Mar. 20th, 2008 08:38 am
mdlbear: the positively imaginary half of a cubic mandelbrot set (Default)
[personal profile] mdlbear

Here's wishing a happy -- or at least a calm -- Equinox to those who mark it. It seems like a good day to talk about balance.

My life, like my finances, has been significantly out of balance for years. Things are starting to find a new equilibrium, though sometimes I feel like I've finally gotten it all together just in time to be forgetting where I put it.

Things like blog reading and IM usage are still a bit of a problem -- I always tend to do the fun stuff first -- but I'm trying to limit them and have been mostly successful. This week, anyway.

Financially, it's too early to say for sure, but I may have finally gotten both the Cat and I interested in setting up a household budget. Suggestions for Linux programs or locally-installable web applications will be gratefully accepted. (The ones I know about from "apt-cache search budget" on Ubuntu are grisbi, homebank, and equonimize; haven't had a chance to look at any of them.)

I may have been the only one to notice that last night's selection of cheeses was smaller than usual.

Balance plays a part in conversation, too. Last night's geekish conversation in the office was marked by comparatively little of it; people were more intent on making their own points -- repeatedly -- than in noting their areas of agreement and disagreement and moving on to something more interesting. Yes, scanning, printing, and vector drawing programs in Linux are broken. You really only have to say that once. Yes, human interface studies and guidelines are important. But if you dumb things down to match what your study has determined to be the "average" user's expectations, you leave off what may be a surprisingly long tail of users who aren't average and weren't included in your pitifully small study. (It's my blog -- I get to have the last word there.)

I'm blathering. Balance. Right.

(Note: The trainwreck and river tags are for discussion of financial and psychological issues respectively; there will be corresponding filters for non-public aspects of these, but I haven't started using them yet.)

Date: 2008-03-20 06:37 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Moneydance ($30 shareware) is a good, basic household bookkeeping app; written in Java so it runs pretty much everywhere. I haven't seen any open-source money management apps I'd trust; they tend to be idiosyncratic (the last one I used required a knowlege of LISP) and over-complicated.

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