Money Dance working on the N900

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11 May, 2010 01:23 AM

Just in case you didn't know, you've apparently been able to run MoneyDance in full (2010 version) on the Nokia N900 for a while now. The pure-Java version runs just fine when IcedTea6 is installed on the phone/tablet. You may be interested in setting up a deb package for it and either making it available on your site, or putting it up on the OVI site , with a dependency on IcedTea6 of course. One nice thing about the N900 is it plugs in and looks like a memory stick in it's default mode.

I've just entered a few items, and plan on trying a few small QIF imports later tonight. Assuming it works I'll be buying a key and moving everything from Quicken over to this. From your licensing, I can presume that I can run the Windows version on my desktop and point the save file to the mounted drive, then disconnect and be able to have the java version on the phone access and update the same data file on the road? That would make it that much more useful to me. Are there any differences between the Windows/Java-x86 version and the pure Java version?

  1. 1 Posted by Lillebjorn on 11 May, 2010 11:17 AM

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    Hi Woody14619, as a N900 user, and just planning my transission from Quicken to Moneydance, this was an eyecatcher. Can you telle more about how you innstalled on the Nokia N900?

  2. 2 Posted by woody14619 on 11 May, 2010 05:43 PM

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    It's pretty simple actually. Just enable the extras-testing repository and install IcedTea6 with the default app manager. (Be sure to disable extra-testing after you get what you need though, don't want later updates pulling from testing!)

    Then grab the moneydance package from this site (get the java/OtherOS package), and uncompress it in /opt (it will make the folder moneydance to store things in). You can run it by typing /opt/moneydance/moneydance. If you want to setup a desktop shortcut, that's pretty simple to do. Just look at an existing shortcut, copy it, and edit it to point to the moneydance executable and icon.

    The first time you run it, it makes a few windows which open and close after hitting ok, which confuses the window manager a bit (you get a blank title bar on occasion), but if you switch to the task switcher and back, it re-titles it appropriately. :)
    So far it all seems to work well. I'll be testing it more either tonight or tomorrow night. Was planning on doing it last night but got caught up doing other things. the interface is quite slick, though it doesn't know hildon-specific things, so it can't do "full screen mode" where the top title bar goes away. That's to be expected though.

  3. 3 Posted by Ben Spencer on 12 May, 2010 03:59 PM

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    Wow! This sounds really interesting. How is the usability of Moneydance on the N900. This gives me hope that porting to non iphone OS based mobile devices with be a breeze.

    Ben Spencer
    Moneydance Support

  4. 4 Posted by woody14619 on 20 May, 2010 05:58 PM

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    After having a chance to finally play with it, I found a couple of issues. One is a show stopper for me, being that it can't correctly import the QIF file I'm exporting from Quicken 2005. The import happens the same in the windows version as on the N900, but in both cases there are some pretty glaring issues. I'll open a separate bug for that though, since that's not the topic here.

    On the N900 side, there are a few small UI/usability issues that should be fixable. First off, the N900 is a stylus/touch based device. This limits the interaction for programs to clicks and drags. (So no roll-over, no right-click, etc.) The device does have a small keyboard, but to get keys outside the standard set (Q-P, A-; and Z-M) one has to use function key combos. This makes doing things like "Find matching transaction" impossible currently, since one can't right-click, nor hit Ctrl-LeftBracket.

    One thing you may want to consider is implementing the click-hold style of alternate menu triggering. For most apps on the N900 to do a right-click one "clicks" and holds the stylus in position for a second or two to trigger the right-click action. I think that has be to programmed in on your side though, and is not a feature of the IO system. (How do Mac users do this, outside of shortcuts? They're one-button limited too, right?) Worst case, maybe making a contextual menu item in the top menu would work as well? Or a button that says "treat the next click as a right-click"? :) I know, hackish, but functional!

    There are also a couple places the screen is a bit crammed together, or runs off screen. (The N900 is 800x480, so not small, but not your default 1024x600 view.) Looking at the 401K info, for example, the totals are clipped off screen with no way to scroll right to see them. In the securities view, only about half of the name of the security is visible, and changing securities is possible, but not obvious since the up/down arrow only shows an up on the display.

    One thing you may also want to consider is implementing kinetic scrolling for the registers (or any place you have a scroll bar). I was able to adapt back to using scroll bars quickly, but since most other apps for the N900 use kinetic I've become accustomed to using it. :)

    But I have to say, if you have better luck (or less data) importing in from your old finance manager, or just want to start fresh... This is a nice solution. Especially since you can "share" the same data file between a PC and the N900 without issues. (And it runs on Windows, Mac, and Linux.) This is really the most powerful money manager I've seen in a while, so having it run even with 80% functionality on my portable every-day PDA/Phone is a huge plus.

  5. 5 Posted by woody14619 on 08 Jun, 2010 03:14 AM

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    After some more tweaking I found the QIF import issue: Transactions with only one side listed (how Quicken managed that I'm not sure), and a couple splits who's counterparts didn't have the same date. May want to look at the QIF importer to see how it handles such things. :)

    Overall the only bad part of MoneyDance on the N900 is the lack of a right-click method. I've tried ctrl-click (and function-click, and ...), but nothing pops up that right-click submenu. That's not a huge issue, but it does limit functionality. If that's something you can fix on the UI side, to have long-click or some other input combo simulate a right-click, that would be great! Is there a place to add a feature request like this?

    I do love having one program to manage my finances on my PC and my hand-held. Beats syncing and the limited traveling functionality of any other app I've tried out. Looks like this is the one I'll be going with. :)

  6. 6 Posted by Ben Spencer on 08 Jun, 2010 06:01 PM

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    I read somewhere that holding the volume control up and tapping is interpreted as a right click on the n900. I am not sure if that is just for VNCviewer or throughout the OS.

  7. 7 Posted by woody14619 on 10 Jun, 2010 03:44 PM

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    Sadly, no, that's a VNCviewer thing for sending right-clicks to a remote box. It doesn't work locally. This may be something you want to put into the system as is, since more an more devices are going to be moving toward touch screen (or single touch). Apparently the code already exists for Mac users to be able to use Apple-click to emulate a right click. Maybe just making that a more generic key (like Control-click, shift-click, or control-shift-click) would be more beneficial for those of use without an apple keyboard? :) If you'd like, I can try to figure out the keycode for our "function " key so you can key off that?

    I'm also finding that the N900 based app does not remember/auto-load the last file, where the PC based one does. It's a minor annoyance, but something I figured I'd mention.

  8. 8 Posted by Angie Rauscher on 22 Jun, 2010 04:00 PM

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    Thanks for this great suggestion, and for all the info on getting Moneydance to work on the N900. I'll pass this idea on to our developer.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance,

    Angie Rauscher
    Moneydance Support

  9. 9 Posted by woody14619 on 28 Jun, 2010 11:22 PM

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    Outside of having a way of getting the right-click menus, it's pretty functional. :) The only other thing I can suggest is assuming a slight smaller screen size, since as you can see it's a little squished on the screen. ;)

    As for the QIF import issue, I've found a way around that, as noted in the other thread here I've commented on. (Using the reconciled flag to find duplicate / non-matching / one-sided transactions coming from Quicken.) Using the N900 as a mountable device and editing the file live on the device is working well, and having it with me for verifying things (like cleared checks and check numbers) has been a huge help!

    How will I know if a version comes out that has this new feature? (Using an alternative key for right-click input?)

  10. 10 Posted by Angie Rauscher on 07 Jul, 2010 05:15 PM

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    If we release a version which has an alternative key for right click input, we'll certainly announce it on our blog. It's something which is on our long range gameplan, but I can't give even a rough timeline for implementation at the point.

    Our feature request and bug reporting system is integrated with our wiki. We invite our users to register and use these systems to help improve Moneydance by bringing bugs to our attention and requesting new features. Users can also vote on tickets, which helps us determine how wide-spread bugs are and which requests have the most demand.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance, and thank you for your interest in Moneydance.

    Angie Rauscher
    Moneydance Support

  11. 11 Posted by woody14619 on 08 Jul, 2010 03:35 PM

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    Thanks. I looked for a bug but haven't found one similar to mine. Was one created yet? If not should I make one?

  12. 12 Posted by Angie Rauscher on 09 Jul, 2010 02:46 PM

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    We're actually transitioning to a new (more streamlined) bug and feature tracking system. I'll create a ticket for this request as soon as it's online. I've also discussed this with our other staff, and it's on our "important features" list for our next development discussion.

    Please let me know if I can be of further assistance,

    Angie Rauscher
    Moneydance Support

  13. 13 Posted by Ben Spencer on 18 Aug, 2010 01:44 PM

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    Hi Woody.

    I have good news for you. If you look at the top right hand corner of the register you will see an up and down arrow button. Its just to the right of the balance column. If you click this you will access the right click context menu.

    Ben Spencer

  14. 14 Posted by woody14619 on 18 Aug, 2010 08:29 PM

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    OH Awesome! Not quite intuitive, but it does pop up the context menu! Just select the transaction first, then hit it to get the menu, and it works like a charm. :) The on thing I really missed on the N900 was the ability to see the other side of the transaction (which I need to do on occasion). The shortcut was also not usable, since there's not a hard key for bracket, making ctrl-bracket impossible to hit.

    This is great! Thanks for the info! (I'll post this up on the forum site for the N900 community as well, since there have been several people there asking questions about it.)

  15. 15 Posted by Gabriel on 07 Sep, 2010 05:41 PM

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    Hello woody14619!

    I have tried run the Moneydance in my N900 too, but unhappy until now :(

    The first step to install the JDK IcedTea6 was finish, when I run "java -version" the answer is ok.

    The problem come with "..uncompress it in /opt (it will make the folder moneydance to store things in). You can run it by typing /opt/moneydance/moneydance...".

    1. Well, the full path is "/home/opt" or "/opt"?
    2. I need to do this with user root? Because when a try move the "moneydance" directory to "/home/opt" the message "Permission denied" is show.

    Please, could you help me?

    Thank you.


  16. 16 Posted by woody14619 on 07 Sep, 2010 06:49 PM

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    /opt and /home/opt point to the same mount point on the N900, so either will work. In either case, /opt is owned by root, so you'll have to be root to create the folder for it unless you've changed the permissions for that folder (which you'd have to be root to do).

    Just install rootsh, gainroot, or openssh, one of which you should have installed anyway, since they're the only way to get root on the device properly. (I prefer openssh, since it allows me to login via wifi, sets the root password at install, and allows a clean separation between user and root still.)

    Once it's installed, change back to user (eg logout of root) and re-run the command above.

  17. woody14619 closed this discussion on 13 Feb, 2012 09:54 PM.

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