Monthly Archives: April 2006

The Interview

Sun 04/16/2006 13:29 : While I arrived at the GPO too late for the parade or speaches, I did arrive in time for the photos and the interviews.

Little Bunny Foo Foo Says…

Sun 04/16/2006 12:40 : Happy Easter!
Now I am off to watch the 1916 Easter Rising 90th anniversary military parade. The big question is: will there be another riot?
Update: Everyone behaved nicely. All was well. Tons and tons of Guarda everywhere.

Wow, that was Evil…

I just finished my taxes. And it was EVIL.
Not because I owe the IRS lots of dough, I don’t. Because I chose to take a larger than necessary withholding when teaching last spring, I had a good padding of paid taxes with the IRS. I was expecting to owe a bit, instead I am getting a bit back. Yeah.
EVIL… because I waited until April 15th to do my taxes? No. I knew with coursework, classes, SXSW, and my thesis that I would not get to my taxes until this weekend.
EVIL because Turbo Tax 2005 has a bad, bad, bad user interface.
I have always liked doing my own taxes, it fits well with my DIY ethic and my love for numbers. I first used TurboTax for my 1998 taxes and have eFiled ever since. The glory years of TurboTax’s user interface were 2001 – 2003, they had a nice little running menu that kept you informed of exactly where you were, down to the minute line of your tax form as the program helped you figure out what was needed on this screen. There were nice forward and back buttons. And most importantly, for a Freelance Web Designer, it informed you what you had said last year and kept you honest for this year.
Good navigation makes for happy tax filing. A smart program that can keep track of previous files is even better.
Last year’s TurboTax 2004 was not so nice, but I assumed it was because I was cheap and I didn’t purchase the Premier version. I tried my best, it worked out even though I had to go back a few times through a bad navigation interface to make sure I had entered the correct values and the return was truthful to all the receipts I had in the event of an audit. I forwarded it on to a tax accountant friend who told me that I was being too truthful and needed to pad a bit, as I did not have enough expenses. I told her that I was only listing what I had receipts for. All was well
This year I purchased TurboTax 2005 Premier to guard against last year’s frustrations with bad user interface and navigation. Guess what I got for my extra $30? Even worse navigation and interface!
Yes, TurboTax 2005 has a more streamlined navigation that is very hard to move back and forward through your return. The worst was the navigation through the Schedule C for businesses, and even more troublesome was this year’s business automobile section.
In previous year’s versions of TurboTax, there was always a “Recalculate” button if you had jumped through the linear order of the navigation to fix or change a number. 2005 does not have the recalculate button and it was frustrating as I was trying to get in all of my business expenses, car expenses, and utilities. l kept having to resave and restart the program.
Normally, from start to finish, I can get my taxes done in less than 5 hours, today it took over 9 hours. Agh!
Intuit, you were not so intuitive this year. Please, get a new UI designer before the release of TurboTax2006.

The Feather

Wed 04/12/2006 00:06 – After the GSU Ball. Feather purloined from a center piece.