Tags: mac

03/17/13

  03:10:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 1773 words  
Categories: General, Computer, Home, Windows, FreeBSD, VirtualBox, Quicken/TurboTax

Did my taxes for 2012

Like I do every year, I bought TurboTax Premier Federal + E-File + State 2012 as a PC Download from Amazon.com back on Jan 18th, in part due to sale email from TurboTax. But, probably should've waited, because its cheaper now. Not sure why PC download is so similar in price to buying PC/Mac package. And, wasn't sure if I would still be on a PC.

In fact, I haven't had a physical Windows machine for almost 10 months now. Last year I did my taxes in a Windows XP VirtualBox VM on orac, since I had evolved to running Quicken in different XP VirtualBox VMs and using Dropbox to house my Quicken datafile. My first XP VM was on my laptop....and I spent part of Gallifrey One 2011 getting Quicken up and running in that VM and recovering my Quicken data. Where it seemed the best place to put the file was in my Dropbox. Have since adjusted things to make that work better to mostly cope with the locking issues between Quicken and Dropbox. I set up the one on orac which is where I did 'Windows' for about 9 months, and still use on occasion due to the lack of USB 2.0 support for VirtualBox on FreeBSD.

Though on zen, I have a Windows 7 VM (and still own another Windows 7 copy that I don't know where I'm going to put to use, just as I have a couple copies of XP still...been planning to put the 64-bit XP one into a VM on zen...but it hasn't happened yet.) Perhaps when I finally do get my Mac, I'll use some copies there.

Anyways...I would fire up TurboTax now and then, to see it get updates. Always thought it strange that after it said it was done that it would say that it was restarting TurboTax, but not. So, I never did more than see what updates it was getting.

But, I had intended to start my taxes last weekend...where DST began, though that turned out to be a bit of a weird weekend so I didn't get to it. I had actually intended the weekend before DST, but that also didn't pan out. But, seems tradition has been 2nd or 3rd weekend of March lately.... It is also for some reason the weekend that they always bring down HRIS for upgrades. As it happened this year, I did want to go on there and check something....

So, Friday night at 10pm I fired up TurboTax to see what updates, there were a lot. Been kind of unsettling lately...especially after the IRS Notice I got last year, which I dealt with using the services of Tax Resources...but it might have been a variation of a TurboTax bugs -- "Federal 2010: Customers with certain 1099-R retirement distribution codes" or "Federal 2010: Qualified Pension Conversion and Rollover" -- so I probably should've gotten TurboTax to take the heat for it.

Of course, TurboTax has had other issues in the past, and yet I stay with it year after year....

Full story »

07/08/11

  07:32:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 693 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Networking, Storage, Ubuntu

Time machine & NFS

Link: http://blog.mediafederation.com/andy-hawkins/mac-os-x-time-machine-via-nfs-on-linux-ubuntu-complete-guide-fixes-error-13-etc/

So, during the long weekend...I got to wonder why I couldn't have my work MacBookPro do Time Machine backups to a network share, I had envisioned coming up with a drive to attach to one of my Airport Extremes and doing that some day. Though it doesn't look like that's actually going to happen anytime soon.

Did a quick google search on Time Machine and SMB, and found out about:

defaults write com.apple.systempreferences TMShowUnsupportedNetworkVolumes 1

And, so trying to make it work started. I created a Samba shared named 'SIDRAT' on ORAC...which I think is the name of the removable 160G drive that I had been using at home for Time Machine backups. The one at work is named 'TARDIS'. But, I already have a Samba shared named 'TARDIS' on ORAC....that's the 1TB volume for the HSTi Media Stick. Also not to be confused with computers named TARDIS and SIDRAT. Though SIDRAT died a long time ago, and I still haven't gotten around to replacing it....it was my Windows laptop.

At first I didn't have dedicated storage on ORAC for this...I was just exporting the subdirectory of another Samba share as SIDRAT. And, it didn't really make sense for it to be a subdirectory on that share...but it was where I had at least 80GB to spare to this....the drive in the MacBookPro is only 80GB.

It seemed to start, but then it would fail. I had picked just the usual options for creating the Samba share, and wondered if the Mac needed special stuff to work. So, I went looking....

Read about the:

touch .com.apple.timemachine.supported

trick...but that didn't work. And, wasn't necessary when I did get it working. :))

So, then I read about creating the sparsebundle to get it started. There was conflicting info on how to name it....the usual was start Time Machine, and see what name it creates and use that.

So, was creating "<host>.tmp.sparsebundle" And, there were some variations on how to invoke hdiutil to create this. Well, it went further...it slowly made it get smaller and smaller until it was gone and then went on to try to create "<host>.sparsebundle". Creating that as well didn't help. I had heard about "<host>_<MAC_ADDRESS>.sparsebundle", but the hits I found didn't explain just what MAC_ADDRESS would look like, or which one to use. Decided this wasn't going anywhere and the long weekend was nearly over....I did at least (after many long attempts) get a backuppc backup of parts of my MacBookPro. So, I got rid of the Samba share and undid most of the other stuff.

Full story »

03/21/10

  04:42:08 pm, by The Dreamer   , 688 words  
Categories: General, Software, Computer, BOINC

trying to switch to Quicken Premier 2010

This is the second last weekend that I can make the switch to Quicken Premier 2010, before my copy of Microsoft Money Plus Deluxe expires.

It had been kind of annoying the last couple of weeks, with Microsoft Money warning of impending expiration and asking if I want to renew....where the renew doesn't do anything because Microsoft has discontinued the product, etc.

I'm sad, I've been using Microsoft Money since 98 (the version, I started using the software in 1997) to manage my finances.

I had originally intended to learn about Quicken and purchase it in December and start using it in the new year. In parallel to Microsoft Money and slowly migrate to it. Because I had heard horror stories about the conversion process (import/export and lose lots of info/detail)....but then I heard that there was going to be a direct conversion process available. Though the intent of the timing was still there....but other things came along and I got busy, so it got put off...and put off.

But, I had envisioned that I would finally purchase the software and make the conversion after I did my taxes (and hopefully before Microsoft Money Plus expires.)

I had never actually seen the expiration message before, usually upgrading to the latest version of Microsoft Money before well before then. Though I usually skipped a version here and there. Namely the progression was like 98, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2005, 2007, Plus...I'm pretty sure that's right, vaguely recall having 2001 and making the switch from even years to odd years. There was something that was a bug in Microsoft Money, that was finally fixed in the 2001 version. Or it was some online download data format change, or both.

At the time it was one of the main reasons I was resisting the abandonment of Windows and switching to a Mac. Unfortunately, I've acquired a bunch of other things since then that are Windows only. Though VMware or VirtualBox was a consideration...there is a new wrinkle in why I'll likely go with a Windows box as my next host. That's CUDA projects in BOINC are mainly for Windows systems. There are a few Linux ones, but then only 64-bit Linux.

Anyhoo....I decided that this was the weekend to make the start. I had been moving the software in and out of my Amazon.com cart trying to decide on when I would finally get it. But, then I decided that I would opt to getting via Amazon Download. Part of me wanted the warm fuzzy of having a physical CD, that I can then lose when it comes time to reinstall...not sure what I'm going to do with all my apps when I finally get around to buying that new computer to replace my old circa 2003 computer.

I bought it and downloaded it yesterday, and figured I'd get to doing it today (Sunday).

Well, so far it hasn't gone so well. Everytime I start, and select conversion....it goes for a very long time, and then crashes. I worry about whether things are right and don't really want to go through the 12+ years of records to see what's missing. The initial screen doesn't look right to me, so that doesn't help....though who knows.

I then tried running file repair, still crashed. Removed my password (even though it did seem to have an issue), still crashed. Repair again....

Not sure what I'm going to do now. Wonder if I can take a couple weeks off from work to go through everything and see if things are right, etc.

&#58;&#35;&#35;

Or maybe I'll just accept no more online services and stay with Microsoft Money Plus. Though its going to have a big impact on my daily routine, and not sure what it'll do to my account tracking. There are accounts where the only updates I get are through online services, missing statements every now and then, etc. Plus the online service downloads have helped me catch fraudulent activity on my cards much sooner than if I had to remember to check the card sites manually or review statements.

Hmmm... &#58;&#104;&#109;&#109;&#58;

Plus there's still that whole, what do I do when I finally upgrade to a new computer....

12/05/09

  05:36:00 pm, by The Dreamer   , 520 words  
Categories: Hardware, Computer, Travel, Scanner, Doctor Who

I got a scanner -- Epson Perfection V30

I only needed to scan one photo, and while I do have a Fujitsu ScanSnap 300M somewhere....its Mac only, and I don't own a Mac. I had acquired that scanner during Black Friday last year, not realizing that it was Mac only. It won't even work on Linux. I do occasionally use it, many for scanning receipts. As it was I haven't traveled on business since I got it, so haven't had to scan receipts for work. Though I have used it on occasion to scan receipts for FSA reimbursement.

I had intended at one time to have a Mac by now...but other priorities and emergencies have slipped in.

Anyways, while I was at Chicago Tardis, I got into the photo sessions with the actors from the Doctor Who movie, and with Naoko Mori (Toshiko on Torchwood). With the Doctor Who movie, I opted to use my own camera and let somebody snap it....big mistake. A pro knows that you shooting wide angle is wrong. I had zoomed camera to frame up me and the actors, etc. But, the guy taking the picture immediately fiddled with my settings and zoomed to full wide angle. &#58;&#35;&#35;

Also resulted in no flash. But, the picture did turn out.

With Naoko, there was an extra fee to get a picture done. The program guide said $35, regardless of whether it was done by them *OR* with my camera. Though at the time of the shot, I learned it was $20 to use my own camera...and that I could get either or both. But, I stayed with just the pro shot...though in retrospect, maybe I should've charged the $55 to have both. At least then I'd have an immediate digital copy and the matter of trying to get an 8x10 home undamaged wouldn't have been such a challenge. But, I managed.

But, then came how do I share that I had my picture taken with Naoko with friends and family? I think there was an option to order additional prints at the time of session, but that wasn't really the way to go...since its the Internet that connects me with friends and family...and in some cases the only thing that connects us.

Obviously a scanner is called for. There's scanners at work, though I'm not sure how well they are suited for photographs, and I didn't want to take the photo to work. And, I wasn't all the keen on risking running the photo through the ScanSnap....plus its a hassle bring work computer home and back....

So, since I had gotten home from Chicago Tardis on CyberMonday, it seemed that I would do a repeat of last year and buy a scanner during the usual BlackFriday/CyberMonday weeekend. Also I again got it from NewEgg.

Nothing much more to say about it, except that I installed it on my Windows VM on my ubuntu laptop....since my desktop is old and has issues with scanners (at least with the ones that were previously installed on it...so wanted to avoid dealing with any issues that might come up. Plus easier to find a spot for the scanner....)

So, here's the result:

Me and Naoko Mori

06/11/09

  08:07:27 am, by The Dreamer   , 227 words  
Categories: Hardware, Software, Computer, Healthcare

Microsoft is pulling the plug on Money

Link: http://www.channelregister.co.uk/2009/06/11/microsoft_money_cancelled/

Its personal finance and small business software package.

The software will no longer be available to buy after 30 June and anyone who has bought MS Money needs to activate it before 31 January 2011.


My copy expires in March 2010. Hopefully Intuit will have a painless way for us to migrate to the Mac version &#58;&#63;&#58;

Though there are other reasons to still run Windows at home....Money was always on the top of the list for reasons why I was hesitant to make the full leap to running something other than Windows as my main desktop system. I have been playing with some of the stuff that needs windows with XP installed in VirtualBox. Like while EncoreViewer will run in the VM, it can take up to 5 tries to successfully read the smartcard. While I've almost never had trouble reading the card into my circa 1993 Windows XP Desktop.

Wonder when I'll get serious about making the switch. I suppose one option would be to start new in 2010. But, there have been many times that I've searched all the way back to 1998 when I first started using Money.

Full story »

Now instead of subjecting some poor random forum to a long rambling thought, I will try to consolidate those things into this blog where they can be more easily ignored profess to be collected thoughts from my mind.

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