ESMITHY.NET

OK, Maybe TurboTax Is Worth It

I was a bit of a masochist this year. I actually did my federal taxes twice, trying to figure out if there is a cheaper alternative to using TurboTax. But TurboTax, in spite of costing more, ended up being the cheaper option by a long shot.

The whole United States …

Evernote vs. OneNote

I've used both Evernote and Microsoft OneNote for several years. While there are lots of extensive comparisons of the applications around, I think the difference between them comes down to just a few broad issues.

Evernote has these things going for it:

  1. Ubiquity
  2. Price (free)

OneNote's list is shorter:

  1. It's …

Speaking of Mice... Good vs. Evil

Logitech vs. Apple mouse

I finally had to throw the shiny white excuse for a mouse into the drawer and pull out a trusty VX Nano. The Apple mouse suffers from the form over function malady: it is apparently too damaging to the aesthetic to actually have separate left and right buttons. Instead the …

Succumbing to the Smartphone Siren

So shortly after crowing about how cheaply I was getting cell phone service, I've sailed headlong into the rocks of an \$80 a month smart phone plan. In spite of all the Android buzz of late, I went with the Palm Pre.

As I've posted before, I used to be …

New Depths of Printer Evil

I frequently say, only half-jokingly, that printers are evil. Actually I love my HP LaserJet 1320, but my Canon Pixma 620 is just plain E-V-I-L.

OK, pretty much any inkjet printer is devil-spawn, with the well-cited fact that printer ink is the most expensive liquid on the planet. Canon has …

Cell Phone Service for the Non-Garrulous

I'm a man of few words. Well, vocally anyway. My wife has teased that I must have a fixed daily allotment of spoken words, and on evenings when I'm particularly quiet, I must have used them up already. I'm not sure if she buys the "still waters run deep" explanation …

Goodbye Money

The current stock market makes the title generally appropriate, but I'm specifically talking about Microsoft Money here. I used to use Quicken pretty heavily, but I got tired of forced upgrades so I've been using Microsoft Money for a little while. Now I'm happy to be done with both of …

WordPress

After years of building this site with my own custom software, I've decided to switch to WordPress.

My previous system started with XHTML content transformed through various XSLT style sheets thatproduced summaries, an RSS feed, a Google sitemap, and a common appearance across all the pages. The whole process was …

Matches and Bulk Actions

I noticed again this morning that Quicken was still unable to download my credit card transactions online. It hasn't worked since some time in February. The error message said that my PIN or Customer ID was wrong. I know I've double-checked the PIN previously, so I figured it must be …

Design by Contract: Is It Worth It Without Language Support?

This is a continuation of thoughts after reading Design by Contract by Example by Richard Mitchell and Jim McKim. This time I want to write a little about design by contract without direct language support. What do you give up without language support, and is it still worth it to …