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April 9, 2014

Jonathan Tobin: Why Did Kerry Lie About Israeli Blame?

Samuel G. Freedman: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Jessica Ivins: A resolution 70 years later for a father's unsettling legacy of ashes from Dachau

Kim Giles: Asking for help is not weakness

Kathy Kristof and Barbara Hoch Marcus: 7 Great Growth Israeli Stocks

Matthew Mientka: How Beans, Peas, And Chickpeas Cleanse Bad Cholesterol and Lowers Risk of Heart Disease

Sabrina Bachai: 5 At-Home Treatments For Headaches

The Kosher Gourmet by Daniel Neman Have yourself a matzo ball: The secrets bubby never told you and recipes she could have never imagined

April 8, 2014

Lori Nawyn: At Your Wit's End and Back: Finding Peace

Susan B. Garland and Rachel L. Sheedy: Strategies Married Couples Can Use to Boost Benefits

David Muhlbaum: Smart Tax Deductions Non-Itemizers Can Claim

Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D.N., C.D.E : Before You Lose Your Mental Edge

Dana Dovey: Coffee Drinkers Rejoice! Your Cup Of Joe Can Prevent Death From Liver Disease

Chris Weller: Electric 'Thinking Cap' Puts Your Brain Power Into High Gear

The Kosher Gourmet by Marlene Parrish A gift of hazelnuts keeps giving --- for a variety of nutty recipes: Entree, side, soup, dessert

April 4, 2014

Rabbi David Gutterman: The Word for Nothing Means Everything

Charles Krauthammer: Kerry's folly, Chapter 3

Amy Peterson: A life of love: How to build lasting relationships with your children

John Ericson: Older Women: Save Your Heart, Prevent Stroke Don't Drink Diet

John Ericson: Why 50 million Americans will still have spring allergies after taking meds

Cameron Huddleston: Best and Worst Buys of April 2014

Stacy Rapacon: Great Mutual Funds for Young Investors

Sarah Boesveld: Teacher keeps promise to mail thousands of former students letters written by their past selves

The Kosher Gourmet by Sharon Thompson Anyone can make a salad, you say. But can they make a great salad? (SECRETS, TESTED TECHNIQUES + 4 RECIPES, INCLUDING DRESSINGS)

April 2, 2014

Paul Greenberg: Death and joy in the spring

Dan Barry: Should South Carolina Jews be forced to maintain this chimney built by Germans serving the Nazis?

Mayra Bitsko: Save me! An alien took over my child's personality

Frank Clayton: Get happy: 20 scientifically proven happiness activities

Susan Scutti: It's Genetic! Obesity and the 'Carb Breakdown' Gene

Lecia Bushak: Why Hand Sanitizer May Actually Harm Your Health

Stacy Rapacon: Great Funds You Can Own for $500 or Less

Cameron Huddleston: 7 Ways to Save on Home Decor

The Kosher Gourmet by Steve Petusevsky Exploring ingredients as edible-stuffed containers (TWO RECIPES + TIPS & TECHINQUES)

Jewish World Review Feb. 5, 2010 / 21 Shevat 5770

Making Cents of Finances on Your Mac

By Mark Kellner



http://www.JewishWorldReview.com | This shouldn't be a problem, but it is, and on more than one level: getting a handle on your personal finances via the Apple Macintosh platform isn't the easiest thing out there.


And, frankly, that's a shame.


Here's why this matters: On Jan. 25, 2010, Apple Inc. reported selling 3.36 million Mac computers during the previous quarter, a 33-percent increase over the same period a year ago. Coupled with the Jan. 27 announcement of the iPad and the excitement attending that move, it appears more and more home users are moving to the Mac platform.


Personal finance is a key application for computer users. We like to track our bank accounts, stock portfolios, IRAs and so forth using PCs because they're high-tech devices, assumedly super-accurate and capable of producing all sorts of nice reports. And while you can set up a spreadsheet to track a simple checking account, the longtime success of Quicken in the Windows-based computing world suggests many people prefer to have more bells and whistles than Microsoft Excel might provide. Another big plus of using personal finance software is the ability to export tax-related transactions to a tax prep program, with the hope of assuring a bigger refund.


Quicken has appeared in several versions for the Mac platform, and a new one is reportedly due this month. For now, however, users have two Mac-specific programs from which to choose: iBank (CQ), $59.99, from IGG Software of Putney, Vermont, or iFinance, $29, from Synium Software of Mainz, Germany. Both firms also offer compatible versions for the Apple iPhone: iBank Mobile will set you back $4.99, while iFinance's Mobile version is $1.99.


Each program promises a range of account types - bank accounts, credit cards, investments - as well as a range of reports, graphs and other displays. IGG Software's iBank claims the ability to connect directly with a bank, via the Internet, to download data from an account; Synium's iFinance says it can import various data file types downloaded from a bank's Web site.


Well, in both cases, the answer is yes - and no. Though it costs about half the price of the iBank product, iFinance did the best job of importing data from my account at an area credit union (no names, but they're in Linthicum, Maryland). It got the deposits and debits correct, but somehow left me "overdrawn" by several hundred dollars, a fact disputed by, among others, my credit union's online system.


The data importing results with iBank were more cheering, but wrong in another direction. Despite numerous attempts and strategies, including the creation of specific "import rules" to assign transactions in a certain fashion, iBank consistently imported my data as consisting solely of deposits, leaving me with nearly $189,000 in my checking account. (I wish.)


There must be a way to fix all of this, to make iFinance balance my account correctly, and to set iBank so that it can tell the difference between a deposit and a debit. But I'm not a computer programmer, nor am I an accountant, and, frankly, the idea of these programs is to avoid such unpleasant tasks. The ultimate "fix" might be to edit each individual transaction, but with a current count of 1,114 such transactions, however, I don't have the time.


Part of the fault may lie with my credit union and the way its computer system exports data. I'll try this, at some point, on a Windows system and see what happens there, and with the soon-coming Quicken/Mac product.


On the other hand, online finance site Mint.com, now owned by Quicken parent Intuit, was able to tap into my credit union's data and prepare a flawlessly accurate accounting. Kinda makes the software thing irrelevant, I'm guessing.

Every weekday JewishWorldReview.com publishes what many in the media and Washington consider "must-reading". Sign up for the daily JWR update. It's free. Just click here.

JWR contributor Mark Kellner has reported on technology for industry newspapers and magazines since 1983, and has been the computer columnist for The Washington Times since 1991.Comment by clicking here.

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