Tag Archives: Apple

Kohl’s doesn’t really do Apple Pay after all, I suppose

Kohl's doesn't read customer service queries[Update: Kohl’s has distributed new credit cards that actually work with Apple Pay]. Kohl’s and Apple have been merrily posting all sorts of stuff about how Apple Pay now works with Kohl’s charge card.

In my own experience, this celebration is premature.

I attach my interchange with Kohl’s “secure communications” to their credit card group. This is also consistent with a telephone conversation I had with one of their customer support people: nobody at Kohl’s knows anything about Apple Pay support.  

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Barclaycard vs Apple Pay: customer loses

BarclaycardBiscuit got one of those spiffy new Apple phones a few weeks back. This morning she tripped over the Apple Pay mechanism and asked me about it. We registered her American Express card – no problem. Then we tried to register her Barclaycard. After unexpected delays, she left to take a shower. I remained on the line twenty eight and a half minutes to complete the process. The precise time came from the iPhone’s display. We’re still not sure if this worked – Amex sent me an email confirmation, but I haven’t seen any response from Barclays.

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A Jaded Look at Home Financial Software

Heath H89 computerI started doing personal finances (especially taxes) on a venerable Heath H89 I picked up back in 1980. I graduated to Macintax in ’85 using a borrowed Mac 512. I started online banking in about ’89 with CheckFree software, eventually migrated to “Managing Your Money,” and then to Quicken (who probably absorbed CheckFree’s consumer services). After that, I bounced between Macs and PCs using various versions of Quicken.

My desktop is now a Macintosh but I continue to use PC Quicken.  I tried to break free last month, and failed.

Despite having to migrate every few years, I’ve achieved a few things pretty consistently with my financial software. It isn’t everything everyone wants. I do enough to keep me atop finances and tax reporting requirements.

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iBank and Moneydance fail

iBankI’ve been looking for a substitute for PC Quicken that I could run on my Mac. I figured, “How hard can it be to create something with the features I need?” Too hard, I guess. Quicken’s own Mac version falls short in a lot of ways, too, but that’s another story.

I tried Moneydance. It doesn’t download all of the accounts I need.

I tried iBank. It came a lot closer, especially if you’re willing to pay for their “direct access to banks” subscription. However, they haven’t figured out what it means to reconcile an account without  a paper statement.

How 20th century of them.

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Time for Linux?

With international abuse being poured upon Windows 8 – experienced Windows users can’t even figure it out – perhaps it’s time for the General Public to start using Linux. The “desktop friendly” versions like Ubuntu are comparable to Windows these days, and OpenOffice or LibreOffice provide MS-Office features at no cost.

Unlike Windows or Mac, Linux and its software are all FREE. No cost for the software. None.

This is the time to make the break. When you buy a new computer, get a Linux computer. Yes, you’ll hate it. It’ll be completely different from your other computers. But then, so is Windows 8.

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Filling up iPad Storage

Biscuit gave me a 64G iPad for Christmas – that was three months ago. Since then I’ve been on a mission to use up at least HALF of the iPad’s storage space. There’s no obvious way to fill the iPad up using Apple software: iTunes assumes that people select files and dump them into a tablet one at a time. If your average file is 1/4 MB long, you’ll have to drag and drop over 250,000 files onto iTunes to use up 32GB.

I poked around on the Internet for ideas, and came up empty. Then I contacted the folks at Tekzilla, a web video magazine on tech that streams onto our Tivo. They made some suggestions that helped a little – but not enough – and asked listeners for other ideas.

Last week, the listeners came through. The winning suggestion was to use the incredible capabilities of GoodReader to upload hierarchies of files. I’ve been using GoodReader for several weeks, but hadn’t dug deeply enough into it to appreciate these features. Thanks to GoodReader, I’ve finally filled up at least half of my iPad!

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Snow Leopard Upgrade – Thumbs Up (Mostly)

I finally upgraded my Mac Pro to Snow Leopard. I give it a “thumbs up” because it was a smooth, trouble free process. It took about an hour, and required almost no input from me. [UPDATED 6/29, 6/30]

Apple Snow Leopard

Aside from a stability improvement, I saw no immediate, significant changes either good or bad. That was great. Most things worked, including VMWare. I didn’t lose any functionality, either through omission, or through “GUI improvements” that emphasize more common activities at the expense of less common, but still critical, activities.

My biggest gripe is that the Apple “Pro” applications like Aperture were broken by the upgrade. I didn’t find this immediately, since I don’t use Aperture every day. But as soon as I ran Software Update, it fixed the problem. A lame arrangement, IMHO, but at least I didn’t have to go searching for the fix.

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