keeping track of personal finance

26 08 2008

Some of the tools that I had tried to keep my finances organized:

Desktop Tools

  • Microsoft Money: Remember trying it few times. I think this was the last one I tried before leaving US.
    • Eye candy interface
    • can download transaction from banks
    • somewhat confusing interface
    • overkill
  • Quicken: Somehow I never had plesant experience with Quicken. Iam sure its just me since it has millions of happy users.


  • Spreadsheet: Riight after moving to India, I used to maintain a spreadsheet with some formulas. Not to fancy and it did work for me for few months. Then I just got lazy.
    • Simple
    • Not shared.
  • Google SpreadsheetsThere are several innovative usages of google spreadsheet, including this one.
    • work proxy blocks google docs. Sigh!
  • SimplePlanning:
    • Excel based formulas ($10). have n’t tried.

Online Tools

  • ExpenseRegister
    • simple interface
    • supports categories
    • supports sub catagories
    • support type
    • has several report types
  • ExpenseView
    • Simple, clean web2.0 interface
    • Supports categories
    • No type (cash/debit/…)
    • breakup, summary, etc.
    • Integrates into igoogle
  • mint
    • Interface looks polished
    • has some positive reviews elsewhere
    • requires to enter bank and card info. — skipping
  • Geezeo:
    • a review here.
    • signed up and it looks much too jazy for me.

More Info:



15 07 2008

Read about this Desktop blog management s/w in another blog and tried. Its quite handy and featurerich.

Testing BlogJet

22 05 2008

I have installed an interesting application – BlogJet. It’s a cool Windows client for my blog tool (as well as for other tools). Get your copy here:

And oh, btw this also helps in bypassing the proxy over http. Iam not how this works since this client also has to go thru the same http proxy, but when connecting via BlogJet, Iam able to post messages (as evident from this post 🙂

Time to move off hostultra?

24 10 2007

Not that Iam unhappy with them. With a price tag of $20 per year for the mini package, Iam quite happy. Their support turn around time is usually reasonable. The site had been … whenever I tried. (I don’t use it that often though).

  • Windows hosting
  • I was trying to use WordPress on the site and it seemd like a big task … installing MySQL and everything. Iam sure it would be easy once I do it once.
  • Web space is 200MB (well … you get what you pay for So far, it was ok. But if you host audio / video it would be too little)
  • No SSH

So, I was browsing around and find these to be reasonably priced for reatures.

  • LunarPages: $ 7/mo, 300G, IMAP, Blog, Wiki, Audo & Video streaming, (no SSH ?)
  • DreamHost: $10 – 6 /year (1 yr, 2yr, 3yr, 5yr or 10yr contract); custs say they increase limit every now and then, Debian Linux, IMAP, Free Domain, PHP, SSL, Audio and video streaming, Wiki, Forum,
  • HostGator: $5 for 300G, $8 for 600G. All this with these restrictions … [No Addon/Parked domain, 20 sub domains, 20 FTP]

SMC E-Z Stream

17 10 2007

Got this audio streaming device from (around $20-30 I think). Basically thismcwaa_g.jpgs can act as UPnP Client and also to access internet audio streams wirelessly. A very basic web interface ( allows you to add and modify streams, the a/c tied to the MAC Id of the device. … for free for 30 days, then you pay $29.99 (one time fee) to unlock. SUCKS! The device itself does a decent job in audio streaming. Some downsides include:

  • The included remote is slow and has limited band
  • The UI on the device is basic and coarse (4 lines of ugly font), I wish they had given atleast a video out for the interface.
  • I read in TVersity forum that the device can’t handle more than 3 levels of tagging (Genere/Artist/Album/Custom/ for Eg)
  • FF and REW are slow.

Now on unlocking the device to connect to streams bypassing radio678:
Tried GNU media server (linux only). worked ok for local media sharing. (command line only, not a problem) [**]

Tried MediaTomb (linux only). worked great for local media sharing. has a web interface that is functional. Adding a .m3u (playlist) with stream URL didn’t work. The device just locks. [***]

Tried TVersity (Windows only for now)… Works great for local media, streaming and more. This is once nice piece of software. Has great web interface. [*****]

Photo Management software in Linux

30 09 2007

As Iam running low (no?) on windows  boxes at home and with my primary data disk connected on the linux (only functional desktop),  …

The choices seem to  be

1. Picasa [**]

Pros: Known interface
feature complete
web interface
Cons: Resource hog
not a native linux app

2. digiKam [****]

Pros: build index fast
almost feature complete
basic image editing
cons: some options (like export) are not available in my install [Fixed by installing additional pkgs]
Image editing not intuitive (have not played much  yet)

3. F-Spot [**]
    Pros: neat tags management (People, Events, etc)
    Cons: not intutive interface
    slow to bld db

4. KPhotoAlbum [*]
    Cons: basic interface


Other s/w

JAlbum (look under /opt)

kscope, rsync

17 08 2007

While trying to install cbrowser (cscope tag browser), spotted kscope and tried it. I instantly liked it. Has file browsing, cskscope_screenshoot.jpgcope tags browsing, tags display with in a file, tags graph (I mean real nice clickable graphs), can still use gvim if you want (with external browser). Nad its light weight (compared to eclipse).


  • Small foot print
  • Easy to add dirs and source files(no need to create a project, etc)
  • Shows Function, Var and Defines in side pane
  • Call graph (collapsible, clickable, expandable)
  • Allows to edit file with GVim (External editor)


  • No make integration (or is there?)
  • no network read/write (or is it?)
  • Not GVim 😦

This combined with rsync (for some reason sitecopy is broken and it does not work anymore for syncing) is a pretty and powerful local dev env.

Download files to local disk:

$ rsync -avuzb –exclude-from=/home/nram/.rsync/rsync-exclude kramer:/idev/users/nram/$rel /idev/users/nram/

Upload files to remote host:

$ rsync -avuzb –exclude-from=/home/nram/.rsync/rsync-exclude /idev/users/nram/$rel/ kramer:/idev/users/nram/$rel