21 Feb 2003
(updated 21 Feb 2003 at 16:46 UTC) »
Search for Turbo Tax Alternatives
Thanks to the copy-protection issues of Turbo Tax, I'm looking for an alternative-- there was a site that I saw someone recommend that has free software to download-- you pay only for the electronic filing, which seems pretty fair to me. However, I can't remember the name of the site anymore so I've indirectly screwed myself. I will be sure to drop Turbo Tax a note detailing why I didn't use their product this year--I've used it two years in a row, the first time someone gave me an extra disc that Intuit mailed them, the second time I bought it-- in both cases I paid Intuit the electronic filing fee. I wouldn't think that everyone out there who "copied" their software wouldn't also pay for electronic filing so I don't understand why Intuit thinks they're losing so much money. Well, they lost $29.95+$19.95 from me when they introduced the risk of wiping out my bootloader. There are many other better
ways of reducing lossage with software than trying to write some secret data-- I would have preferred even an activation style of protection ala Microsoft than some background process tying up resources watching a block on a disk drive somewhere. I wonder if it's http://www.taxact.com
that I was thinking of. Now it looks like a free-download-- and you can even get a CD-ROM for free-- giving you the option to pay $10 for a desktop-calculator program called 10-key is the way to make your money selling a calculator along with a program that was designed to reduce the use of calculators. :) The other item of opportunity is a desktop assistant which is another $10. I wonder how much money they're making from people who think "Hey, they're giving this away, I should send them something." $5.95 is a little steep for shipping a CD-ROM, but I'll go with it because I don't feel like downloading it and burning my own CD. I'm lazy. But I like the model-- I'll burn copies of it and give it to all of my friends who usually use Turbo Tax. When you rain on everyone's parade, watch out for people with free weather control devices. However, if I start getting weird postal spam addressed to Simon Pataxactrick Janes, you'll hear it here first.
Bitstream Vera The serif fonts are growing on me, I force Mozilla to use my fonts instead of whatever the page designer used. The issue is I'm using a 1600x1200 desktop and I need to force the font sizes up to a point where I can read anything. If I could get Mozilla to do the same for the Menus/Tabs/Bookmark buttons that would be great.
Disk Space Crunch I've been limping by on 10GB. Such a sad thing to say. This weekend I'll probably pick up a 60GB or 80GB, whatever the size du-jour is for < $90.
A+ Certification Have the book now, it's ridiculous that I would need to get one, but getting it is going to enable some future opportunities. I have the study materials for CCNA and CCNP as well, but never the time to do it.
The High Performance Software Looking at this advertisment from UNIX/WORLD November 1985 and noticed that the Microsoft logo at that time had the AT&T deathstar motif for the middle-o. I didn't know that Microsoft had ever made a Fortran, Cobol, or Pascal compiler but this ad says they did.
The XENIX® market is taking off. To keep up you've got to convert your MS-DOS® software to run on the new, faster 80286 machines. Quickly. Efficiently.
Nobody makes porting software to the XENIX environment as easy as Microsoft; you simply recompile the original source code.
Our full-featured XENIX languages use commands and syntax identical to their MS-DOS siblings. So you don't have to rewrite your program to move it.
Whether your applications are written in Microsoft versions of Pascal, BASIC, COBOL of Fortran, we have the solution to your transportation problems. For the name of your nearest Microsoft dealer call (800) ...-..... In Washington State, Alaska, Hawaii and Canada call (206) ...-.....
Today it is a little weird to see Microsoft say "port it to something that isn't Windows! yeah!"
Come to think of it, I think a fantastic use of distributed networks would perhaps to make a PDF library of dead-tree periodicals.
11:41am: Still Screwing around with Fonts Solved my fonts problem when I figured out that the X server wasn't loading the "freetype" module. Now Open Office and KDE see the Bitstream Vera fonts but Konsole still won't let me choose Bitstream Vers Sans Mono.