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Thinking about it...Pocket PC/PDA


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Been thinking about evolving from the pen & paper to a Pocket PC or PDA.

I really have very little experience using them, I have some friends and acquaintances who use them and they are more organized than before. (It seems like) Plus they have nothing but positive comments about them for what ever application they use it for.

I was looking in past post and the most recent discussion I could find was from 06/05. I would like all the bells and whistles, but do I need them? I'm not set on any specific brand. I plan on using myreportwriter.com's system with it, as well as other administrative duties. (Is there a model that gives an electro-shock when your running late?)

All comments are appreciated...

-Frank

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I use a Gateway convertible PC. Screen spins and folds backwards onto itself, then I carry it like a clipboard. Darn thing can even read my nasty handwriting and convert it to text. By using the convertible, I don't have to make any compromises with software or utilities and it's got a nice big screen.

-Brad

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I use (some of the time) a Dell Axim pocket PC. They are good for recording information on site, but not for writing a complete report. I use Inspection Wise software with lots of canned phrases, but I always edit after creating the report on my laptop.

I bought the setup to be able to deliver the report on-site, but I rarely use it. I prefer to write the report back in the office.

So far, it is not the time saver I thought it would be.

Jim

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Frank,

I agree with all of the above, but I think you may be going about this backwards.

First look at the problem(s) you are trying to solve. Then find the software that works best as a solution. Finally decide whether a PDA fits into the plan, and whether you should buy a Palm or PocketPC (more likely).

Not to be too geeky, but one of my favorite lines from Star Trek was the one Spock said to the guy who stole his wife.

"Over time, you may find the wanting to be more pleasing than the having."

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Originally posted by ozofprev

Frank,

First look at the problem(s) you are trying to solve. Then find the software that works best as a solution. Finally decide whether a PDA fits into the plan, and whether you should buy a Palm or PocketPC (more likely).

Perfectly stated.

Every "problem" I've ever had w/technology was due to my ignoring the question ("What am I trying to accomplish?"), and focusing on the titillation of the latest doodahs ("Ooooh, it's so small and cool!").

It's about software, not hardware. So good to be reminded.....

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No that my opinion is better than the next.

I have used pda,laptop,tablet computer, digatal recorder, paper, and tablet (no keyboard).

Depending on your software if you can click with the stylus I say go with the tablet computer. I set up in the kitchen and go back to the kitchen to add comments.

I found the pda a pain. Every time I took it out to make comment had to put it back. Sometimes I left it somewhere and had to go back and get it. Sometimes I make comment to quick without getting the whole picture. Correction on pda is a pain.

If you do a tablet computer get extended warranty.

Catain

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Wow, the wise men have spoken (or should I say Wize Guys?).

There is nothing more I would like, than to get a new tablet, but that would fall into an impulse purchase for me. I'm wanting to spend about half of what a new Lenovo,(which is very nice) would cost.

As for my problem; it is not looking for a new software but something that will run my software and is not as (I Can't believe I'm saying this) cumbersome as my laptop. I usually set up like Captain has stated, I do not lug my laptop around all over the place during an inspection. At times I do wish I would have something better for data collection, with my software.

You guys have been very helpful, with your experiences with Tablets Vs. Pocket PC's. Got a little thinking to do...

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I found the the problem with Pocket PC/PDA a relationship problem. I spend three hours on a running commentary of the house with the buyer and found that stopping to impute info was like watching a good movie and being interrupted by commercials every 10 minutes. I lost my train of thought, would start arguing with the PC and the buyer would wander off.

Now, I take digital notes (pictures) and fill out the report back at the office or between inspections in the truck. I feel I put on a great show and put out a great report, with pictures.

So, I suggest going with a PC back at the office, camera at the job site and relationship with your client.

Ezra Malernee

Canton, Ohio

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I've used the Dell Axim and currently use the HP IPAQ and for me it has drastically cut down on the amount of time I'm putting together the final report. I agree with others, the use of a PDA should be based upon the software, not so much hardware. I use the Horizon report format which is web-based so when I use the PDA to compile data, I can sync up the PDA and it automatically populates fields in the report. Using the PDA also allows me to provide a general summary report of the significant issues in the house at the end of the inspection. Technology is great as long as it allowing you to work more effectively and efficiently.

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emalernee you are right,,,however I at times forget to take a photo of what ever.. I now use a paper version of my report laminated and placed in a binder and use a dry erase fine pen to make notations along with the photos. I then hammer it out at the office. I'm looking for a way to skip a step to save time myself.

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