Thursday, July 28, 2011

iBank: Quicken substitute?

I have been using Quicken Essentials for a week, and am not happy with it. So I am giving Iggsoftware's iBank a try. Even though I upgraded to Lion, I saved a copy of my Snow Leopard system on an external drive. I booted into that and exported my Quicken data which was easily converted by iBank. I have also downloaded the iBank iPhone app, and have synced it with my Mac. 

Now, I was in no way a power Quicken user. My needs are basic. I have a personal checking, two business checking , and a savings account. I use categories for tax reporting, and don't keep track of my credit card accounts, since, yes I pay my balances off every month. 

So give me about a week, and I'll let you know what I think.

Just FYI, here's the blurb from IGGSOFTWARE:

iBank 4 delivers a new standard for intuitive, full-featured personal finance software. Monitor account balances at a glance, track your investments, maintain budgets, and manage your credit cards, savings, checking and loans — all in an easy, powerful, familiar Mac interface.

Set up in a snap.

iBank's setup assistant gets you up and running in no time. Import data from Quicken for Mac or PC, Microsoft Money, and other financial programs with minimal effort, or start with a clean slate in minutes. [screenshot]

Track all your finances in one place.

iBank includes tools for keeping tabs on all of your real-world financial accounts: checking and savings, cash and credit cards, investment and retirement accounts, even mortgages and loans. [screenshot | tutorial video]

Update your records with ease.

Many banks offer direct download for one-click updates; for the rest, iBank includes an integrated browser that you can use to import data straight from your bank's website. iBank helps you to clean up the new transactions and remove duplicates automatically. Manually record and edit transactions as needed. [screenshot]

Categorize everything.

Set up category hierarchies, assign categories to all of your transactions, and split transactions for more detailed category tracking. Best of all, iBank learns how you categorize the transactions you download and assigns categories automatically when you update your accounts! [screenshot | tutorial video]

Generate powerful reports.

Create beautiful and detailed reports on your account balances, spending categories, investments, net worth and more with the click of a button. Click on any element of a report to drill down and view more detailed information, then print exactly what you see onscreen. [screenshot | tutorial video]

Plan your budget with envelopes.

Due to popular demand, iBank now supports the envelope method of budget tracking. Plan your upcoming expenses, then save cash in envelopes until payments are due. Carry over savings from month to month, and move cash between envelopes when necessary. [screenshot | tutorial video]

Sync data with your iPhone.

With iBank Mobile for iPhone, iPad and iPod touch, you can keep your account balances and transaction history synchronized between your Mac and mobile devices with the click of a button. Transfer data over a local wireless network, remotely via MobileMe, or using your own WebDAV server. [screenshot | tutorial video]

Track investments with ease.

iBank's powerful investment management features let you record the shares you buy and sell, track the prices of your securities over time, and analyze the performance of your portfolio with reports tailored specifically for investors. [screenshot | tutorial video]

Reconcile with paper statements.

For those of us who prefer to keep tabs on what the banks do with our money, iBank provides convenient statement reconciliation features. Each month when a paper statement arrives from the bank, create a virtual statement in iBank, check off the transactions that match up, and make any adjustments necessary to keep your accounts properly balanced. [screenshot | tutorial video]

Go global.

Just like your Mac, iBank works worldwide. With multi-currency support, you can set a default currency for any account, download exchange rates and calculate transfers between accounts automatically. iBank supports localization for British English, and now includes full French language support as well.

Take control of your financial life.

iBank includes a host of other features to help you keep control over where your money goes. Use scheduled transactions to track recurring expenses, and post them to your iCal calendar. Attach receipts, statements, pictures, or any other files to your transactions for better record-keeping. Maintain accounts in multiple currencies and perform currency conversions with a minimum of hassle. [screenshot]

Discover more great features.

You'll uncover lots more capabilities in iBank, including robust data export (to programs such as TurboTax), custom check printing, and password protection for your iBank documents. You'll also find a great community of active users at the IGG forums, and if you need us, an enthusiastic support team always willing to help.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

iMac Seagate Hard Drive Recall.

Apple has determined that a very small number of Seagate 1TB hard drives used in 21.5-inch and 27-inch iMac systems, may fail under certain conditions. These systems were sold between May 2011 and July 2011.
Apple or an Apple Authorized Service Provider (AASP) will replace affected hard drives free of charge.
Apple is contacting affected iMac owners who provided a valid email address during the product registration process to let them know about this program.  If you have not been contacted, but think you have a 1TB Seagate hard drive, you can enter your serial number to see if it's part of this program. Here is the link to the Apple announcement:

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


UPDATE:  Lion, OSX 10.7, Apple's newest operating system will come out tomorrow, July 20. This will be a new era of upgrade, as this will ONLY be available through the App Store. So in order to upgrade to 10.7, you must first have 10.6, Snow Leopard. Actually, 10.6.6, which is when the App store was introduced. If you have Leopard, OSX 10.5, you can get a copy of OSX 10.6 from Amazon for around $30. If you are running Tiger, OSX 10.4 or earlier on a PowerPC, time to gather those shekls and upgrade your hardware. Of course, should you be the first to upgrade to Lion? Well, let's consider some things. First of all, system requirements. Do you have what it takes?

Mac OS X Lion System Requirements

In order to install Mac OS X 10.7 you will need:
  • Intel Core 2 Duo, Core i3, Core i5, Core i7, or Xeon processor
  • 2GB of RAM
  • Mac OS X 10.6.6 or later with the Mac App Store installed
  • At least 4GB of additional disk space to accommodate the download, but more is obviously recommended
And then there's the "C" word. Compatibility. Since Lion will NOT support Rosetta, Apple's dynamic translation process which allows software built for PowerPC's to run on Intel Macs, many earlier applications like Eudora and Quicken will not work. So it's best to check to see if the software vital to you is compatible.

Here is a compatibility table by

Will I upgrade right away? Well, I will back up my system using SuperDuper, and jump right in. Then if there is too much freak happening, I'll restore to 10.6. But yes, I am a risk taker. Open the gates and let 'er buck.

Sunday, July 17, 2011

A note about Quickbooks 2009 and 2010

What's the news for those folks using earlier versions of Quickbooks for Mac? Bad news. Not supported in Lion. My favorite paragraph in the explanation:

We know many of you are disappointed by this news. We’re sad to deliver it. And it’s just us telling you this, the QuickBooks for Mac team. Not our marketing or PR department. We want you hear the full story straight from us. All of you are important to us.

Oh. Like, "I'm breaking up with you, but at least I'm doing it by email and not by texting you". It's a ridiculous statement which basically says that if Intuit supported older software compatibility, they wouldn't have time to keep their newest working. 

...we have to be honest and say that supporting new operating systems is a significant investment in our team’s time. It means testing, finding, and fixing bugs in all three versions on all the operating systems. It’s not quite three times as much work across the board, but it is a significant increase. And that would mean that we wouldn’t have time to improve QuickBooks for Mac to make it even better based on your feedback. 

I don't buy it. Microsoft does it with Office, even Adobe with the CS series, many software companies keep updating older versions. Some of my dearest friends are still using FileMaker 10 happily even though the current is FileMaker 11.

Here's the full explanation from Intuit.

"Well, you SEE Mrs. Cleaver..."

Saturday, July 16, 2011

I'm Back!

Macmama has been very busy in the last 2 months, moving to a new home, sneaking a puppy into the house, and receiving a homeward bound college freshman. So apologies for the silence.
Here we are , at the forefront of the release of Lion, and all kinds of questions are swirling in the clouds, the very same cloud being one of them.
But, one thing that HAS been keeping me up at night, besides aforementioned freshman and puppy, is the compatibility of Quickbooks 2011, which I use grudgingly but religiously. There have been many statements by Intuit indicating that Quickbooks was not compatible with Lion. But yesterday, they released an update that solved that issue. Here is the link:


Now as far as Quicken for Mac, we are not so lucky. Since the Mac version was originally built for PowerPC architecture, Intel based macs had to use Rosetta;  a dynamic translation process which allows software built for PowerPC's to run on Intel Macs;  to run Quicken. SO according to Intuit, your choices are:

1. Use Quicken Essentials (Aughhhh!!!)
2. Use (hmmm)
3. Use Quicken for Windows (now come on!!)

Look at the full explanation here:

Intuit 'splains

So I am using Quicken Essentials, and as a long time Quicken user, I do not like it. It's flabby, and looks different to me. And trust me , I do NOT need to make balancing my checkbook any more difficult than it already is.

OK, time to take the puppy to the dog park.

By the way: