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  1. #1
    Tim Moreira's Avatar
    Tim Moreira Guest

    Default Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Anyone use a reporting system that uses a palm pilot to check things off as they go and enter info?

    I'm thinking that this *could* save some time in the report writing. Once the inspection was done, the palm pilot could be linked/merged/sinked/ whatever/however it's done and most of the meat of the report is already complete. Then you have your summary, photos, and other fluff to do.

    I am currently using ITA's software version but am disappointed. Tooooo many check boxes and info that is not relevant to my area (such as gas and all the stuff you are supposed to check with it. My area is about 95% electric and 5% gas.) and I cannot taylor it to my needs.

    Also, in my opinion, the report looks way too busy and a person almost goes blind reading it. I know I do when I have to check all of that crap off. It would be OK if I could delete off all of the irrelevant crap and just have the info that pertains to *this* home's inspection. I realize that it is a national reporting system and they don't want folks redoing their reporting system but...

    Also, the other one that I really liked, although not a palm pilot system is Mark Cramer's Intelligent Reporter system. Any one have this and use it? I believe it is Word based and looks to be very user friendly.

    Any info would be greatly appreciated.

    Thank you all.

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    Last edited by Tim Moreira; 04-07-2007 at 11:01 PM.
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  2. #2
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    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Tim,

    We have a couple of the HP Ipaq's which has the type of reporting you mention.

    We bought the Borealis program which was supposed to have the Texas report on it. Even though the report is present, it is in no way near of how we do our inspections here.

    The reporting method is more of a room to room type and that just does not fly here for us.

    My son has spent numerous hours trying to pretty much re-write the whole program and has made numerous phone calls to the Borealis folks which I admit have been patient in answering all his calls. We just spent all that money for a program for basically something we can not use.

    Its a great idea they have and it may work for you. Just not for us. We have bailed on the idea for using it.

    We do use the Inspect-it program, but I have re-worked it so much myself I could launch my own program I think. I have added many of the canned type comments we use on a regular basis. As I go through the report, I can delete off what I don't want or make slight changes to my already canned comments. It has probably 2K comments on the screen and we have used it so much, we know it very all to well. Works for me anyway.

    I'm trying to incorporate it onto a note pad computer at this time, which I can walk around and take my report now I use and make it more available for use in the inspection process. Toshiba has a great "lifebook" I believe its called for this type of use.

    Good Luck


  3. #3
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    Cool Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    I use a Pocket PC (Dell Axim) and Inspectvue. I walk around with my Axim and input info into the report, then transfer the date to my laptop, input photos and produce the report.

    Like just about any program, I had to spend a lot of time tweaking the software to meet my needs and reporting style. I update my program every few months to make the changes that come up. By the time I get it perfect, I'll retire.
    JF


  4. #4
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    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Tim,

    I use an HP IPAQ with the Horizon reporting system from Carson Dunlop. I've been using this platform for the last 2-1/2 years. It's a web-based system and Carson Dunlop updates the platform for you. The only disadvantage to the platform is that it is a pay as use system. It's anywhere from $7.95 to $11.95 per report depending if you buy in-bulk. I've looked at all of the major report systems that inspectors on this board and others discuss and I have yet to find one that gives the same professional functionality as Horizon. Now realize, I'm spending over $400.00 per month with Carson Dunlop, so the incentive is definitely there to find something that I can pay one fee and eliminate that monthly cost. It's easy to use, you can create templates for your common inspections (Single family, multi-units, condos), can collect data on-site and sync up to the web-site which prepopulates your reports for you and it also gives me the opportunity to print a summary report of the significant issues from the inspection. I know there has been plenty of discussion about on-site reports (I don't do the full report, just a summary of the SIGINIFICANT items) and clients have found it to be extremely useful especially when you have one spouse present at the inspection and the other not. You can also use the DELL Axim series PDA which I initially began to use with Horizon.


  5. #5
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    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    I am using both the Inspect It like Rick, and liked it as my first software when I made the transition years ago from hand written reports.
    Last year I bought the Inspection Wise program which uses a pocket PC of your choice ( I use a Dell Axim) to gather information and then sync to a laptop where you create the report, edit and import pictures.
    I am still forcing myself to stop and enter information as I inspect. I don't really think with my skill set I can really save that much time over the previous software, but I am still trying and learning.
    One drawback that I find with Inspection Wise is that once the report has been created the canned phrases that are available in the hand held are not available, so I end up doing a lot of typing if I realize I missed something after the report is created.
    I bought the Inspection Wise software in order to be able to deliver on-site reports but I have since decided that is not a good fit for me. I much prefer to do the final report back in the office.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    I have a Ipaq companion and use Home Inspection Software and Reports - HomeGauge. Check it out.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Tim,

    I am using the Borialis program. It works for me, but it did take a long time to set up the way I want it. I am still not done modifiying it after three years, but the more we know, the more we have to modify. If I have an easy report, it still takes at least 30 minutes on the computer to upload and email.


  8. #8
    Mike Garcia's Avatar
    Mike Garcia Guest

    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Help! After 4 years of dutiful service my Ipaq 1910 just crashed. It was like the creeping death slowly came over it as I watched the inspection I was working on fade away into oblivion. Any way it's a good excuse to upgrade but I'm lo-tech. I was looking at a Treo or Q, I'm just not sure they will do the job. Any body know of anythinf new and fun?

    By the way, I use the 3D system. I've been working on modifying it for about 5 years and every thime I think I've got it, bamo something new.

    Thanks for any help.


  9. #9
    Joe Nernberg's Avatar
    Joe Nernberg Guest

    Thumbs up Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Borealis on a Dell Axim. Fold out keyboard gives it the James Bond look.


  10. #10
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    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    They should have called it "BorednDallas" with it.


  11. #11

    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Rick....I know you think you guys do things different in Texas but you actually do not....the homes are just like homes anywhere else in the country and you inspect homes like all the other inspectors in the country do...(room by room)... the problem is that some Texas inspectors cannot get out of their heads that the TREC form was NOT meant to be used as a template to DO your home inspection.... it was forced onto you by the agents so they could get what they wanted on the final report and ONLY what they wanted on the report and categorized in a way to make it easier for them to know who to call when there is an issue.
    The fact that a version of the software is being used by the biggest franchise in the country and the biggest home inspection school in the country and many thousands of inspectors across the country and Canada over the past 10 years must mean something.

    Jeff Knight
    Knights Software Solutions
    www.knightssoftware.com
    formerly of Borealis

    Last edited by Jeff Knight; 06-11-2007 at 09:38 AM.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Mike,

    I am using 3d on an 3650 Ipaq. Originally bought it for $150 and last year bought a backup for $100 on Ebay. I am still waiting for the original to die but haven't seen the need to spend the money on something more powerful. I dedicate it to inspections and it is serving me well. I have no motivation to spend $400-500 on something that I can accomplish with a $150 investment. Rather spend it on having fun!

    //Rick
    Pacific Crest Inspections Home inspections located in Anacortes offers home inspections in Skagit, Snohomish, Whatcom and Island Counties

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

  13. #13
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    Red face Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Rick,
    If you take in account what the PPC does, it's relatively cheap.....sort of! I don't have to buy a separate add on for GPS like the dell, I can check my email with WiFi hot spots. I listen to music on my bike and if I got real bored I could watch a movie (not on the bike). I can hand write notes on the job or record. Address book and calender, So if you think of all that, in one unit, instead of buying multiple add ons or separate things, it pans out.
    Well I like it anyway, but I buy expensive cameras too.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Jeff, your comments would have been more credible had you identified yourself as a Borealis co-founder. Signing Knight's software solutions implies that I ought to understand the association without research. You aren't exactly Microsoft.
    Quote Originally Posted by Jeff Knight View Post
    Tsk, tsk Rick....I know you think you guys do things different in Texas but you actually do not....the homes are just like homes anywhere else in the country and you inspect homes like all the other inspectors in the country do...(room by room)...And you got this information from what source? At least one inspector doesn't inspect room by room, if what you mean is that all systems are inspected in that room in one visit, and then the room is done.. the problem is that some Texas inspectors cannot get out of their heads that the TREC form was NOT meant to be used as a template to DO your home inspection..But it does well when used as a template to assure compliance with the SOP.. it was forced onto you by the agents so they could get what they wanted on the final report and ONLY what they wanted on the report and categorized in a way to make it easier for them to know who to call when there is an issue. And your point would be? The fact is that we must use that format. As far as RE's getting only what they want; that is true if you're a one hour wonder Inspector. Doesn't matter how or why we got the format. It is what it is.
    The fact that a version of the software is being used by the biggest franchise in the country and the biggest home inspection school in the country and many thousands of inspectors across the country and Canada over the past 10 years must mean something. It would probably mean that you and your team have done a splendid job of marketing. Congratulations. However, it in no way means or should imply that your system of reporting fits all needs. Nor should it imply that when it doesnt, the person it failed should assume responsibility. Implying that it is the superiority of the product that has any franchising company hustling it or training school hustling it is a little less that honest. Don't you think? If you tell me that Borealis (or Kinight's whatever) has no financial arrangements with either, that there are no financial compensations of ANY kind, then I'll apologize.

    Your personal qualifications in software development and perhaps artificial intelligence are to be commended. Your apparent qualifications regarding building science and Home Inspections are less impressive, based on the sample report for Texas. Your skills in diplomacy and tact are absent, based on your "Tsk, Tsk" comment to Rick. Because you are so large and successful, I know this won't matter to you, but you need to know that those two little words, combined with your typically geek's attitude (If they don't get it, they must be stupid) has cost you at least one prospect.



    Jeff Knight
    Knights Software Solutions
    www.knightssoftware.com


    The only reason some people get lost in thought is because it's unfamiliar territory.
    - Paul Fix

  15. #15
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    Smile Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Tim, I use Dell AXIM X51v with PalmTech software. I'm happy with it.

    Rick

    If a man empties his purse into his head no one can take it away from him. An investment in knowledge always pays the best interest
    Benjamin Franklin

  16. #16

    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Thom,

    >> What I am saying is that MOST inspectors would like to do their inspection room-by-room...even in Texas ... and yes, I mean that they would like to look at everything in one room without having to come visit it again 5 or 6 times for every section of the TREC form... most inspectors do not look at all the structural issues throughout the house first and then look at all the electrical issues throughout the house....and then all the plumbing issues throughout the house... and then all the appliances throughout the house. I think most inspectors would rather look at the kitchen sink, the electrical outlets and the stove at the same time as they are in the kitchen before moving to another room....that is all I am trying to say.

    ....TREC form was NOT meant to be used as a template to DO your home inspection..But it does well when used as a template to assure compliance with the SOP..

    >> I am not sure I agree with that statement since the TREC form has exactly 30 items to rate with an additional 9 optional items. I believe the SOP covers more then that does it not ? It makes it easier to miss items during the inspection if you are constantly jumping around in the report.

    it was forced onto you by the agents so they could get what they wanted on the final report and ONLY what they wanted on the report and categorized in a way to make it easier for them to know who to call when there is an issue. And your point would be? The fact is that we must use that format. As far as RE's getting only what they want; that is true if you're a one hour wonder Inspector. Doesn't matter how or why we got the format. It is what it is.

    >> Agreed. It all depends upon the inspector and because of the simplicity of the report it makes it easier for inspectors to create a one hour wonder report. (in my opinion)...but yes...it is what it is. The issue I see is some inspectors get frustrated with the report format and take it out on the software..especially the new inspectors coming into the field.

    The fact that a version of the software is being used by the biggest franchise in the country and the biggest home inspection school in the country and many thousands of inspectors across the country and Canada over the past 10 years must mean something. It would probably mean that you and your team have done a splendid job of marketing. Congratulations. However, it in no way means or should imply that your system of reporting fits all needs. Nor should it imply that when it doesnt, the person it failed should assume responsibility. Implying that it is the superiority of the product that has any franchising company hustling it or training school hustling it is a little less that honest. Don't you think? If you tell me that Borealis (or Kinight's whatever) has no financial arrangements with either, that there are no financial compensations of ANY kind, then I'll apologize.

    >> Actually we have done a terrible job of marketing (in my opinion). We are the best kept secret in the home inspection market... and yes..I agree that our system is not for everyone....

    Your personal qualifications in software development and perhaps artificial intelligence are to be commended. Your apparent qualifications regarding building science and Home Inspections are less impressive, based on the sample report for Texas. Your skills in diplomacy and tact are absent, based on your "Tsk, Tsk" comment to Rick. Because you are so large and successful, I know this won't matter to you, but you need to know that those two little words, combined with your typically geek's attitude (If they don't get it, they must be stupid) has cost you at least one prospect.

    >> The sample report on our website is to show the "format" of the report and is not an actual real home inspection report. ALL the comments are customizable to the way you do your inspection. My company is not large in any means..in fact I am sure you make more money with your business then I do, so I do not have a "Microsoft" attitude in any way and anyone that knows me personally would hopefully back me up on that. I am here to help inspectors have a better life by giving them a solution that hopefully makes their job easier.

    I apologize for "tsk"ing Mr. Hurst but he was giving rather "low blows" without any responses and sometimes I fly off the handle when that happens. I never said the software was "superior" to anyone elses....I just said that it must work for "Some" people in the industry and that I would NOT consider it "BorednDallas" type of software. That is all I am going to say on the subject.

    Note: Yes...I am one of the co-founders of Borealis and we have split the company up with the rights to the software being retained by my new company. Sorry for any confusion with regards to that.

    Last edited by Jeff Knight; 06-11-2007 at 08:34 AM.

  17. #17
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    Question Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    How do you post a new message on here?


  18. #18
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    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Tony, you have posted several times here, so you must have figured that out whether you knew it or not.
    Try going here, tip number 5,
    http://www.inspectionnews.net/home_i...age-board.html
    which is Brian's instructions for posting photos, etc.
    It is really simple once you get the hang of it.
    Jim

    Jim Luttrall
    www.MrInspector.net
    Dallas, Texas

  19. #19
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    Question Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Tony are you talking about this thread or post a new subject. Top of the page left side click on Inspectionnews. Brian it be nice if you made that link in the title bar with new post, search, FAQ, etc. Call it forum home or something.

    Mike Schulz License 393
    Affordable Home Inspections
    www.houseinspections.com

  20. #20
    Mike Garcia's Avatar
    Mike Garcia Guest

    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    I just bought the Verizon Pocket PC 6700 Phone. I'm running it with 3D Version 10 and I love it. The crash of 07 was good for me. This baby takes the picture, writes the report, checks my website for inspection requests. Heck I think it will brush my teeth in the morning.


  21. #21

    Default Re: Palm Pilot Reporting???

    Mike,
    The 6700 is a good machine but I would recommend this device instead. The screen on the 6700 is pretty small... Plus this device has a much better camera with flash and a big hard disk...and built-in GPS. It is a sweet device...yes pricey but well worth it.

    HTC Advantage (Unlocked, QWERTY), #X7500 - MobilePlanet

    Jeff

    Last edited by Jeff Knight; 06-15-2007 at 06:44 AM.

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