michaeljc70 wrote: ↑Thu Sep 16, 2021 7:00 am
cbeck wrote: ↑Wed Sep 15, 2021 8:00 pm
It's good news that Quicken is making money. The previous owners built revenue without improving the product in the least. But that's ok with me. I don't need Quicken to do anything it isn't already doing. I just don't want to have to replace it.
Peak Quicken in my experience was when they licensed a third-party app called PocketQuicken that ran in a Palm. You could enter any kind of transaction including multi-currency into PocketQuicken and then sync it to the desktop. Once that product disappeared that functionality has been lost forever. The current mobile version is useless for me.
However, I have found a good workaround by running Quicken in a vm on Google Cloud Platform. So, now our data and full functionality are available to us anywhere.
Can you tell us more about your Google Cloud VM setup? Like what version of Windows you are using, costs, etc. I've considered giving up Windows completely but haven't due to a couple of apps like Quicken.
I access Quicken all the time using Remote Desktop. The Quicken on the Web is good for entering, viewing, searching transactions and viewing investments. The problem is it gets your data from Quicken Desktop so if you didn't update Desktop it isn't going to show on the Web.
You can learn how to setup a windows vm in Google Cloud Platform via numerous videos on youtube. Google gives you a $300 credit for up to three months so you can play around with the vm.
To run Windows on GCP you have to run the server edition. I chose Windows Server 2019. The fact that it is a server version doesn't matter only it won't have the little doodads like Paint, etc. I chose a disk drive of 100 GB, but the default 50 GB is more than enough just for Quicken even though my own Quicken data file is 8 GB. I chose a 2 vcpu version, but the single vcpu also works.
You have to follow the directions in the video to get IE to be able to download files for you since that functionality is initially disabled. Once that's set, you can download and install your favorite browser and Quicken, etc. So, now you need your current Quicken data file. There are a few ways to upload it depending on the size, none of which is completely trivial. I tried out three methods all of which work with various pros and cons:
1. Backup the files on your current windows installation to some free cloud server using the free software duplicati from duplicati.com. Then export that configuration to a file, transfer the file to the GCP vm, install duplicati there, import the file as a new configuration, delete and recreate the database of that configuration, and then restore the files from the cloud backup.
2. Find a video that explains how to create a "bucket" in GCP. You'll have to install Google's free Cloud Tools for Powershell. Then create a bucket with a globally unique name, e.g. my-quicken-bucket-1. Then using Cloud tools copy your quicken directory to the bucket. Install Cloud tools on the GCP vm and copy the Quicken directory from the bucket to the file system.
3. The free DeltaCopy software is what I use routinely, but it requires setting up a vpn on both windows installations, for which I used wireguard. You would have to open a port on the GCP vm using server manager. Then install and configure Deltacopy on both windows installations being careful to get the file paths exactly correct. Like Duplicati Deltacopy only sends deltas, so even a large Quicken file can be updated in just a few minutes.
So, now you have a GCP vm running Quicken with your current data. You will need to back it up somehow. In our usage the GCP vm is the master copy which I backup to my local windows vm using Deltacopy after every update session to the GCP vm which takes only five minutes.
My goal has been to have a reliable Quicken installation that my wife can access independently of me and my desktop computer and that we can both access when we are travelling.
The Quicken master copy on the GCP vm is really for data entry. After the new data has been put in and the GCP Quicken file synced to the one on my local windows vm, I just shut down the GCP vm to avoid uptime costs. Starting and stopping the vm is done via the console at cloud.google.com. We can typically keep the uptime of the GCP vm to 1.5 hours per day or less. At that level of usage the daily cost runs from $0.62 to one dollar.
I expect costs to come down somewhat over time. If it becomes cheaper I will consider dropping my local Windows vms entirely and run only pure Fedora on my desktop.
This is a quick, top-down overview. Let me know if you have questions.