ll “just work”. And frankly, even if it doesn’t, it’ll be working better than Quicken is right now.

Gotta love those small independant developers. It’s a humbling experience to be reminded of the days when developers were proud of their products.

Peter Seebach

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Comments

  1. HI--

    you don't know me, but I run Quicken 2002 for my company's accounting program. (You're right. It suxxxx!!) After searching around online for a list of *all* the bugs or (hope beyond hope) some way to hack in and fix them, I found your site. Have you ever found a good Quicken forum or anything like that? Intuit's site is worse than worthless, and I dont want to give them any more money by calling their tech support!!

    Other than that, I dig your website. A friend of mine uses movable type on his site and I really like this posting thing. Much more of an interactive experience!

    Thanks!

    -E$

    erinire · 2003-07-09 18:47 · #

  2. ps- in case you didn't register my email before, I've asked your post thingie to remember me

    :)

    — erinire · 2003-07-09 18:49 · #

  3. Never found anything, and now I never need to. FWIW, I do my corporate bookkeeping on MYOB's program; I think they recently renamed the Mac one "accountedge".

    You might find it instructive to try importing your company data into Moneydance, though; it can hardly be buggier.

    seebs · 2003-07-10 01:50 · #

 
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