Laptop and Printer

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by studentlawn, Aug 12, 2003.

  1. studentlawn

    studentlawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Im thinking about getting a laptop and printer mounted in our truck. Who else here does that? I tihnk it was save us alot of hassel and confusion from transfering from paper to computer, plus I will always have information for customers handy. What kind of laptop does everyone else use. Im thinking of just spending $250 to get something that will be a good word processor and can run my billing system, but then like the old saying.. buy quality and you only cry once.... what does everyone else think?
  2. Tbarchaser

    Tbarchaser LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 449

    I would wait on that...We are beta testing a system using pda's and bluetooth printers for mobil use that connects to your data base....Cant release all the details yet.

    But going from the IT industry to the Green industry I saw the software side lacking and rounded up some geeks to solve the problem
  3. fblandscape

    fblandscape Banned
    Messages: 776

    I like the system of looking at a job, going home and thinking about it, then sending them the proposal over the internet.
  4. BBS

    BBS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    golpher has a PDA program coming out but I don't think it uses bluetooth or any type of wireless ISP for that's just basically their program condensed to PDA format and can be hotswapped from PDA to PC... but yeah,if you get something like that let me know!...thats revolutionary to the tenth degree
  5. Tbarchaser

    Tbarchaser LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 449

    BBS...i know:D

    Signing up a client at their home. putting their info in ONE time into ONE program and having it on a web server to be accessed from your pda, or home pc. Not having to do backups because its on a web server! And having your Merchant account/check draft batch file built in...
    And you only have to print one contract....the cust signs the pda and the other copy is in digital format on the server. You can then print a copy if you need it...

    Nearly 0 bookkeeping time, no filing, more time to make money!
    And your can track maint of equipment too..

    I cant wait;)

    If anyone has any input or ideas let me know...
    Also if you have a wireless palm...we could use you for a beta test. And become a sponser of lawnsite.
  6. BBS

    BBS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    how far along are you in your beta versions? V 125.7? :D
  7. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

    Hi StudentLawn,

    We do have clients that use laptops in their trucks along with portable printers. In fact some have it set up very nicely with laptop stands that mount on the transmission hump of the floor. If you want to get this started on the cheap, look for a used laptop on ebay to experiment with.
    If you do set this up in your truck, please send us a pic. We'd love to see it!
  8. Tbarchaser

    Tbarchaser LawnSite Senior Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 449

    And be sure to keep the a/c on in the truck on at all times so the chip wont go into thermal shutdown, and you ink cartrage dries up.
  9. GroundKprs

    GroundKprs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,969

    Since the 1996 season, my business has been paperless except for contracts, bills and fert/pest client notices. Always have history of every site since 1989 with me. Notebook is just plugged into network to transfer data to desktop for management and billing. Locking cabinet has resisted at least one prying attempt. Computer swivels to roll into cabinet to store, also swivels (& locks in place) for passenger side use, and for use from outside passenger door. Taken in at night, usually, for security.

    And it has been used over seven years, sitting in the truck during mow jobs on 100 degree days with no a/c, and on snow nights down to -10 degrees. Hard drive crashed second year, and replaced the worn out keyboard last year.

  10. The Lawn Boy Pro

    The Lawn Boy Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,217

    I have a laptop also. Its a Gateway Solo 2500 400Mhz, 256 RAM, 4GB HD (need to get a bigger one), 2 USB ports, Built in- CD/DVD/CD-RW combo drive, and Built in Floppy Drive (Can install a superdisk drive too). I really like his puppy because you dont have to "hot-swap" the CD & Floppy drives like some of the newer models. Not to mention this thing has PLENTY of power, 4 Hour battery life with screen on, 5.5 with it off! :) a LOT of laptops only last 2-3 hours so i REALLY like mine a bunch! I installed Windows XP Pro. recently too, and it runs very smoothly. Also have a wireless home network, and I put a wireless PCMCIA card in my laptop so I can go out in the garage and order parts online (we have DSL Internet too :) ) If youre lookin for a good laptop at a minimal cost with room and spped to do some other stuff on too, this is the baby to get.

    Also, I heve Office XP and I built a Database in Access XP to keep track of clients, machine maintenance, etc. You name it, its more than likely in my "program". I didnt wanna spend monies on other software, so I built me a database. Works great! :D

    Search for "Gateway Solo 2500". MOST sell between $100-$400.

    Heres a pic of my laptop (before I put XP on it):


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