Flickering and rolling screen

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  • Problem
  • Updated 5 months ago
Reckon Accounts Personal Plus 2016; Windows 10 64 bit; GTX1050 Graphics

Have always had a problem with screen flickering and multiple 'rolling" as I move between accounts. With my new computer and graphics the problem is now worse - can take seconds to move between account displays where the screen just keeps refreshing and flickering until eventually the display appears. I have tried all the recommendations I can find with no success.

It seems to me that the program was written for a very low resolution display and the higher you go the worse it gets. All my other software works well with the new computer. I am not prepared to go back to SVGA!

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated 
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Malcolm Fowler

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  • Frustrated

Posted 5 months ago

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Carljh

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I had a problem for a number of years where, when I minimised PP, I would get artifacts all over the desktop to such a degree at times that I had to close the program.  I had the problem on 3 different PC's and like you say, the core program was written for a much older version of Windows.  When my subscription became due a few months back, I decided to give the Home & Business version a trial and glad to say my problem has gone away.  Although I don't really have a need for the business side and it is a higher subscription fee, I found it was worth it and so far have found it to be a lot more stable than the standard PP.  Just a suggestion. 
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Michael Quadrio

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Hi Malcolm,
 Sorry to say I can't help you with the problem, just to say that I have the same issues. It has become worse over the last 18 months, I presume due to the cheap nasty little program being unable to cope with the increased data.
 I'm just waiting for it to stop working completely, then I will move to another product. I have had enough of Reckon's lack of customer service, and mass overcharging.
Good luck
Michael
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Diver Dave

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Hear, hear, Malcolm!
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John Campbell

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Reckon,

Isn't it about time you actually committed some effort to fixing these problems.
Why can't you investigate the poor performance ?

It should not be too hard to place some performance monitoring into the program to investigate where the problems are coming from.

Modern computers are now very fast. Computations that took me 10 minutes in 1995 are now taking 1 to 2 seconds. In 1995 disk transfers that were about 10 MBytes/sec on HDD are now 200 - 500 MBytes/sec  SSD's. Performance of most other products have improved dramatically, so why the blinking screens ?

It is likely that some cacheing strategies in PP are clashing with Windows 7/10 disk cacheing or some memory buffer sizes are too small, now that most users have at least 4gb of memory available and a much faster (cached) disk drive.

Is there no-one who knows the basics of supporting PP ?  because you are clearly taking us and our subscriptions for a ride !!
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Malcolm Fowler

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Totally agree - but history says that Reckon will do nothing. It's a pity that we the users can't get the message across and actually get some action.
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Diver Dave

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Well said, John.  Unfortunately Reckon has no interest in maintaining this product.  If only they would be honest with their customer base about what their intentions are.
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Michael Quadrio

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Mmm, Rav, where are you????These are valid problems, that Reckon doesn't seem to give a damn about. I would be pushing it to find another listed company with less concern for it's users/product.
Anyway, I hear that they are about to fix all these problems. Apparently they are waiting for some whiz bang programmer called Jesus to return to fix them.......could be a while.
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Rav, Community Manager

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Malcolm,
Here's a screencap of my Personal Plus 2019 installation on a Windows 10 Enterprise (64 bit) PC. You've mentioned this occurs when you move between accounts, while I only have a few accounts set up for the purpose of testing, prolonged 'flickering, rendering or rolling' isn't something that I or a couple of colleagues have been able to replicate.

As a troubleshooting measure, can I suggest you try the following steps -
- Close Reckon Accounts Personal
- Right click the desktop background
- Select 'Personalize' to open the Preview page
- In the 'Background' field, select Solid colour;
- Close the screen.
- Launch Reckon Accounts Personal

Use Personal Plus as you normally would after that including the activity you'd normally conduct when you encounter the flicker issues. Does the issue persist?
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Malcolm Fowler

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Rav,

Your suggestion was one of the first things I tried - with no success I'm afraid.

I suspect the issue is related to the number of accounts and transactions - your few accounts set up for testing is hardly representative of real use.

I have 25 live accounts (and probably as many "dead") with transactions dating from 1993. I am loathe to start afresh as the whole point of having a transaction register is to be able to look back intime as well as forward budget.

I would send you my screen recording except I'm not prepared to publish my finances to the world!
From a cold start it takes upto 16 seconds for one of my Allocated Pension accounts to be displayed - during the 16 seconds there are many screen refreshes/rolls - I would say about 25 of them although some are too quick to count. The problem is not quite as severe when in use between accounts - the delay then is anywhere between 4 and 10 seconds - all of which are unnacceptable.

I am running the latest version of Windows 10 Home 64 bit; Intel Core i5 3.4GHz; 8GBDual Channel DDR 665MHz memory; Gigabyte H87-D3H-CF Motherboard; NVidia GTX1050 Graphics; LG Ultra HD 3840 x 2160 monitor and Samsung SSD 840 Pro primary disc drive.

No other software that I run has any problems with this hardware setup
 

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Malcolm Fowler

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Further to the above and in support of the concept that the account/transaction loading has a major effect I have just run one of your Sample Files (1.15MB) and all is good - no flickering/rolling and instant moves between accounts. My data file is 35MB and something in the program isn't able to handle that correctly - surely this should be a relatively simple fix for a programmer?

PS Rav, how large is your test data file?
(Edited)
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Diver Dave

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Malcolm, I experience a similar problem, though not as pronounced as yours.  Like you I'm a long term user - since the DOS version of Quicken in fact.  I have transactions back to 1988 and stock trading records and income since 1994 spreads across 20 live accounts.

Rather than maintain one single file I use Year-end to save each Financial Year's data, so the current file has this years banking transactions, but every stock record.  My .QDF file is 12 MB and .QPH is 36MB.  Moving between bank accounts is instantaneous and moving between investment accounts a bit slow.  I get flickering when I manually enter stock prices, but on the whole it's manageable.

May not be ideal for you but might be worth doing a year-end to save historical banking transactions up to 30 June 2018 and seeing if there's any change.  I'd then delete any accounts without transactions in the current file.  I'd also advise manually copying your current files to a new folder before you start so you can copy them back if this doesn't work.

Happy to try and help further as I share your frustration with Reckon's lack of customer focus.
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Malcolm Fowler

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Thanks for the advice and I will seriously consider doing that if nothing can be done by Reckon. Either that or I will revert to a series of linked spreadsheets were there is no such data overload issue. In this day and age a 35MB data base should not be causing a supposedly "supported", currently sold piece of software to be falling over.!

Perhaps Reckon should be mentioning the limitation on the size of the database that can be handled in their promotional material :)
(Edited)
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Diver Dave

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Couldn't agree more, Malcolm.  I also use spreadsheets for Annual Returns etc. but linked spreadsheets can be a trap.  Contact me on david.stewart@optusnet.com.au if you'd like to continue discussing options off-line.
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John Campbell

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Rav,

I mentioned in another thread:

"It would certainly be a useful utility if the .qph file could be restructured, to contain all records for each company sequentially and remove non-existent/deleted company records. This could also assist the flickering when it relates to investment screens. Another wait for Jesus improvement !
As we have seen with the flickering post, we will be limited by performance before file size should be an issue."

A utility that could restructure the .qph file may be a useful addition. At the moment, all price records are scattered through the .qph file, in order of when they are added to the file.

An alternative of re-writing the price records one company at a time, in an order that suits the RPP reading, could improve the RPP performance.

For the investment screen report, it is my understanding that the flickering is due to the updating of on-screen information as RPP processes each company for each statistic. Optimising the disk reading to process the file sequentially could help.

Another review should be of the disk read routines being used in RPP to check if they utilise disk cache/buffering. It would not be surprising to find that the disk I/O routines predate the operating system disk cacheing routines. Is disk cacheing enabled for the .qph file? I would hope that other Reckon packages have adopted this, so there should be some experience of this in other Rekon package development teams. (There must be some development going on somewhere ?)

Another issue is that the .qph file contains a lot of obsolete information.
When a company code is changed, all price records are duplicated.
In about 2004, when all company codes were changed, all price records were duplicated.
When a company name is changed, the company record is duplicated and price records may also be duplicated.
It should be possible to identify all company records and price records that are required for the .qdf database, so obsolete records can be removed.
This should improve the RPP performance.
It is like a QPH_Validate !

If this utility could be provided, I am sure there are users who could try it out.
It is a simple matter; save the old .qph file, generate a new ordered .qph file and then run RPP

Please ask for someone to review this performance.
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Diver Dave

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You are an optimist, John.  You don't really think Reckon gives a stuff about PP, do you?  If they did, they'd have updated it along the way.  Even when they had to issue a new dll to download US stock prices they didn't bother to incorporate that dll in the next year's release of PP!

Nice try, though.
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Ifti, Product Owner

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Hi Malcom,

Thank you for your post and sorry to hear about the issues that you're facing.

I'd like you to try few things to see if they help:

  1. If you're using Scaling, then please change it to 100%. Click here to read an article
  2. Create a copy of your file (File > File Operations > Copy)
  3. Use the copied file
  4. Check your file to see if that improves the file performance
  5. If that doesn't work, perform a rename of the file from File > File Operations > Rename. Keep it short and simple
  6. Check your file again
Please let us know how that goes and we'll take it from there.

Thanks

Ifti
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Malcolm Fowler

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Hi Ifti,

If I take the scaling back to 100% then apart from the fact that I can hardly read the print it made absolutely no difference to the flickering and rolling issue.

I had already ticked the Compatibility box to override the high DPI scaling behaviour in order to get a clear display - this again, apart from making the displayed characters clearer did nothing to change the flickering or rolling between accounts.

The fact that everything works perfectly with one of your small Sample files would indicate that the issue has nothing to do with my graphics setup

I have copied the file and given it a short name "Q" - no difference in performance was observed


(Edited)
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John Campbell

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Malcolm,

I find that the flickering is worse when I am updating share prices.

This can vary, by selecting different "Show:" screens.

"Historical Performance" is extremely slow

"Price Update" is much faster as long term stats are not presented.

Do you find a similar response ?


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Diver Dave

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That's interesting, John.  I use the one step update from Portfolio View.  Speed varies with the size of the file, but even with the largest of my 3 it's acceptable.  It's noticeably slow in the large file when I enter prices manually  when I get a delay and slight flicker.
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Malcolm Fowler

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I enter all data manually - transactions and unit prices. My main largest accounts are allocated pensions. My problem is when I move between accounts - that's when the  delays and flickering/rolling occur - it is as though the screen is refreshing as each step of closing one account and opening another is performed.

Once I am in an account or even the Portfolio view there is very little problem either with the display or the speed.

The Allocated pension "files" are very large and it may be that the historic data is only updated when I leave the account?

I have not noticed much difference within the Portfolio View if I remove the 3 and 5 year performance figures
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Diver Dave

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Malcolm, do you have Linked Bank Accounts or just use the Investment account?  When you say move between accounts how do you perform that task?

I have 3 main Pension accounts with up to 25 stocks in each, but don't experience any issue moving between accounts via the Accounts List icon which is virtually instantaneous.  As I mentioned before the only delay I experience, though not really flickering, is manually inputting prices.  Automatic download is a bit slow, but can live with it.
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Malcolm Fowler

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Dave,

I don't have any linked bank accounts - I record all transactions manually. My Pension accounts are following the transactions in managed investments - not individual shares.

I am using Reckon PP 2016 and have a "First Page" with All Accounts on the left hand side; Net Worth and Expenses in the centre and Accounts in the Right hand pane.

I have always moved between accounts by clicking on the relevant account name in the All Accounts listing on the left of my First Page. I then usually  return to the First Page to select another account.

I have just tried using the "permanent" account list on the right hand side and this opens the relevant account quickly and with hardly any screen flickering/rolling and the Accounts panel remains visible so I can click on another account and move directly to it - again this seems to be almost immediate!

So it seems my particular problem may be resolved by using the account list that resides "permanently" in the right pane rather than the more detailed Accounts pane that I have added when customising my First Page.

Not at sure why this happens and never thought to try it before !!


 
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Diver Dave

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Glad it's a work around for you, Malcolm.  I just tried switching accounts as you were previously and my screen flickers quite strongly!  Rather than use the permanent Tab on the right side I prefer to add the Accounts Icon to the Toolbar, but it's a personal choice.

By linked accounts I didn't mean linking it externally, rather how Reckon treats cash associated with an Investment account.  If you don't use that feature no problem.
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Ifti, Product Owner

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Thanks for sharing that Malcolm. I will pass it to the developer to see if he can find anything specific about it.

Thanks

Ifti
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Malcolm Fowler

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Dave,

It continues to work well - I'm amazed what a difference it makes to my state of mind when I move around updating accounts!

I did try using the accounts icon in the toolbar but this just seems to open the main Account list (where you can also manage the accounts). If I double click on an account here to open it the flickering and rolling are at an all time high - basically terrible! So I'm very happy to stay with the permanent accounts list displayed on the left or right of the screen.

Thanks for asking me how I enter an account - I would never have thought of trying different methods without your prompt!

Cheers, Malcolm
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Diver Dave

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Interesting Malcolm.  Have just compared, and I do get a slight flicker using the icon - had never noticed.  It flickers maybe twice in the background as the account opens, which is why I'd never noticed.

Glad you've found a way of avoiding the frustration.