Top Ten Reasons why Quicken is the Worst Product Ever

OK, I don't actually have ten reasons, but top ten lists seem to be all the rage on the net these days, and I'm really a conformer.

My hands are currently shaking I'm so pissed. Why? Because I continue to use and get burned by Intuit's Quicken again and again.

My latest problem? Quicken consistently crashes if I attempt to restore from any of my weekly backups.

SONY and the Great DRM Threat (Do not buy Sony music or music players)


A while back, I got into a heated discussion on a new Sony audio player called the HD5: HD5 doesn't play mp3s!!! The device claims to be an MP3 player, but in fact, it doesn't play MP3s at all. It will convert MP3s into a proprietary Sony format and then play them, but if you copy actual MP3 files to the device, it will not play them. I specifically wanted an MP3 player in order to manage my music the way I want to. I will not have anything whatsoever to do with audio files that have been crippled with "Digital Rights Management" (DRM). Unfortunately, most consumers are not aware that any time they buy music from Itunes, Microsoft, Sony, or many other distributors, they are buying music files that are crippled with DRM. You may look at this whole DRM controversy and say, "who cares?, it plays on my device." This may be true for you right now. However, if you ever find yourself involved in of the following tasks, you may change your tune:

Why I hate RedHat (II)

Well, I figured I'd give RedHat another try. Heck, they've had nearly ten years to come up with a functional Linux distribution.

So when it came time to order a new machine for work, I selected a box from Dell (another crappy company) with RedHat Enterprise 3 pre-installed.

To my surprise, the machine booted up nicely on the first go. I was quickly disappointed with their multimedia support -- Even though users are paying more than $100 for this distribution, RedHat still does not provide a version of XMMS (audio player) capable of playing MP3s (because they don't want to pay licensing fees).

KDE still sucks, and RedHat makes no improvements here.

And worst of all, their package management solution, up2date, is utter crap. It provides no way of selecting packages to add. For that, you have to go to RedHats cartoonish "add/remove software" application. But here's the kicker: After selecting the packages you want to add and remove, this alpha-state applications prompts you to insert CDs. The problem is that the files it's looking for don't exist on the CDs that it asks for! The packages are either on other CDs or aren't included on the CDs at all. This is at least proof that RedHat doesn't bother testing their add/remove software tool. I doubt they test the release CDs themselves.

Anyway, RedHat is still a piss poor distribution that does the Linux community a great disservice by perpetuating the idea that Linux distributions just suck.

Probably the best distribution for advanced Linux users is Gentoo, a distribution based on source code custom built to your hardware. Very cool, but also very time consuming and not user friendly.

For the new user with no ability (or interest) in learning how to admin a Linux system, I'd reccommend Xandros. Xandros is easier to install than any other OS out there (including M$ Winblows). If you're using a DHCP server (and don't have to configure your own network), you can have Xandros installed and fully functional (up and running) in less than ten minutes. This is not a free distribution. The basic version runs about $40, but comes with 30 days worth of support. For $80 you can buy a version that includes software called Crossover, which allows you to install and run Windows applications right off the Windows installer CDs.

Personally, I still use RedHat's abandoned child Fedora simply because it has the best hardware support and I've become accustomed to all the quirks and bugs in any RedHat release. And I don't mind having to put in a little work if I didn't have to pay anything. But as for the $150 RedHat Enterprise distribution, RedHat should be ashamed.

Why I Hate XP

Microsoft still hasn't proved that a 1000 monkeys at a 1000 keyboards will ever create an OS worth even the cheapest 10 Gig drive required to install it.

In this brief essay I will prove beyond all and any doubt that Microshaft's latest OS release is an abominination that wouldn't even deserve disk space on a lousy Apple box.

Microsoft is very clever. They always seem to be on the verge of an intelligible and functional OS. Gates' best offering was the version of DOS that he bought from that long forgotten company whose owners are probably still walking in circles mumbling incoherencies. But soon he morphed that into Windows 3.-something, that you can see running in 7/11s and unrated banks to this day. Ironically these institutions are probably the only winners in the Microsoft game, having never upgraded the horrific OS.

A Letter to CDF: Why San Diego Burned

While the recent devastating fires in San Diego were beyond belief in themselves, what is more incredible is the CDFs part in the proliferation of these fires.

I'm not referencing any sources in my claims, however, I do believe that the following statements are entirely true based on news reports, anecdotal evidence, and my own observations. Additionally, all my criticisms are limited to the Cedar Fire, though I'm sure much of the same CDF neglect and counter-productivity can be referenced in the various other fires that raged throughout the state recently.

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