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Author: JeanDavid Big gold star, 5000 posts Old School Fool CAPS All Star Add to my Favorite Fools Ignore this person (you won't see their posts anymore) Number: of 10381  
Subject: Re: Quicken 1995 vs. 2001 vs. 2003 Date: 1/27/2003 4:18 PM
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I have long been a loyal Quicken user - since at least 1995 - probably earlier. However, when I upgraded to 2001 I was very much displeased with the changes made to the interface.

I consider myself to be a disloyal Quicken user. I hate it. It is way too flakey, customer support is zero, bugs do not seem to get fixed, they force me to have Microsoft Internet Explorer on my machine, and many other annoyances. Also, there is no instruction manual worth the name. Everything must be done by trial and error. On-line help is useless. I am running GnuCash in parallel, but that is a pain, too, as it is less developped than Quicken, though that may be a blessing in disguise. Many people do not like GnuCash because it does everything using the double-entry bookkeeping model. I think that is a good feature, though.

A separate but equally annoying feature is the budget reports. I find the these features to be less than what one would expect these days...

I do not know what you expect. I expect the worst. I tried using the budgeting in Quicken 98 and Quicken 99 and found it useless.

My question is, is 2002 or 2003 significantly different than 2001? If so, I may give it a try.

I never ran Q2001. I got disgusted in running a new upgrade every year to get more features I did not want, got a new database design each year so that TurboTax would not import from Quicken unless it was very new, and different categories for things, so that now I have both Gift Given and Gifts Given as categories. Why the hell did they do that?! 8-(

Also, they are too smart by half. When I upgraded to Q2003, I notice it takes 4 floppies to do a backup instead of 2 or three. I notice that for every stock I have, they have gone into past history and gotten me quotes back to about 1994. Swell, but I do not need them. Perhaps that is why the database got bigger. It will take a while to thin out those quotes.

Are the budget reporting features any better? If so....again, perhaps I'll give Quicken another chance.

I use as few of the reports as possible because I cannot understand them. They should be pretty obvious, but they are not. I do not know how they calculate things, and the things never agree with what I have in spreadsheets. So the spreadsheet programs use different algorithms for rates of return calculations, etc. The big trouble is that even if a better program came along, putting data back to 1967 (when I started investing) into the new program would be problematic since the qdf files are ambiguous, so stuff cannot always be imported. Sometimes on year's quicken makes mistakes importing the previous year's. And TurboTax does not always understand the categories from Quicken, so it imports wrong.

Any input regarding 2002 and 2003 improvements over 2001 appreciated.

I think the two guys upstairs from the garage in the back yard who originally designed Quicken have retired. No one since has had a clue as to how the program works, but they keep putting band-aids, bells, whistles, and a duck, onto the incomprehesible foundation. Someone should design and build it right. I think GnuCash is going in the right direction, but it is not a drop-in replacement for Quicken yet.
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