Where’s the *%^&! backup??

Just before bed last night, I was entering some transactions into Microsoft Money Deluxe 2004. All of a sudden, I got a blue screen from Windows. (I strongly believe that Windows XP is stable — getting a blue screen is pretty rare for me).

I rebooted the machine to discover that my Microsoft Money file was completely corrupted. I tried two different utilities to recover the file, but nothing worked. I then opened the file in a text editor and discovered that the file was completely blank. Aaaaaaaaaaaarrrrrrrgh!

And I have gotten very lazy about backups since I have a RAID configuration on my home PC. So basically everything in the last year was completely lost.

Lesson 1: RAID doesn’t protect you from file corruption. Critical files still need to be backed up, at least by making extra copies.

Lesson 2: I can’t trust Microsoft Money. I don’t like Quicken these days, but it’s the lesser of two evils.

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6 Comments on “Where’s the *%^&! backup??”

  1. bcj. Says:

    I use Quicken, have been for about 3 years now. It’s not the most intuitive software, but I’ve wrestled it into submission for my purposes. I learned that, as long as I’m diligent about categorizing transactions as they come in, I am able to keep the peace and generate reliable reports for tax accountants come tax season. I have Premiere Home & Business, but found the Business aspect to be far to complex in terms of usability for my available time, so I’ve simply identified the most useful features that take the least amount of time and have managed pretty well with it.

    Yes, the ads are annoying. A little backstory there – an ex-product manager for a certain DoubleClick ad delivery platform signed on with Quicken a couple years ago to work on the integration of ads into the Quicken software. Random trivia of the day.

    2 key things I hate about Quicken: It’s not intuitive, despite the company’s name of "Intuit" – and there is no undo function.

  2. greg Says:

    A bit of history here. Around 1991, I got Quicken for Windows 3.1. In late 1992, I got a Mac and moved to Quicken for the Mac. Then in 1999, I moved to Quicken 99, and later to Quicken 2000. A year ago, Quicken was disabling the online transactions, so I was forced to upgrade. I decided to switch to Money.

    The two things I like about Money is its background downloads and its support for investment accounts. What I can’t stand about Money is that I constantly feel bombarded with MSN and other junk.

    My request for a personal finance program is quite simple:

    1. Help me balance the checkbook and print checks

    2. Track spending so that I can go back and say "how much did I spend on such-and-so last time"

    3. Help me track three things for taxes: my vehicle taxes, capital gains, and charitable contributions

    I can understand the need for budgeting, but that’s about it. I might want some basic tax advice, but I definitely do NOT want insurance or investment advice. Quicken Loans, Quicken Insurance, and investments are really lousy options. <a href="rants.php?itemid=163">Investing isn’t rocket science</a> and bad advice from personal finance software actually erodes my confidence in the software.

    What’s happened is that personal finance software has become another example of <a href="rants.php?itemid=261">bloatware</a>.

  3. greg Says:

    Sorry, here are the links:

    Investing: http://www.glockners.net/ra

    Bloatware: http://www.glockners.net/ra

    P.S. Loved your comment about Quicken ads…

  4. Amy G Says:

    Just to clarify…

    Said former DoubleClick Product Manager is no longer working for Intuit, after Intuit decided to change its ad policy. I believe those ads were for their webpage, not the Quicken product. The ads are still in Quicken, and I’m afraid they are here to stay.

    Personally, I don’t like the personal finance options that are out there. Why can’t we have something simple, that just balances my checkbook. Then it would be easier to navigate, because they wouldn’t have creeping featurism (which is Greg’s point).

  5. greg Says:

    Speaking as a product manager, this sounds like another opportunity!

  6. bcj. Says:

    You’ve identified a need, you both have programming skillz, I’ll manage the project. 😉


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