A passionate post as we approach April 15

Dear Quicken,

My goal in penning this epistle is to communicate and document in a clear and precise manner my truest feelings about you, my longtime companion. Yes, we have been together for a good long while. I know we go back at least to The Doomed Re-Format of 2009, and probably significantly longer than that. We have certainly had our issues through the years, but it’s only in the past few months that you have finally surpassed one of your compatriots, and that is why I’m bothering telling you so.

I used to love to whine about my Publisher ’97, and I still do. That program is admittedly testy, slow, and irrationally cumbersome,  but the difference between it and you, dear Quicken, is that with Publisher, once one learns and masters a workaround for each of its many maddening quirks (of which there are a finite number), the program actually does what it is supposed to do. You, on the other hand, do not, and it is not possible for the user to master workarounds for your quirks, because new ones are generated constantly.

Furthermore, I generally only have to use Publisher an average of nine times a year, but with my current responsibilities in both our personal and business financial realms, I now have spend time in your abhorrent presence every single day of my life!!!

O, Quicken, how do I hate thee? Let me count the ways.

  1. First, there is your most recent offense, which I documented in the following email to Scott today.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Scott,

When I opened Quicken today, I got this:

“Critical Update Required: Install the latest free update for Quicken 2014

Quicken 2014 customers using version R8 or earlier must update before April 18th to keep access to online services (bank downloads, investing quotes, mobile sync, etc.).

As part of Quicken’s continuous efforts to keep your data secure, you are required to use version R9 or newer, which supports several security enhancements, including Multi Factor Authentication (MFA).

Download and Install Now”

Note that my machine is currently running R8 (23.1.8.8).

A few weeks ago, Quicken advised me to download an update. I asked you if I should and you say yes, so I did. It won’t run. Every time I open Quicken, it says it has detected a that I have downloaded a Quicken update and would I like to run it before opening Quicken. If I click yes, I get a “Bad image” error that says:

“C:\ProgramData\Intuit\Quicken\INET\COMMON\Patch\Update\patch32.dll is either not designed to run on Windows or it contains an error. Try installing the program again using the original installation media or contact your system administrator or the software vendor for support.”

So I always just exit that box and exit the next one and open Quicken.
1. I don’t know what that download was.

2. I don’t know how to install it again.

3. I don’t know who my system administrator is or how to contact him or her.

4. I don’t know who the software vendor is.

It sounds like we only have about four more days until we won’t be able to download anything with Quicken. Unless we are going to go back to paper and pencil, PLEASE make getting this fixed on both our machines your highest priority.
Thank you for your help with this.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
But there’s more. Oh, there’s much, much more, dear Quicken, for while Publisher is only expected to store and print relatively insignificant (and recreate-able) information like Bible reading bookmarks and return address labels, you, esteemed Quicken, are commissioned with the task of storing, updating, and downloading very significant financial information for our family and our business. And yet you have the unmitigated gall to only do these tasks if and when you feel like it. Honestly, you act more like a peri-menopausal woman than a computer program.
2. For the past three years, your silence on my machine has been deafening, as well as infuriating. Why you will make a nice “cha-ching” sound on Scott’s machine when he enters a transaction and a nice “scissors slice” noise when he cuts a transaction, but you remain silent on mine drives me to distraction. The only way I can ever know if you have accepted what I have entered is to inspect it visually, a true pain when I need to do a great number of tasks sequentially.
3. While any normal, self-respecting program will instantly rise up from the status bar and fill the screen when clicked, you, in your great pride, refuse to maximize with one click or even with a double-click. Oh, no. You have the audacity to require three clicks to maximize. Do you not realize, O Quicken, that pride goes before DESTRUCTION?!?!
4. And your disdainful habit of spinning for a hideously long seven or eight seconds before acknowledging Every. Single. Transaction. . . dear Quicken, be it known to you that this got old well over a year ago.
5. Of course, behind every nasty, pendulously slow, bug-infested program, stands a marketing company determined to get its share, and you are clearly of your father, Intuit, which exists only to steal – and kill (our peace of mind?) and destroy (our financial records?) – from us every two years, by forcing us to either lose all our information and download capability OR pay cold, hard plastic to upgrade to a significantly nastier, slower, and buggier version than all the versions that have come before. Neither option is acceptable, but you have us over a barrel, so every two years we acquiesce, pay the money, and hope against hope that your new version will fix the bugs in the current version. Sadly, it never does, and instead it adds a lot of new problems.
6. And just when I thought you couldn’t get any worse, this last scheme of yours, the one to automatically categorize every transaction that you do deign to download as “Medical/Medicines/Prescription,” well, that one may just be enough to consign you to the Lake of Fire. With literally HUNDREDS of categories in our file to choose from, why you consistently land exclusively on that one escapes all logic. Perhaps it gives you some twisted sense of delight to force me to manually go in and (guess how to) categorize each charge. I suppose that’s a choice I have to make: I can either have no transactions download, or I can have a subset of them download and all be categorized as “Medical/Medicines/Prescription.” But WAIT! I don’t even have the luxury of making that choice. YOU make it for me, and frankly, dear Quicken, I deeply resent that.
Scott just downloaded your “Version 9,” which (optimistically speaking) will surely fix some of these issues without introducing new ones. May it be it unto me according to my faith.
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