Tuesday, June 07, 2005

My kingdom for a decent personal finance app

About six months ago, my wife and I made the big switch to a mac. Great! No more spyware! When I don't know how to navigate the GUI, I can drop into the CLI and fix things there! The switch was nearly a complete success.

Until we switched from MS Money to Quicken Mac.

I soon learned that this app is almost universally reviled, for good reason. Trying to describe the ways in which it is broken would take hours. At the root, the problem is that the interface is just a series of co-existing application windows with no defined interaction. Trying to find the right window for a given task requires examing all the windows, and when you get there, you find that the transaction you want to work with hasn't made it to that window yet.

I've looked into some of the alternatives like MoneyDance, but nothing is all that appealing -- especially given the overhead of transitioning among data file formats. My best bet at this point might be to start running MS Money on Virtual PC, thereby undoing much of the benefit of the switch.

None of which is to say that that Intuit appears to have noticed. In all the forums with rants and raves against Intuit, there's no indication that they've tried to address any of it. One might think they'd at least want to address the fray on the amazon comments page, but they haven't bothered yet.

I have tried unsuccessfully to track down the email address for the product manager for Quicken Mac at Intuit (I think the culprit is Adam Samuels). If you have it, please leave a comment. Someone needs to make his life painful enough that something starts to change.

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