Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Checkbook Balance Meter

Account balance appears like a fuel guage
  (+2, -1)
(+2, -1)
  [vote for,

Check books should have a guage like vehicles. A needle that moves from E(empty) to F(full) would be a quick visual aid for those times when calculations are too time consuming.

Somewhere between wireless connections with the bank and software for math functions, there is a solution.

Let the geeks sort it out.

markvalentine1, Mar 06 2001


       When is full?
jutta, Mar 06 2001

       If you use a smart debit card instead of checks, I could actually imagine this working. It could be synchronized with your personal finance application at home, which would set "E", "F" and possibly other marks depending on personal goals, bills you know you have to pay, etc..
egnor, Mar 07 2001

       This would work better for credit cards, which have definite "empty" and "full" states. Debit-type instruments (checks, atm/pos cards) only have one of these states, since you can always have more money.
wiml, Mar 07 2001

       Voted against because it's a 'Wouldn't it be neat if...' idea.
StarChaser, Mar 08 2001

       Egnor: He had no clue at all as to how this should work, aside from 'Let the geeks sort it out'. I've gotten fed up with all these 'wouldn't it be neat', things, much like you with everybody using nanites, not to mention all the blatantly stupid 'ideas' like 'feces pieces'. I skipped half of what was new since I last came on because it was dumb crap like that.   

       Like waugsqueke said, there should be SOME idea of how to do something...
StarChaser, Mar 10 2001

       The Australian internet banks give you a 'gas gauge' for your checkbook? Interesting. What do they base it on? When is an account 'full'?   

       No, I don't come here for the flames. I USED to come here because there were lots of interesting and original ideas, and interesting and original people.   

       Now it's 'South Park'.
StarChaser, Mar 11 2001

       South Park is funnier.   

       But no, there have actually been plenty of reasonable ideas posted recently, and there have been plenty of waves of "a few adolescents post a few dozen scatological 'ideas'" before. This, too, will pass (and, in fact, has mostly passed already).
egnor, Mar 12 2001

       The empty/full thing is a bit of a red herring. I'm guessing that turning a debit card into a Bank Account Card shouldn't be that technically challenging. If you put a chip and a small battery in it and an interface at one end you could plug it into an ATM to download your account data (rather than walking around with pockets stuffed full of little bits of paper with your account balance on). Add a pocket calculator display and hey presto! Everytime you use the card for a transaction, it updates your balance information held in the card and displays the new total.
Information about cheques in transit is more problematical and would probably require a small device at home which actually issues cheques. Stick your bank account card into the slot, insert the blank cheque, and then type in the details. The cheque machine prints the cheque and updates your Bank Account Card at the same time. Again, not too technically challenging.
I take UnaBubba's point about the Australian banks, but most people are not on the internet so their system is of only limited use.
DrBob, Mar 12 2001

       True enough, but how many people carry a bank statement around with them?

Personally, I think people should be able to keep track of their money without relying on the banks (who are all crooks as far as I can see) to tell them what they've got.

I think that waugsqueke and StarChaser were being a little unfair in classing this with the nanites pseudo-science stuff because it is basically achievable (though I grant you that markvalentine1 didn't express it very well - especially with the geeks crack). Whether or not it is desirable is, of course, a different matter.

I'm also not convinced by the argument that everyone has to have an idea of how their idea can be implemented. That's no better than saying 'Leave it to the professionals'. I think if someone's got an idea, they should be free to post it. If it gets slated by the more technically competent contributors then that's fair enough. Isn't this what the site is about?

As for the scatalogical stuff, I suspect that most of it is posted not long after the pubs/bars shut and I doubt whether anything we do or say will have any effect on it, short of making the Halfbakery a pay site.

This whole note seems to have turned into a bit of a rant, so apologies to one and all if it's gone on a bit, but I think that this particular contribution has suffered a flaming because of other postings on the site that weren't worth even looking at, whereas this one was.
DrBob, Mar 12 2001

       waugsqueke, message received and understood as regards the goofy stuff, though I'm not entirely averse to it myself if it addresses a particular everyday problem and encourages a bit of discussion.

It's funny though, how differently you and I perceived this particular burnt offering. You went for the literal picture that was painted (which was, as you point out, ridiculous) whereas I latched on to the germ of the idea that possibly inspired it and wasn't too worried about the words used (except for the geek bit). I guess only markvalentine1 can tell us his true intent (i.e was he trying to make a serious point or just arsing about), but as he hasn't added anything since he posted the idea, I doubt we'll ever know.

Now, I'm off to invent a machine that prevents my vege-burgers from being incinerated under the grill whilst I'm on the halfbakery.

addendum: a quick check through markvalentine1's ideas reveals that he never responds to any annotations, so I suspect that this argument has just tipped seriously in waugsqueke's favour.
DrBob, Mar 12 2001

       There already are smart cards that can show you your balance at a look, they're just not very widespread. They are essentially what you described, a fat credit card <somewhat like a PCMCIA card> with an LCD display. Supposedly, they'd work as a credit card and keep an on the fly track of the account balance. So that part of it is baked. I haven't seen them in a long time, though.   

       The original idea is still 'wouldn't it be neat if this thing that is pretty much completely impossible worked' as waugsqueke says. (And has consistently said before I did...)   

       Even that could be done, if you yourself set a number for the upper end, the 'full' mark. Or if the system set it, by setting it at the max amount your account has hit.   

       An old Dilbert strip once had someone say "I don't know how to make a power supply, so here's a board with a nail in it. You can change it however you need to." This is the same thing. 'I can't be bothered to figure out how to do something, so you fix it'. This happened to be the last of the lame-ass things I ran across, so maybe it didn't deserve QUITE so toasty a flaming, but it got extra for the 'geeks' thing.   

       South Park USED to be funny. Now it's just 'feces pieces'.
StarChaser, Mar 12 2001


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