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Software for old part time inspector?


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I have been doing home inspections part time for more than 15 years. Within the last few years I went from hand written reports to EZ Home Inspection Software- I had to start somewhere. I would like to upgrade what I am using now. I usually perform no more than 6 inspections per month if that makes a difference. I am 60 years old and not the most technical guy on the block. I am looking for an attractive report that is fairly easy to learn. I would appreciate any recommendations. Thanks.

Barry

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MS word 2007 has spellcheck. Do you have it on your computer? I could send you my template but you'll have to build your own boilerplate with a separate Word file.

If you include photos in your reports, Word works very well on that. You'll need Faststone Photo Resizer to reduce the sizes. It's a free download and easy to use.

My template is double-column. My online sample report is single column because of HTML restrictions but I could send my original version by Email so you can see if you like it.

We're about the same age.

Marc

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You'll need Faststone Photo Resizer to reduce the sizes.

Marc, I use an MS Word template for my reports (have used it for 29 years). I use Windows Live Photo Gallery for resizing, which is also free. Any advantage you know of to using Faststone?

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You'll need Faststone Photo Resizer to reduce the sizes.

Marc, I use an MS Word template for my reports (have used it for 29 years). I use Windows Live Photo Gallery for resizing, which is also free. Any advantage you know of to using Faststone?

Speed. You can have 100 photos resized with about 20 seconds of set up. Might take a minute for it to process, which I use to do something else.

I use Windows Photo Gallery a lot on every report but for editing, not resizing. I'm not sure this is the same software as Live Photo Gallery.

Marc

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Don't give up your old version of Windows. 10 is an SOB to work with photos in. 7 would remember all of my formatting, I am lucky if 10 remembers what file I have been grabbing pics from.

Actually, the only thing Windows 10 is good at is saving. It auto saves every time I stop typing for more than a few seconds, and, you can save as a PDF or a hundred other document types from a single drop down menu. Documents are half the size of PDFs made with cute or PDFcreator.

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Aaron,

We would appreciate it.

..............and what you bring to the table.

Another database report system aimed at part timers and noobs. Nothing special or spectacular about it; basic stuff offered by everyone.

Don't encourage him; I don't want to provide a free platform for his advertisement. I didn't delete it because he didn't link to his site and it was on the line of advice vs. advertisement.

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Yeah, it's not bad. It's OK, just like all the other DB systems, and it's very much like a lot of them.

It's iPad-able. Whoopee. I found my iPad to get in the way of doing a competent inspection. Others marvel at walking around with a $500 notepad with a camera that is lousy for this job. Everyone gets to do whatever they want.

Anyone arguing for anything other than computerization and digital pics at this point in time, is so far out of it, I just back away slowly and let them go.

I'm not slamming the system; I'm just not selling it for the guy.

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Right. The tablet has some shortcomings but the younger gen are more adaptable, maybe.

I was 25 feet up on the ladder yesterday with my point and shoot camera in a belt pouch. That requires taking pics one hand for the camera and one hand for me. Safety. Then I got into the attic and took 7 or 8 pics in the pitch black, that requires a flash for a full view of the corners. Again, one hand on the camers, one on a rafter.

Then I got a shot behind the dryer and one behind the water heater and so on.

Barry, there are a half dozen good software programs that make the report looks nice. Try a couple of trials and see what suits you best.

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It ain't about young vs. old guys. It's about everything else.

No good zoom, no flash, not waterproof, what do you do on the ladder or crawlspace, how about the sump, etc., etc., and one gets to be worried about dropping the damn thing all the time. Those that like it, like it because they don't know what they're doing yet. The gig is jam packed full of folks that have no idea what they're doing yet. That's how this thread started.

It's great for insurance adjusters or similar sorts of site work, lousy for home inspections.

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Man, you guys are tough. Two posts and I've already been threatened twice with deletion. Barry asked a question and I have an answer. I did not advertise, I informed. Spectacular does not need to advertise on message boards. I've been reading Inspector's Journal basically all year long, so after seeing Barry's post, I decided to sign up and respond. I certainly do not feel welcomed here. I am a part of the home inspection industry and I build home inspection software. We've been in business about 4.5 years and the popularity of Spectacular is finally starting to grow and I simply wanted to share. Spectacular is not solely for "part-timers or noobs" which is probably an insult to Barry. Spectacular has a range of clients from part-timers to full timers and with the release coming in a couple weeks, we can now service multi-inspector firms. It is for iPad only right now because we aim to built great software on one platform than build mediocre software for multiple platforms.

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The above mentioned program is for iPad only. You take all your pics and complete the report on an iPad and I'm sure it is good.

An old guy with 15 years of doing it the hard way might prefer camera and a laptop. I know I do. [:)]

Hey John,

Thanks for the complement... Spectacular has 60+ year old clients that use the iPad just fine for home inspecting. Remember, the iPad was built for the layman, non-technical user so it's a perfect fit for home inspectors. Granted some inspectors are technical, but most don't want to deal with learning computers. They just want to inspect. The iPad's camera is optional. You can still use a digital camera then send the pics via the SD card to the iPad.

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It ain't about young vs. old guys. It's about everything else.

No good zoom, no flash, not waterproof, what do you do on the ladder or crawlspace, how about the sump, etc., etc., and one gets to be worried about dropping the damn thing all the time. Those that like it, like it because they don't know what they're doing yet. The gig is jam packed full of folks that have no idea what they're doing yet. That's how this thread started.

It's great for insurance adjusters or similar sorts of site work, lousy for home inspections.

Man Kurt,

Why are you so pessimistic? The glass is always half empty? There are simple solutions for all your questions. The iPad is still a computer. You can drop it or get it wet like a laptop. There are waterproof and drop resistant cases for those concerns. In darker areas you can still use a digital camera or phone with a flash then send the pics to the iPad. Some still use the iPads camera but with a flashlight. On the ladder, many inspectors choose the iPad mini so it can fit in your cargo pocket.

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Nothing to do with pessimism, and the other analogies are idiotic.

I developed a completely functional system (Filemaker Pro/Go) for my iPad over 3 years ago; worked like a charm, software is fine. I thought I had finally achieved the holy grail. We take it to software conventions (Filemaker Developers), and blow people away with how well the software works.

Field trials showed another side.

No, the camera works for shit for this job. The flash does not fill in attics, crawlspaces, or anything over about 5' out, and then focus is unacceptable. No workable zoom, even with the various camera apps. Transferring pics to the iPad (I have the card adapter) adds 2 layers of time to the job; so, you're taking a lot of time to transfer crappy pictures to something where one still cannot mark them up, highlight them, or otherwise edit as I can in Word, Acrobat, Preview, or other programs intended to editing and markup. And yes, I have the editing app for the iPad; great for kids sending selfies, lousy for inspection report work.

No, you cannot drop it. That claim is completely wrong. They break. I've broken them. The impact resistant cases help, a teeny bit. If you drop it in the corporate boardroom on carpet, sure, it's fine. Drop it on concrete, no it's not. Drop it off a roof, into a pool, it slips out of my cargo pockets, onto any hard surface, and you really want to claim it's not going to break?

Get it wet? Please, now you're stretching credibility to nearly nothing, but wait....there's more....

Using it on the ladder.....now I know you have no sense at all. Ladders are dangerous; anyone taking valuable grasping capability to fiddle with an iPad mini is violating every single rule of safe ladder usage. Morons hanging on ladders fiddling with an iPad mini......the depths of foolishness.

You are either one of those that has no idea of what you're trying to do and how to do it, or you're an app salesperson pushing the idea of the iPad as an inspection tool.

If it's the former, like I said, the gig is jam packed with folks that don't know what they're doing.

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A quick check on our iPad happy salesperson indicates....guess what?

He's with Spectacular, our fellows trying to sell the idea of iPads as inspection tool.

I predict you'll be successful. The profession is full of guys that are seduced by the illusion of iPad as wonder tool.

OK, now I'm ready to delete any further sales attempts.

May I suggest contributing in the manner of other advertisers and pay up. With paid ads, I will stay completely away and you can have at the noobs with impunity.

Or, better yet, move into the insurance adjuster market or some similar activity. It's pretty good for the fender bender guys trying to get simple data points with a couple pictures for the office to file claims with.

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