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Last Post 08/01/2009 10:25 AM by  Tom Toll
Computer thoughts
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ChuckDeaton
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12/21/2008 8:52 PM
    Looking for advice from advanced users about computers. If you have something other than a common lap top I am interested. Do you run Xactimate with Vista? What version of Vista do you use? Is it 32 bit or 64 bit. How much RAM are you running? What version of Xactimate are you using, contractor or adjuster?
     
    Here's thanking you in advance for your comments.
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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    Natsa23
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    12/22/2008 8:45 PM
    Chuck,
    I use a "common laptop", but I do run Xactimate with Vista. I use Vista Home Premium 32 bit and have no complaints whatsoever. I am using Xactimate 25.1. I've been using the same set up for a little over a year now (Upgrading Xactimate along the way). It was inconvenient at first, because I had to use the work-around to get Xactimate to work with Vista, but even after I got through that I didn't have problems. This thing has 2GB of RAM, and is my every day adjusting computer. It's big and bulky (17" wide screen) but it has a ten key built in to the keyboard which makes it convenient for data entry when i'm not using the docking station.
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    ChuckDeaton
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    12/22/2008 9:01 PM
    What kind of claims do you normally handle, small residential, large commercial? Lots of photos, say more than 50 per file?
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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    Tom Toll
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    12/23/2008 5:34 AM
    I, like Nathan, use an HP Pavillion dv9000, 17" screen, 2 GB memory, 32 bit, Vista Home Premium lap top. I sometimes exceed 50 photos per file, Chuck. I use Integraclaim only, and this is not by choice. I am not sure the 64 bit systems will run our estimating software, as I have no knowledge of the 64 bit systems. All computers will eventually be 64 bit, but right now, the available software has not kept up with it.
    Success is not final, failure is not fatal: it is the courage to continue that counts.
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    ChuckDeaton
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    12/23/2008 8:37 AM
    My understanding is that 32 bit operating systems, we seem to be stuck with Windows, address 3.2 gigabytes of ram while 64 bit operating systems address more. Other threads point out the limitations of the available estimating systems and point up the need to access the web and photos as estimates are being written. An example of this is having the ability to access instant Home Depot prices via the web or to view a metal roofing/siding profile as a reference. I want to be able to do this as an aid to estimate writing. My understanding is that Xactimate will run in a 64 bit operating system. Does anyone have experience with Xactimate in a 64 bit environment? Vista Business 64 bit. Do any of the other estimating systems run in a 64 bit operating system?
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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    Natsa23
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    12/25/2008 5:08 PM
    Most of the claims I handle are small residential, but I get the large commercial losses here and there. Depending on whether or not we are uploading the claims through Xact Analysis will determine how I handle my photos. If it's a large loss with a lot of photos that I'm uploading, then I wait until the end to upload my photos, as it slows the system down too much and makes it freeze. If we are emailing the claim, I just duplicate the file, and do my photos in one Xact file and write my estimate in the other. I also make sure to resize my photos before I upload them into Xactimate which helps to reduce the lag time.
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    Olivegreen
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    12/25/2008 8:34 PM
    I have been checking into a new laptop lately, but no Vista for me, thanks.  XP pro will continue to be supported through 2014.  Look into a solid state drive and you will have a fast machine.
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    hunter0544
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    12/28/2008 9:21 PM
    Most of the time it boils down to a) what you wanna use it for and b) how you want to do it. Since you're an adjuster, I assume the answer to (a) is obvious. You may want to check out some of those Tablet PCs. Many of them run XP, a few run Vista. I think you should do a google or yahoo! search and read up on them in addition to the very valuable advise on this forum. One that has caught my attention recently is the Motion Computing LE 1700 tablet PC. Lite enough to go on scoping with you, very powerful and not bloated with useless softwares. They also come with view anywhere capability. Good luck in your search.
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    ChuckDeaton
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    12/29/2008 8:50 AM
    Tablet PC are not new, IBM made one and State Farm ran Xactimate on it 10 years ago. I bought one and ran DOS Simsol on it. We tried a tablet PC, what we found out is that in order to measure the tablet has to be dealt with, laid down somewhere, then picked back up. The tablet PC, while not really heavy is not really light either and there is concern over dropping it. A tablet PC works, but again it is awkward and cumbersome. Then there is the power issue. The batteries in a tablet PC just don't last through a 12 hour day. Another issue on large jobs with several crew members contributing information is the danger of having that information on several tablet PC's that are being taken into the field.

    When we started handling Gustav claims we tried an arrangement where we mounted a lap top on a cart with a lawn mower battery and used a blue tooth Disto with Xactimate. While the arrangement worked, it was cumbersome and awkward to roll the cart in and around a flood and wind damaged building. Also, there was a problem with outfitting all of the crew members.

    Because I travel in a motor home I decided to install a dedicated workstation. My dilemma now is what kind of workstation To put it mildly the choices in equipment are staggering. I hope that by posting here someone, more computer literate than I am, will contribute information that I can use.
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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    Carolyn
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    12/30/2008 2:41 PM
    If you perfer XP over Vista this can be installed by splitting the drivers.
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    Ron Ferrin
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    01/10/2009 10:50 AM
    Problem with Tablets, which I have used, is not only that they are heavy, which after a while they are, but I don't care how convenient they are, the environment of most losses is not where I want to spend more of my day. I finally figured out I would rather do the input in a comfortable chair in an air conditioned room.

     I use the MacBook Pro with Parallels. This runs mac and windows XP and Vista SEAMLESSLY, at the same time. 

    I prefer Safari for browsing and I can have xactimate in the same screen. Also, when Windows ditches Vista next year for '7' I will just have to upload the OS onto Parallels.  So, my notebook does not become obsolete!

    I had to buy 'Pro' because my off season work is producing videos for corporate web sites, but the standard MacBook or even MacBook Air would be more powerful than most adjusters would need and you won't have the downtime associated with PC's. (I've owned dozens of PC's and appreciate the difference.)
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    RobertUhler
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    01/10/2009 3:40 PM
    I use a Sony Zseries with 3GB Ram/300GB HArdDrive with Windows Vista Business.   You can get the specs for Xactimate from the Xactimate site and bring it to your computer store to decide on what is best for you.
    Robert E. Uhler, RPA, AIC
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    iCAT
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    01/23/2009 12:06 PM
    Well I'm gonna throw a monkey wrench in this conversation. I handle a high volume of claims in Simsol and Xactimate. And due to Microsoft shooting themselves in the foot with vista. I have completely upgraded and I mean upgraded my network and computers to APPLE. I did alot of investigation before i made this move of course. I now have a 20 iMac as my desktop machine and for working claims onsite I will be using a 17" MacBook Pro. I also installed VMWare and a fresh copy of XP which allows me to load Simsol and Xactimate. I had heard XP runs faster on a virtual machine in an Apple machine but this totally blew me away; XP is actually 2 to 3 times faster and if something goes wrong I just date back the virtual machine and I'm back up and running. I will tell you know; my days of running an IBM based machine has come to an end. I did alot of research before I made this move. The units are more expensive but they last alot longer than a windows machine. Learning a Mac System is not for the faint of heart but if you are tech savy it is worth a look. Good Luck
    We get it right the first time
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    iCAT
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    01/23/2009 12:19 PM
    Look at an apple it will solve the problems
    We get it right the first time
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    okclarryd
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    01/23/2009 7:26 PM
    JR

    Might I suggest you start a thread and let us Neanderthals know how to get an Apple to run Xactimate or Mitchell or whatever.

    I have been told by some pretty savvy folks that Apple computers are so far better than PC's that it's incredible. It's just that none of the insurance type programs are comfortable or compatible with Apple systems.

    Lead us down the path.................
    Larry D Hardin
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    ChuckDeaton
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    01/23/2009 7:51 PM
    We are building tower cases with ASUS ATX motherboards running Intel CPU's (8 gigs of RAM) to run Xactimate 25.2. and Simsol over VMware over Vista 64 bit and eventually Windows 7.

    I will consider buying a Mac to try.

    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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    ChuckDeaton
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    01/23/2009 8:02 PM
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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    katadj
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    01/24/2009 4:02 PM
    Well, for what it's worth, i Bought a new HP 17" laptop yeasterday with 6 megs of ram, (upgrageable to 8) with 64 bit OS and a 500 Gig Hard drive, all the other bells and whistles, at a best buy for 1100 and change.

    I going to load all of the Programs which are available on it, MSB, Simsol, Powerclaim and see how they work. Comments on the machinne are that it is like flying a rocket, but that remains to be seen.
    "Anyone who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new... Albert Einstein"
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    ChuckDeaton
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    01/24/2009 5:15 PM
    Dave, let us know if PowerClaim and Simsol will run in a 64 bit environment. We have Xactimate 25.2 and word is that it will run in a 64 bit operating system. If not then you will have to use VMWare or something similar and create virtual machines, install XP, and run the 32 bit programs on the virtual machines. Mr. Parks is running a Apple OS with VMWare and is running Windows operating systems as virtual computers on the same physical computer.

    The desk top that we have running has 8 gigs of RAM and I have heard any comments that would indicate any problem.

    As a side light I would think that running an Apple OS would cut down on the danger of virus infections. This latest one has caused infinite hell with small business owners. My post above is a link to a builder who builds Apples that aren't Apple. Can you imagine running 8 cores at 3.2 with 32 megs of RAM? 3X1T 15,000 rpm harddrives.
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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    ChuckDeaton
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    01/26/2009 9:48 PM
    To update we have one machine running and 4 more under construction.

    Watch this site for further news.
    "Prattling on and on about being an ass with experience doesn't make someone experienced. It just makes you an ass." Rod Buvens, Pilot grunt
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