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no way for tech-conscious folk to do taxes

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  • no way for tech-conscious folk to do taxes

    so here's something that irritated the crap out of me recently. many of you have seen rants like this from me in the past, but with it being tax season and many folk in the thick of this crap, i figured i'd make a post here about yet another example of Lazy Programmers™ authoring tools with Idiotic Dependencies™.

    folks who wish to use automated software tools in the processing or filing of their taxes are required to have Internet Explorer on their computer. Both of the two major applications in this market segment (Turbo Tax and H&R Block Tax Cut) appear to require this bloated piece of ass-ware to be installed... not just for purposes of filing things electronically with the IRS, but also to merely make the software function in any meaningful way under a win32 environment.

    while this may not be a big deal for many folks out there, but for those of us who have been diligently and methodically replacing MSIE with Mozilla or FireFox on our relatives' computers over time, it's a huge pain in the fucking ass to hear everyone from Aunt Annabelle to Grandma May say things like "i couldn't file my taxes on my computer" or "i had to download and install IE from microsoft.com the other day" etc etc etc.

    all the hard work of locking down and securing a windows system goes out the window when someone does a stock install of internet explorer. all the DLLs i've ripped out and all the registry changes i've made are all for naught if some bullshit application installs IE over again without even asking clearly.

    how long do you think it will be before software vendors start treating internet explorer as an optional system component that not everyone has on their computers? do you think this will ever happen across the board? small companies are too lazy and stupid to bother to write whole applications anymore, borrowing IE components for script processing, table building, and data transfer over the 'net. large companies (like Intuit) i suspect are in cahoots with microsoft and will always require IE in order to force its presence on business machines that run tools like Quicken.
    "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
    - Trent Reznor

  • #2
    Re: no way for tech-conscious folk to do taxes

    Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
    so here's something that irritated the crap out of me recently. many of you have seen rants like this from me in the past, but with it being tax season and many folk in the thick of this crap, i figured i'd make a post here about yet another example of Lazy Programmers™ authoring tools with Idiotic Dependencies™.
    I did Turbo Tax online (instead of buying the cd) and through Firefox. It did not require me to install anything.
    "\x74\x68\x65\x70\x72\x65\x7a\x39\x38";

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    • #3
      Re: no way for tech-conscious folk to do taxes

      Originally posted by Deviant Ollam View Post
      Both of the two major applications in this market segment (Turbo Tax and H&R Block Tax Cut) appear to require this bloated piece of ass-ware to be installed...
      theprez98 is saying this isn't the case[0], but, even if it is, just use one of their competitors. I filed online using TaxACT and it was free for federal ($12.95 state), simple while still checking my input and allowing me to file all special cases, and even recognized Opera as a recommended browser. I don't mean for it to sound like a commercial, but why can't you simply file online? Is it that you don't want your information going through another company or is it simply that your family/friends bought said software without consulting you?

      I understand what you are saying but it seems kind of silly when there are so many competitors that don't require a specific web browser.

      [0] Although it sounds as if you are referring to the stand-alone application.

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      • #4
        Re: no way for tech-conscious folk to do taxes

        Originally posted by Voltage Spike View Post
        is it simply that your family/friends bought said software without consulting you
        yeah, this was the case in most instances. i snagged a copy of TurboTax from a torrent just to check it out, as well... but mostly i get into "why can't i have IE" conversations with relatives and friends when they've acquired software without checking with me first.
        "I'll admit I had an OiNK account and frequented it quite often… What made OiNK a great place was that it was like the world's greatest record store… iTunes kind of feels like Sam Goody to me. I don't feel cool when I go there. I'm tired of seeing John Mayer's face pop up. I feel like I'm being hustled when I visit there, and I don't think their product is that great. DRM, low bit rate, etc... OiNK it existed because it filled a void of what people want."
        - Trent Reznor

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