Results 1 to 14 of 14
  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,330

    Default Close call today - dodged the bullet

    I was inspecting a POC foreclosure today and had set my computer up on a kitchen counter under a window.

    Set it up, powered up and started looking around the kitchen. Front door was rubbing on the jamb real bad, so the client had to slam it hard to shut it. So he did..........

    The lower section of the window above my computer fell out and crashed down on my laptop. I had a major oh **** moment then tried to see if it still worked.

    It seems to work find, but the plastic next to the screen is cracked. This is my laptop that has already dropped one USB port and the second one goes in and out. I guess it was a sign to go ahead and bring my "spare" laptop into service.

    It made me think about what I would have done IF it had crashed and burned.
    I guess it's just my lucky day.
    JF

    By the way, I did a backup over the weekend.

    Similar Threads:
    Elite MGA Home Inspector E&O Insurance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Healdsburg, CA
    Posts
    1,741

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    Jack
    You have just reiterated the golden rule on inspecting; "BACK UP EVERYTHING!"

    Jerry McCarthy
    Building Code/ Construction Consultant

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,308

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry McCarthy View Post
    Jack
    You have just reiterated the golden rule on inspecting; "BACK UP EVERYTHING!"

    True, but ...

    Sometimes you are just SOL.

    Like the time I was 7 hours into an inspection and my computer crashed ... and would not reboot. Nothing.

    Being as I was coming back the next day anyway, I stopped and went back to my office to call Microsoft - based on what the computer was doing (should I say ... not doing ...) they said 'Yep, it a goner. Sent it back to the manufacturer if it is under warranty.'

    It was under warranty. And I had everything backed up ... except for that 7 hours ...



    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  4. #4

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    Jack & Jerry,
    This is another reason I try to get inspectors to really think about using something else besides their MAIN business computer, that has everything on it, in the field. It is like the saying: "It isn't that you are never going to get sued...it is just a matter of WHEN."...and the same goes for bringing your main computer into the field with you..."It isn't that you are NEVER going to lose all of your data for your business in the field...it is just a matter of WHEN...and how MUCH data you are going to lose based on when you last backed it up."

    Using a different computer..whether it be a cheap laptop, or better yet a handheld computer, that is strictly used in the field to gather your inspection data, and that is its only purpose, is a better and safer way of doing your inspection gathering in the field. With a handheld you can even do incremental backups of the data you have already gathered at any point during the inspection onto an external card and it takes less then 5 seconds to do it so some home inspectors that use handhelds will do multiple backups during the inspection process.

    Jeff Knight
    www.knightssoftware.com


  5. #5
    Aaron Miller's Avatar
    Aaron Miller Guest

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    I stopped taking laptops into the field 8 years ago due to similar and worse experiences. I also got tired of catering to the wishes of the agents for on site reports.

    Now I have two machines in the office. As I'm doing a report I constantly save it to another directory on the machine I'm on and on the other machine across the network. The second machine backs up the other automatically every 30 minutes.

    Additionally, all reports are burned onto CDs (or DVDs if necessary) and stored for 5 years.

    Above and beyond all of that I use an on line backup service that backs up everything daily.

    I could possibly lose everything, but it would take more talent than I possess in that area. On most days, that is . . .

    Aaron


  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    4,795

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    And what about the window? How did that go over with the client, and home owner?

    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,330

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    I really do like to do on-site reports and I'm done when I'm done. I DO use a PDA to input everything, but then go to the laptop to input photos and graphics. If I would have kept it closed, it probably would have been really OK. But it was open while I was powering it up.

    Home is not always the safe haven either. A few years ago, I was shutting off a small lamp on top of a file cabinet next to my work station. I tipped the lamp and it made a direct hit to my PDA that was parked in it's charging cradle.

    As far as accidents go, I think I'm probably about as safe out as I am at home. True, there is the additional risk of travel with my laptop, etc.

    JF


  8. #8
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,308

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    This is another reason I try to get inspectors to really think about using something else besides their MAIN business computer, that has everything on it, in the field.

    Using a different computer..

    Jeff,

    *I WAS* using a different computer. *I WAS* using a notebook computer in the field.

    Regardless, I could have been using *ANY* computer and I would still have lost that 7 hours of inspection data.

    I really cannot imagine that a home inspector, who uses a notebook computer in the field has that 'as their only' or 'main' computer.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Knoxville, TN
    Posts
    2,330

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    The window....
    1. Since it was a foreclosure, I didn't have an angry homeowner.
    2. I could use the "failed under testing", but I hadn't even checked it yet.
    3. Come to find out, the window was broken, and someone had just set it gingerly in the opening, so when the front door was slammed.....POP!!! goes the window!

    This was the same house that had the weird fireplace (see fireplace thread for details).


  10. #10

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jerry Peck View Post

    *I WAS* using a different computer. *I WAS* using a notebook computer in the field.

    Regardless, I could have been using *ANY* computer and I would still have lost that 7 hours of inspection data.
    Jerry,

    Actually our clients that use the handhelds can easily backup their inspection data to an actual Word document anytime they want during the inspection process to an external CF or SD card. The process takes around 2-3 seconds and it will replace the previous backup so the maximum you can lose if the handheld decides to go south is the data you entered during the inspection since you last did a backup.

    I guarantee that most inspectors would have done an export a few times if it was a 7 hour inspection. Our clients did this even way back 10 years ago when we were using the Apple Newtons and it worked very well and saved some inspectors from a disaster when they accidently had their handhelds either sat on by a realtor or dropped in a whirlpool when inspecting. Both times the inspections were still on their external card.

    Today you could even send the document immediately to your e-mail since a lot of the handhelds are also phones so imagine sending the actual word document of the progress of your inspection to your office via e-mail as you are doing your inspection.

    You would also be surprised as to how many inspectors just have a single laptop to run their entire business from and bring it with them in the field as they are doing an inspection. A lot of franchises have this type of setup.

    Jeff


  11. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Location
    Caledon, Ontario
    Posts
    4,795

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    Jack

    Bummer about your laptop, but lucky you didn't lose some fingers when the glass hit the laptop.

    Cheers,

    The value of experience is not in seeing much, but in seeing wisely.

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Ormond Beach, Florida
    Posts
    25,308

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Jerry,

    Actually our clients that use the handhelds can easily backup their inspection data to an actual Word document anytime they want during the inspection process to an external CF or SD card. The process takes around 2-3 seconds and it will replace the previous backup so the maximum you can lose if the handheld decides to go south is the data you entered during the inspection since you last did a backup.

    I guarantee that most inspectors would have done an export a few times if it was a 7 hour inspection.

    Jeff,

    I'm referring to way back to about 1997-1998 and I don't recall any small portable hard drives to bring and back up to, much less USB drives available back then.

    I started doing my inspections in the field on my notebook computer back in 1994 - almost nothing of substance was available back then.

    Jerry Peck, Construction / Litigation Consultant
    Construction Litigation Consultants, LLC ( www.ConstructionLitigationConsultants.com )
    www.AskCodeMan.com

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Mar 2007
    Location
    Anacortes, Washington
    Posts
    393

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    I use an Ipaq with 3D. Saving to the card is the way to go because short of a direct electrical arc the data should be on the card. I use a dedicated computer for reports and the data actually sits on a file server. Every device in the office except for the printers are on UPS's.

    5 years and the only OH ****! issue was when I gave my son a older laptop for his own use. It was wireless and he decided he needed to make space for his music. I didn't realize that it was still connected to the network and the file server. He dropped everything into the trash can which when your deleting that much will tell you that it will just delete it without the trashcan :-(( I got back from a job and could figure out what happened to everything which WAS GONE. Took me about 2 hours to figure out what happened to it and trip to COMPUSA to get an Undelete Utility. About 6 hours later I was back to where I was 2 days earlier (when the last backup occurred) Lesson learned....

    //Rick

    Rick Bunzel
    WWW.PacCrestInspections.com
    360-588-6956

  14. #14
    Patrick Norton's Avatar
    Patrick Norton Guest

    Default Re: Close call today - dodged the bullet

    I'm knocking on wood! 8 years of computer generated reports and I have not had a crash or lost a report yet. My current laptop is 5 years old and still cranking.


Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •