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Old 01-01-2009, 02:46 PM   #1
anw
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Registered: Sep 2003
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Distribution: Debian
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Windows on Debian


I've decided to cut the umbilical to windoze once and for all- completely. The only program I still run on it is Quicken, for my automatic, electronic bill payment, so I should be able to finally get free by running Quicken on an Win emulator in Debian, right? So, in the interest in doing this in an intelligent manner up front, I'm soliciting anyone's experience in what is the best way to do this. Wine? Qemu? Others? From what I understand, Wine is representative of an API emulator that runs a single program, while Qemu is representative of a total emulator, and runs a whole Windows OS (isn't this also what VMWare does?). Since the only program I need to run is Quicken, I could probably use either and guess my decision is mainly based on stability (expecially since its sole role will be to handle my online monetary transactions) and resource utilization between the various choices.

I'm soliciting anyone's opinion (preferably based on something besides religious affiliation) on what is the best platform for this. Are there any particularly flaky things to watch out for, like network access or such?

TIA
 
Old 01-01-2009, 03:30 PM   #2
ibkoxls
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Considering your needs, VMware is the way to go. It´s much faster than Qemu and you´ll have less of a hassle configuring your Windows virtual machine to access the internet.

You can find a tutorial at http://www.howtoforge.com/debian_etc...e_server_howto.

Cheers.
 
Old 01-01-2009, 04:06 PM   #3
anw
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Thanks for the response! Why would this be better than wine (which I haven't looked at yet at all) for running just the one program? I followed the link you posted, and , while I'm sure VMWare is an excellent, heavy-duty product, it seemed like a pretty significant installation hassle to run one program on a standalone machine on an occasional basis.

I'm off to take a look at wine and see how big a hassle it is to get up and running.

Thanks for the help!

anw
 
Old 01-01-2009, 04:35 PM   #4
ibkoxls
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Alright then, go ahead and give it a shot. I assure you that wine is not at all a hassle to run.

Do post your experience here.
 
Old 01-02-2009, 05:49 PM   #5
anw
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Registered: Sep 2003
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Well, for the record (and anyone else who wants to do their bills online via Linux), here's my experience:

1. First, I took a look at native Linux programs for online bill pay & banking. I had no idea there was such a thing, since I thought that electronic bill pay cost money & therefore precluded FOSS, but a response to a post brought these to my attention. The ones I looked at were:

gnucash, grisbi, kmymoney2, and moneydance

The first three are open source and, as near as I can tell, do not implement on-line bill pay (can someone correct this if it is not true?). I have no idea why they don't implement on-line bill pay. Moneydance is commercial, but does implement on-line bill pay (not through its own site, however, but through my bank, which does supposedly support the protocol moneydance uses, but offers no support for the program itself).

Since I have been using Quicken's bill pay service, this migration requires two steps: I have to start to pay my bills (with Quicken) through my bank, whereupon my bank will get the online payee information (account number, address, etc.). Then, if I start using moneydance, it will tell my bank to pay such and such a bill, which now has the info to do so. Evidently, there's no way to import all the payee information directly into moneydance and have it "initialize" my bank. If someone knows that this capability does exist, I'd appreciate a post.

This is the route I've chosen to initially try, as it gives me a native program on Linux that does all I want to do. The commercial nature of moneydance doesn't bother me so much: $30 for the capability as a one time charge seems fair enough. Quicken requires an annual update, and, although that is free for Quicken bill pay users, Quicken bill pay costs $12.95/month- all in all, moneydance seems a much better deal. However, in order to prep my bank account, it will probably be a month or so before I install it.

2. In looking at wine, I confronted some anomalous information. There is some allusion to not being able to access the internet, specifically for Quicken's autoupdate function, but it does say it downloads banking information, which would obviously require the internet. Supposedly this is due to the lack of support for "schannel", which is some sort of SSL library. There was no specific information as to whether or not it could access the internet to do the bill pay function, but one would certainly think it'd use SSL for that.

I'm sure someone may know more about this than I do, but it was this unknown that finalized my solution to use #1, above.

3. I really didn't look at the virtual machines. I'm sure they work wonderfully, particularly if you have a bunch of windows stuff you need to do on a regular, on-going basis, but taking a brief look at what it takes to install VMWare, I decided it was way beyond what I needed to run only one program and that one only occasionally. When I found out there was a native program, that cinched it. In fact, it was finding out what a great, native system openoffice was that has led me to attempt to clip the M$ umbilical in its entirety.

Note that, since I haven't actually installed and used moneydance yet, I may be revisiting all this in the near future 8-0.

Thanks to everybody who posted and offered information! Hopefully, this will be of help to somebody.

anw
 
  


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