Tablet PCs outside in rain/snow

Originally Posted By: arosenbaum
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



For those of you who use a Tablet PC for your inspections (and possibly Homegauge software)… how do you do the inspection outside if its raining??? Do you just cover the computer with a big clear plastic bag… or do you throw the laptop inside… do your outside inspection… and then keep going back and forth to your laptop to put down what you saw??


Just curious since I"m hoping to do a few inspections this winter and my setup is a Acer Travelmate C100 and Homegauge software ![icon_smile.gif](upload://b6iczyK1ETUUqRUc4PAkX83GF2O.gif)

Thanks in advance


Originally Posted By: Blaine Wiley
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



snow?? Snow??? SNOW??? icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif icon_lol.gif


Sorry, just couldn't help it.

Blaine


Originally Posted By: rcloyd
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Aaron,


After spilling about a teaspoonful of coffee on my Dell laptop (which completely destroyed it). I wouldn't recommend using any kind of PC out in the rain or snow without a waterproof case.

Regards,
rcloyd


Originally Posted By: kluce
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I have a ACER C100 and love it. One of the best things I bought. If it’s raining lightly, I have never had a problem with the table PC. I try to protect it as much as possible. So far I haven’t gone outside when it is raining hard. I usually wait till it slows down and then do the outside inspection.


Originally Posted By: arosenbaum
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



bwiley wrote:
snow?? Snow??? SNOW???? ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif) ![icon_lol.gif](upload://zEgbBCXRskkCTwEux7Bi20ZySza.gif)

Sorry, just couldn't help it.

Blaine


Why I live in Minnesota.... I don't know.... maybe its family or something.... Snow is nice to build forts with my lil' brother and on Christmas Day, but other then that.....

Thanks for the help guys........you always come through


Originally Posted By: janderson
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Aaron,


I use an Acer C100 tablet PC and homegauge as well. When I conduct an inspection I usually leave the PC in a safe location (inside the home or the vehicle) and use a check list and a digital camera to make notes for myself during the exterior component of the inspection. When I return inside I enter the info on the PC and download the pics to the PC. This system has worked well for me.


--
Within the seeds of ignorance lie the fruits of denial

Jeremiah

Originally Posted By: arosenbaum
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



janderson wrote:
Aaron,

I use an Acer C100 tablet PC and homegauge as well. When I conduct an inspection I usually leave the PC in a safe location (inside the home or the vehicle) and use a check list and a digital camera to make notes for myself during the exterior component of the inspection. When I return inside I enter the info on the PC and download the pics to the PC. This system has worked well for me.


Thanks for the help ![icon_biggrin.gif](upload://iKNGSw3qcRIEmXySa8gItY6Gczg.gif) You know how this Minnesota weather can be.....


Originally Posted By: kluce
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Janderson, do you print your report at the job site, and if so, how long does it take you?


I use inspec Trix 2000 and love it. It has its pluses and minuses compared to other programs, but over all, I think it's a great program.

It takes me about 15 minutes to down load the pictures and fill out the rest of the report that wasn't done while inspecting the house and about 15 minutes to print it out.


Originally Posted By: janderson
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Kevin,


I have not printed out the report on site. However, I am equipped to do so if need be. At this point my agreement says the report will be delivered electronically or by other means within 48 hours.


--
Within the seeds of ignorance lie the fruits of denial

Jeremiah

Originally Posted By: arosenbaum
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



janderson wrote:
Kevin,

I have not printed out the report on site. However, I am equipped to do so if need be. At this point my agreement says the report will be delivered electronically or by other means within 48 hours.


yeah... I mean... why rush a report on-site and make everyone wait 30 minutes+ and possibly missing something...


Originally Posted By: kluce
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



arosenbaum wrote:
janderson wrote:
Kevin,

I have not printed out the report on site. However, I am equipped to do so if need be. At this point my agreement says the report will be delivered electronically or by other means within 48 hours.


yeah... I mean... why rush a report on-site and make everyone wait 30 minutes+ and possibly missing something...


"yeah"? I don't know about you, but I do most of my reporting while I'm looking at the house. By the time the walk through is finished, I have almost everything I need in the report. All I have to do is add the pictures, which is really easy, and add a few comments with the pictures. I don't think this is rushing things at all. If fact, most of the 15 minutes is taken by looking over the report before printing. This way, if I did miss something, I can go back and look at it - which is a lot easier to do before leaving the house.

When it comes to the client. I tell them how long it will take to print out the report on the job site and ask if they would like the report now or within 24 hours. More than half are willing to wait the 1/2 hour to 3/4 of an hour for the report. So I don't see where the problem is.

All I was asking was how long does it take to print out the report if he does it at the job site? The report and printer would determine this. I didn't mean anything by it and to imply that anyone who gives the report at the job site is rushing things and there is a greater possibility of missing something is completely inaccurate.

I took the response from janderson as informational. I took the comment from arosenbaum as ignorant and rude.


Originally Posted By: rkulla
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Doing the reports on site has it’s advantages and disadvantages. As was said earlier, if you do the report on site you do have the chance to go back and check for things that you think of while writing up your report. This can possibly save your but down the road. However, you can do your report at home if you take really good notes and are very dilligent about following your check sheets.


I don't believe there is an inspector out there that hasn't laid in bed thinking about something he saw and how he should have written it up. Pretty tough getting back in the house after the fact.

I also live in the twin cities and yes, the snow is only good for throwing!! ![eusa_hand.gif](upload://mZNS7igGXzoIN9brDhQYdWm7mzQ.gif)


Originally Posted By: jdavidson
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I think you would have the same problem using a PC as you would with paper. Do you really want it to rain on your report?



John Davidson


Heads Up Home Inspections


Morton, IL

Originally Posted By: cmccann
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Aaron, Check out the Temperature your tablet will operate at. I believe I saw something like 50’ on one model…If your outside and it’s raining or it’s 20’ just wait until you get in the warm cozy kitchen to write the info, I got the same problem here in Michigan. I don’t use a tablet but I am thinking about it now that “The Home Guide” has come out with software…



NACHI MAB!

Originally Posted By: janderson
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Quote:
"yeah"? I don't know about you, but I do most of my reporting while I'm looking at the house. By the time the walk through is finished, I have almost everything I need in the report. All I have to do is add the pictures, which is really easy, and add a few comments with the pictures. I don't think this is rushing things at all. If fact, most of the 15 minutes is taken by looking over the report before printing. This way, if I did miss something, I can go back and look at it - which is a lot easier to do before leaving the house.


That's one of the primary advantages of using a tablet pc. I echo your comments completely. When I pull away from the driveway the report is basically finished. In fact, in most cases I spend a fair amount of time explaining items in the report to the client at the site. I have a HP deskjet 5550 that will print out a 30 page report with color photos in about 15 minutes. If your looking for a fast printer check out the HP1100d printer. I have not used this printer but is is said it can print an 18 page report with 15 pictures in about 8 minutes. It is a little pricey but if your serious about printing the report on site, it would be ideal.

We all have inspections where we walk away and everything feels pretty good, and others we lie awake in bed thinking them over. For me I end up with more of the latter and I prefer to look over my report one last time in the quiet area of my office. [/code]


--
Within the seeds of ignorance lie the fruits of denial

Jeremiah

Originally Posted By: Michael J Lawler
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



A Question to those that do use a Tablet PC for your inspections…have you tried a PDA? If yes, which one and what is your take? To those that do use PDA’s …again which one(s)? which program do you use? What did you use before using the PDA?


I'm looking to make the move to a more streamlined way of report writing, I presently use the INspect It report writing system. (Have now for 5+ years). It isn't bad, but I've seen what appears to be better. Figured if I made the move I'd like to upgrade the way I do it as well. I seen the Ads for the HomeGuard system and it does seem to work well, then along with the new Tablet PC, it just may be what I am looking for. However, I do like the simplicity of the PDA's. So anyway looking for any input anyone is willing to offer.


Originally Posted By: kluce
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I had a PDA for about a month but didn’t use it for my inspections. Bought it to try it out with inspectit (Maybe wrong on the name). It was one of those programs that you pay for each report. I didn’t like it for two reasons. One, if you touched the screen by mistake with your hand, there was a chance something could be changed. Two, on a tablet, the screen is large enough to see everything. The program I had, the screen on the PDA looked different then what was being printed out. I know I’m not answering your questions but you might want to go to a store that has tablet PC and try it out. There’s a good chance you might really like the tablet PC. I know I do.


Good luck on your search and decision. :)


Originally Posted By: dbowers
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Just My Own Thoughts, But:


To me it doesn't matter what type of report I use - paper or computer! The report stays anchored somewhere like the kitchen. If its raining or snowing, I'm the only thing getting wet.

I figure unless you're examining the Chicago Art Museum, any competent inspector should be able to go outside the house look at the exterior, the siding, look at the HVAC unit, test any electrical outlets, look at the grade, the guttering, the siding, get up on the roof and then go back inside and remember what he/she saw that was of significance - and then record it.

If not, maybe another line of work should be considered.

Dan Bowers, CRI (Kansas City)


Originally Posted By: Michael J Lawler
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



Actually I agree with you on that account, however it is the ease by which the report is produced that needs to be considered in the end. Every inspector has his or her method of going through a structure, but in the end we all produce a report. For those of us that use a computer generated report there is always the time it takes to do the data entry. Since time is money and we have all come across the home that takes pages of discussion at each discipline. I am seeking to check with those that used laptops and then went to tablet PC’s, especially those with handwriting recognition. icon_biggrin.gif . So again to those of you that now use, or did use a tablet PC, what is your take on that technology?



Michael Lawler


Alpha Property Inspections & Consulting


http://www.alphainspectins.net

Originally Posted By: kluce
This post was automatically imported from our archived forum.



I tried the voice and Handwriting recognition. I didn’t like it. After practice, it still messes up here and there. Over all, it slows me down. The Voice doesn’t work at all. I practiced that for a couple of months. It has a hard time understanding tech. words. I lived in the North, Moved to the South and moved to the North again. My accent might be the problem. icon_smile.gif Others may have better luck.