I’m Quitting This Job, ASAP!

You heard me. It’s official, starting from yesterday I got no Internet access. 🙁

Restricting Internet access to me is like forbidding me to read books. Unacceptable employer behavior.

Sure, there are downsides of unrestricted Internet access. Especially if used irresponsibly or abused. In my case, though, I think the damage for restricting me far outweighs its “advantages.”

Who cares, it’s their company, not mine. If I would ever have my own company, I imagine enjoyment and productivity of its team members (not “employees”), will be numero uno, not formal restrictions, rules, and laws. I’m not sure if that will work, but I hope someday I will have the chance to test my theory. In my view, a good organization should be based more on trust rather than respect.

Unfortunately, though, I currently don’t have [yet] a steady income, so I’ll stick to this job until a better solution comes along…


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Quicken 2007, A Review: At Last!

In order to import my Microsoft Money 2007 data into Quicken 2007, I had to install Quicken 2005 first, import the Money 2007 data using the Data Converter, then start Quicken 2005 to finish the importing process, uninstall Quicken 2005, install Quicken 2007, then upgrade, and… finally done! It was a tedious process. But it works. Not everybody wants to jump through that many hoops though. At the end, though, I stayed with Money (due to Quicken’s stability issues).

My first impression of Quicken (both 2005 and 2007) before even starting it up is… wow! So many desktop icons (add to that the length of the icon titles)! Looks very spyware-ish to me:

When first starting up, Quicken gives you an express setup:

I never got to that because all I’m interested in is to convert my Money data to Quicken, or Quicken can wait forever.

At this point I tried to install Quicken 2005. Failed. I have to uninstall the failed Quicken 2005, then uninstall Quicken 2007, then reinstalled Quicken 2005. Done. Trying to import Money data into Quicken 2005… Successful. This is the Quicken 2005 Home page using the freshly converted data:

I had enabled multicurrency support in that. I find it weird that Quicken doesn’t enable multicurrency right from the start. After I enabled multicurrency support, I was frustrated to see them as dollars, not rupiahs, and seemingly there is no way to change this. It looks like Quicken doesn’t support Indonesian Rupiahs out-of-the-box. While I can add Indonesian Rupiahs manually using the Currency List, this is completely useless since Quicken can’t change the currency of existing accounts. Very frustrating, yet I bet none of these guys at Intuit actually care.

Then I uninstalled Quicken 2005 and replaced it with the shiny Quicken 2007 Home & Business. The upgrade process went without problems and I was presented with the brand new Home page:

At this point I have to correct many things that Quicken messed up during the conversion process. I have strong expectations on Quicken though, due to many good reviews. I hope I won’t regret my switch from Money 2007 to Quicken 2007. (later, it turns out that I do regret this switch…)

By the way I also tried to install Quicken 2007 under Linux using CrossOver Office… but failed. 🙁

Quicken 2007 is starting to give me a few problems though. It crashed while trying to update itself (no Internet connection, but why crashing?) Then at startup it says I have to uninstall then reinstall it because something is “wrong”. Oh great, as if I hadn’t uninstalled-reinstalled Quicken just that many times today (and different versions, too!)

Quicken seems to be designed with American users only in mind (in addition to the multicurrency issue). Things like taxes, etc. are exclusively for U.S. citizens. When I try to set up planning, I got this ridiculous underestimation:

Come on, I can’t even earn 100 million rupiahs per YEAR? (Now I know why Bill Gates won’t use Quicken.) At this point, besides getting frustrated, I also chuckled, in Turkey you’d do millions and billions-valued transactions daily (due to its Lira currency), I really wonder how Quicken would handle this? 😉

After I completed the Planning steps, Quicken crashed. I tried to restart it, but everytime I want to go to the “Financial Overview” page it always crashes:

This makes Quicken 2007 even more useless than Money 2007! Money has flaws in their Budgeting feature, which is very critical but not being able to access “Financial Overview” in Quicken 2007 is even more frustrating!!!

Final Conclusion: Uninstalled Quicken 2007, went back to Money 2007 Home & Business with its buggy Budgeting.


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Quicken 2007 Does NOT Import from Microsoft Money

As discussed on Quicken forums, I’ve tried it myself that Quicken 2007 does not have support for importing Microsoft Money data at all (I have Money 2004 Deluxe which I recently upgraded to Money 2007 Home & Business).

There is still a possibility that I’ll be able to get Quicken 2007 working with my financial data somehow, using the (supposedly) only option: Install previous version of Quicken, convert Money data into it, then upgrade to Quicken 2007. Very cumbersome, but it’s officially said by a Quicken employee that Quicken 2007 won’t support importing data from Money. I guess money (from Microsoft converts) really isn’t an incentive for Quicken employees. 🙁


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Microsoft Money 2007 Home & Business Review: “Definitely Gonna Try Quicken 2007 ASAP”

After much desperation and frustration (for some undisclosed reason), finally I got hold of Microsoft Money 2007, Home & Business Edition. This is because the financial software I was currently using was Microsoft Money 2004 Deluxe, I guess an upgrade after 3 years will be great. Or so it seems…

Installation was… very quick, despite my Windows XP Professional SP2 system was running under VMware. There was no message whatsoever while installing, weird. True, none of the “Copying files to…” or “Preparing installation script…” messages. It seems that Microsoft actually expects Money 2007 installation to be superfast, and this is completely true. I just hope Microsoft won’t hide the installation messages on the next version of Visual Studio or SQL Server setup, or we’ll get very frustrated, hahaha… 😉

The first impression is nice. Definitely much better interface than Money 2004, and it’s not slow as I had imagined. The conversion process for the Money 2004 data file was fast, only about 1 minute. The homepage doesn’t change much. Especially the charts, which seems to get no improvement whatsoever. Shame on you, Microsoft.

Home Page

This is the home page. Shows some stuff. Note that this homepage is highly customizable. Rumor is that Quicken 2007 has even much better home page.

Spending by Category Report

One of the most useful reports. It shows how much you spend on each category (for lack of better description, heheh…) 😉

Cashflow

This view is interesting. It shows your past financial history as well as forecasting your future financial state. I find it’s more eye candy than useful. But it’s actually very useful to predict your spending, although I’ve never been able to get it right.

My Cash Account

A typical view for any account register. This is for a checking account. But all other account types look roughly the same. The transactions and the displayed columns differ, of course.

Monthly Report

This is actually a relatively long report, showing you many things you may want to know about your financial during that month. Quite nice, and I’ll have 3 million rupiahs after 12 months?!?! Come on, am I really that poor?! 🙁

Net Worth Over Time

This shows your overall “richness”. Hey, I’m much richer now than any previous time during this year. That means I’m in good shape. 😉

Income and Spending Over Time

This is one way to control your budget, besides the buggy Budget feature (more on this later). It shows you how much you spend and how much you earn. You should automatically know that you want more earnings than spendings. Doesn’t seem to always be the case for me, does it? Hehehe… For people like Ollie, though, I’m sure her blue (spending) bars are waaaay higher than her yellow (income) bars… Bwahahahaha!!! 😛

WARNING: Buggy Budget!!!

As I start playing with the features, the Budget feature is what interests me the most. It has a new model, so-called Savings & Spendings. This is because the budgeting feature in Money 2004 was buggy, there are transactions that shouldn’t show up on the budget that incorrectly shows, and duplicate transactions, very frustrating. I was expecting Money 2007’s budgeting feature to be better, or at least not so buggy. Was I ever been more wrong:

This rendered the Budget feature of Money 2007 almost completely (?) useless. I’ll definitely try Quicken 2007 if I can import my data into that (supposedly better) program.

Other Features

I haven’t had time to play yet with the “Business” side of Money 2007 Home & Business, I’m not sure if I’m gonna need it. I don’t even know what “accounts-receivable” means.

Conclusion

Money 2007 seems to be very good. If at least it works the way Money 2004 works, then it’s good, since I’ve been using that one for a long time. The buggy Budget feature though, may really disappoint you, as it clearly disappointed me. If you’re new to financial software, I suggest you go to Quicken 2007 (they definitely owe me a dollar for referring you to their product), even though I haven’t tried it myself (but I will be, definitely). Use Money 2007 only if you need to upgrade from previous Money versions, as Quicken 2007 hasn’t yet (and their employee says, will never) have a convenient upgrade path from Microsoft Money (yes, that’s official, try reading their FAQ). While on the contrary, Money offers “Import Quicken…” directly in its menu. Some companies are funny.

UPDATE: You want to know what I use now? GnuCash, an open source accounting software, running on Ubuntu, an open source operating system. I’ve described Ubuntu before, I hope I can write about GnuCash someday.


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New Financial Software… Required?

Recently I’ve had a conversation with my good friend Aulia Halimatussadiah. One of what we talked was about our financial management. She said her financial was horrible (she earned enough but spent lots more, hehehe). So I suggested her to use the software I’m currently using, Microsoft Money (I’m currently using Money 2004).

It turns out that Money 2007 is already out. I wanted to try it too, but until now can’t get hold of the best version (which is Money 2007 Home & Business edition). Along the way I found that people say Quicken 2007 Home & Business is a better deal.

What I worry so much is not whether Quicken 2007 is actually better than Money 2007 (from the reviews, I’m very eager to try Quicken 2007 because for me Money 2004 was already good enough, I just can’t wait!). But whether Quicken 2007 imports Money 2004 data. Considering that Money is the primary competitor to Quicken, I’d expect that this would be the case.

In several days I should be able to report how I’m doing with Quicken 2007. I’ll also test Money 2007 though, especially if Quicken doesn’t import Money data.

Update: From Quicken Forums, it seems that Quicken 2007 doesn’t support importing Money data directly (although there is an inconvenient workaround available). And many of its customers are cursing. I would call them (Quicken) insane since Quicken 2006 supports importing using an external data converter program that can be downloaded free of charge. I’ll see what I can do, I expect myself to be just continue using Money (but upgrade to 2007) to avoid problems. It’s just a software afterall.

Personal note: If you read my previous post about Building a Dream House, I promised you a review of Chief Architect 10. Don’t worry, I really still had that in mind. But at current rate, I’ll be so lucky if I can get it in a week. So I’m just gonna be patient and you’ve got to be patient as well. If you have a fast Internet connection though, you might as well try it yourself. 😛


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Sambil Menyelam Minum Air == Cari Duit…

Ah… meskipun aku di sini udah kerja, tapi nggak ada salahnya kan nyoba2 cari duit tambahan. Emang sih kerja di sini nggak banyak dapetnya (kayanya semua orang bilang gitu deh ya…) tapi yang enak di sini tuh ada koneksi Internet yang sering bisa dipake kalo warnetnya lagi nggak 100% penuh plus akhir2 ini aku jarang dikasih kerjaan (programming). Jadi bisa bebas menjelajah dunia maya, belajar, dan bereksperimen…

Eksperimenku cari duit yang pertama duluuuu banget waktu SMA tuh bikin program bernama MidMaze, semacam Winamp. Dijual shareware seharga US $20, lumayan bisa dapet beberapa ratus ribu sampai lebih dari sejuta setelah beberapa bulan. Tapi akhirnya kandas juga, terlalu menyita waktu & tenaga apalagi pikiran.

Yang sudah berjalan kira2 setahun tuh masang banner Google AdSense di GaulDong. Emang sih nggak banyak, satu kali cek cair harus nunggu ngumpulin sen demi sen selama kira2 4 bulan, itupun pas ngecairin cek dipalak US$ 30 dulu ama Bank Mandiri. Ya nggak papa… yang penting dapet. GaulDong sendiri sudah beberapa kali terseok2, gara2 PHP 5 nggak jalan mulus padahal seluruh enginenya udah diupgrade pake PHP 5, akhirnya mbikin script dari awal pake PHP 4 yang sederhana, jadinya ya seperti yang ada sekarang ini. Tapi ternyata pengunjungnya masih ada aja, dan masih ada yang berbaik hati mau ngeklik bannernya Google AdSense. Saya amat bersyukur…

Dari situ saya mencoba untuk cari duit dengan cara lain tapi nggak jauh2 dari AdSense. Bikin blog… Yang saya seriusin sekarang adalah blog Web 2.0 with Ruby on Rails, tapi saya juga masang banner di semua blog saya yang lain termasuk blog pribadi ini dan blog Jejak Petualang Ubuntu. Bahkan (sssttt… rahasia lho) saya juga bikin blog yang isinya “menegangkan”… linknya untuk sementara nggak akan saya kasih langsung di sini tapi kalo mau tahu bisa didapetin dari Kaskus maupun BlueFame.

Selain Google AdSense, saya lagi mencoba pake Amazon.com Affiliate. Trus lagi mencoba advertising network yang lain seperti AdBrite (untuk topik umum) dan AVNads (untuk yang “menegangkan”). RSS feed telah saya ubah agar memakai FeedBurner, jadi pelanggannya bisa di-tracking (itupun kalo ada yang berlangganan, *sigh*).

Bila FeedBurner untuk tracking statistik RSS feed, untuk tracking website sendiri saya menggunakan Google Analytics. Ada juga sih yang lain yaitu CrazyEgg tapi kegunaannya sedikit berbeda dan CrazyEgg mempunyai keterbatasan kalo versi free-nya.

Ah… Segitu aja deh laporan saya kali ini… Nyari duit kaya gini 100% halal lho, nggak ada MLM-nya sama sekali… Dan yang paling penting, fun, nggak dikejar target… Saya ngeblog pun menulis topik2 yang saya suka. Kalo dapet duit ya Alhamdulillaah, kalo nggak dapet ya paling2 males ngeblog lagi hehehe… 😛 Kalo Anda belum mencoba dan pingin mencoba, monggo saja… Kalo Anda sudah mencoba dan dapat duit banyak, bagi2 dong tipsnya!!! 😉


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Free Promotion: Digg, Slashdot, Del.icio.us, Technorati, Furl, …

There are several ways you can promote your site or a page in your site for free, that may drive some traffic or maybe lots (if you’re lucky and the quality of your content is high), some of them are:

Note that in community-based services like Digg and Slashdot, you’ll most likely get negative results if you try to abuse it. As long as you stay within limits you’ll be loved by the community.

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