VMWare ConFusion

I’ve been a long time user of Quicken dating back to my days as a PC/Windows user.  About 6 years ago I decided to take the plunge and switch to a Mac.  My biggest concern regarding this change involved the financial data that I had accumulated in approximately 15 years or so of using Quicken on a PC.  The research I did before abandoning my PC for the Mac was disheartening; not only was the Mac version of Quicken inferior to the Windows version, it could not import the data from the Windows version.  I didn’t want to lose the years of data so I opted to purchase and install VMWare Fusion when my new iMac arrived so that I could run Windows in an virtual machine and thus continue to use the Windows version of Quicken with all of my data intact.  While I felt VMWare Fusion was adequate as an alternative to have a fully functional Mac version of Quicken, I had really hoped to leave all vestiges of Windows behind.

I upgraded Fusion as newer versions were released by VMWare but decided to wait a bit before upgrading to VMWare Fusion 3.  Just the other day I was tempted by VMWare’s latest promotion to upgrade Fusion for $9.99.  I am a licensed user and qualified for the upgrade so I purchased the upgrade and downloaded the software.  I should add that before I actually bought and downloaded the software I logged into my VMWare account to change my profile information, namely, my email address as it had changed since my last upgrade.  Much to my chagrin and utter amazement, VMWare does not allow one to change one’s email address online.  Why?  Well, I have a theory; they want to put the users of their software through a mindless maze of numbers, options, etc., all of which resemble that infamous political scapegoat, a bridge to nowhere.  After 20 minutes or so of following fruitless options and waiting as the usual canned message cycled over and over again I decided to use my old email address to proceed with the purchase and download the latest version.  VMWare processed my order without a hitch so I was quite upset when the upgrade went from routine to nightmare with just a few clicks of the mouse.  When prompted to upgrade my current version after I entered my license number–actually the installation processed retrieved my license number for me as a part of its setup–my browser was directed to the VMWare site with the option to upgrade all over again, including purchasing the software upgrade I had already purchased.  Backing out of the whole process and restarting produced the same results.  More telephone time and frustrated voice messages later, I was still unable to perform the upgrade; however, a more odious situation had developed.  In my efforts to upgrade Fusion something had clearly gone awry: it would no longer load.  I thought well, I’ll just restore from my Time Machine backup and wait for a representative from VMWare to return my call as promised.  Googling for more information on restoring VMWare Fusion via Time Machine was disconcerting.  There doesn’t really appear to a neat or clean way to perform such a restore.  VmWare Fusion is now unusable and my only option appears to be to rerun the upgrade and uninstall VMWare Fusion.  Supposedly my data will be intact but I really don’t have any confidence this will be the case especially when one considers how difficult VMWare has made it to change one’s email address or to contact a representative of the company, or the totally unacceptable response time to messages.

At this point I am researching what I need to do to remove VMWare Fusion from my iMac altogether and return the disk space that was allocated for it back to OS X.  Meanwhile financial programs are making strides but they have not managed to match the Windows version of Quicken.  I may be grasping at straws here but I am not altogether certain that some of the problems I’ve encountered recently with my iMac freezing are not unrelated to using VMWare Fusion.

Of the two or three people that may accidentally read this post, I can only hope that someone affiliated with VMWare Fusion will grasp the absolute illogic of allowing a customer access to his account but not be permitted to change relevant information such as an email address.  Even as I type this some employee of VMWare Fusion may be sending countless messages into a great black hole of inactive/incorrect email addresses.    

Sadly, it appears as if I am out the purchase price of the original software, the cost of yesterday’s failed attempt at upgrading, and years of lost Quicken data.  As if to add insult to injury one is currently greeted by a banner at the VMWare site which says: TEMPORARY MAINTENANCE–VMWARE STORE.  This would be funny if it weren’t so ironic.

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