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ClearCheckbook Introduces Bill Tracker Tool

1/26/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We're proud to announce the release of a new Bill Tracker tool to our website. The Bill Tracker allows you to enter all monthly bills into the site. When you've paid one of the bills, you can let the system know and we'll keep track of when you last paid and for how much.

Premium members will also be able to view reports on their bill payments over time. This way you can see if you're paying more or less as time goes on for a specific bill. It's a great way to save money by seeing if you can lower your monthly bills.

We've also tied the Bill Tracker into the Reminders / Recurring Transactions tool. When you add a recurring transaction, you can identify it as being a Bill. When that recurring transaction gets added to the site, we'll update your bill tracker with the date and amount paid.

You can find the Bill Tracker by clicking on Tools at the top of the page and then click on Bill Tracker. We've also added a Dashboard Gadget that lets you see your bills and when they were last paid.

We hope you will take advantage of this new tool and use it in your arsenal to help manage your finances.

Some screenshots:

Site Downtime: Here's what happened.

1/21/2011 in ClearCheckbook News
Due to a series of events explained below, we were forced to suddenly move our live server to another hosting facility. If things had gone as expected, the transition would have been flawless with no site downtime. Everything is back to normal now and we will not be experiencing any more unexpected downtime.

Here's what actually happened:
1. On December 30, 2010, the company that's hosting our server said they would be shutting down their data center in Los Angeles an moving everything to Dallas. We didn't want our server moved to Dallas, because our server guru lives in LA.

2. We weighed our options and decided to purchase an additional server and host it at a new facility. We could transfer everything to the new server and have it running while we took our existing one down, then move the existing server to the new facility.

3. We purchased our new server and set up a contract with the new hosting company. Then, on January 9th, 2011, our existing host decided to route all network traffic through its Dallas datacenter. This caused several hours of outage for the site. The issues were resolved and we continued to wait for our new server to arrive.

4. Our new server finally arrived on January 15, 2011 and we made an appointment to install the new server at the new hosting facility for today, January 21, 2011.

5. At around 9:30am PST, our existing host had a major network malfunction, causing the site to go down. We weighed our options and decided we've had enough and if the outage continued, we would take our live server and move it today as well. That's what happened so we moved the server.

Where we stand now:
We are currently up and running at the new hosting facility on our main server. Over the next few days we will be getting the additional server installed in conjunction with it, to provide an even faster experience for the site.

The downtime is over and all the headaches are done. We're in a much more solid facility now and happy to be rid of the old hosting company.

Again, I'm truly sorry for the issues and any problems it may have caused.

Brandon O'Brien
CEO and Founder
ClearCheckbook.com

About.com Reader's Choice Awards

1/13/2011 in ClearCheckbook News
I was just sent an email from about.com telling us we could have our users nominate ClearCheckbook for the 2011 About.com Reader's Choice Awards in the Personal Finance category.

You can visit the following link and nominate ClearCheckbook for "Best Online Personal Finance Software" and "Best Mobile Personal Finance Software":
http://financialsoft.about.com/library/bl-readers-choice-awards-2011.htm

Voting takes place through February 11th, 2011. There are no prizes or awards, simply bragging rights. It would be great to see how we stack up against the competition though.

The article is a little outdated (as it's about 2.5 years old), but you can read About.com's writeup on ClearCheckbook here:
http://financialsoft.about.com/od/onlinesoftware/p/ClearCheckbook.htm.

Server / Network Interruptions

1/9/2011 in ClearCheckbook News
I wanted to let everyone know we are aware of the recent service interruptions. This has been due to our server host messing with their internal network routing.

Due to these as well as other issues with our host, we will be moving our server to another hosting facility and purchasing another server to reduce any other downtime and improve redundancy.

Unfortunately our new hardware hasn't arrived yet and we can't move the existing server without the new one unless we took the site offline, which is obviously not ideal.

We will keep you posted when we know more about moving our server and the new hardware, but I wanted to let you know we are working on this to ensure it doesn't happen again.

-Brandon

Currency and CSV Importing Updates

1/3/2011 in ClearCheckbook Updates
We have fixed an issue that was preventing currency conversions to take place in the search results. This has been taken care of and will now accurately convert to the global currency if you're using multiple currencies and they both appear in the search results.

We've also updated the functionality for CSV imports so they can better handle uploads from Buxfer. If you are importing CSV files that you exported from Buxfer, you'll need to remove the first line of the CSV file before importing it into ClearCheckbook (It should say something like: "All transactions for your_buxfer_login"). After that, please refer to the image below that displays what fields to match up with the Buxfer CSV file.

How to import CSV Files to ClearCheckbook from Buxfer

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