At work I got my new laptop last October. But I couldn’t get my Palm Pilot to Sync with it, so was getting increasingly worried that my data, particularly my diary, was getting out of date. Also, I had an application for managing my accounts (Micromoney) that contains absolutely critical financial data holding the state of my personal finances.
Near the end of November I decided to try and sync with firstly my Linux Desktop, and then when that didn’t work my old laptop. None of them worked anylonger. It looks as though something has gone wrong with the Palm.
A bit of searching on the internet found that a possible cause is static charge buildup, but the only way out of this is to let the battery run down and destroy the contents.
So I decided on a different approach. Build an application to run on my web site that replicated the functionality. From a security point of view that required both login and https – so that I could get at the data from work when filling in my expenses, but I also felt I could improve the application in a few areas (such as the management of foreign currency) that the existing application was poor in.
So I have taken a step sideways and stopped working on my blog, to urgently build this new application.
Its taken about one month – which was longer than I had hoped, but its working. Of course I don’t want you all to see my financial data, so I also installed demo copy with its own database and not protected via login and https.
Things I added
- The ability to work in Foreign Currencies for transactions. I must admit the way I have done this is slightly strange, but it matches my own workflow, in which I claim my expenses either as
- the result of transactions where I have paid for cash (and therefore need to remember the exchange rate at the last converion, or
- the result of credit card transactions where I will initially guess at the conversion rate using the same rate as the cash transactions, but which will be accurately reflected in actual GBP figures when the statement comes through
- Items have to be separately cleared from both the source and destination accounts. My old version tried to implement this with a single cleared flag and it didn’t always work. I have two specific flags for each end of the transaction
- recognise that some accounts normally have the majority of transactions as debit (e.g. my bank account where there is a single salary credit, and then lots and lots of debit transactions. On the other hand my Company Expenses account is a credit account (I credit it with debits from other accounts for every expense, its debited – and normally by bank acount is credited when the company repays me those expenses.
I will release source code soon (under the GPL) – as soon as I can get the site tidied up