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Laptop or Netbook setup for shop
Posted 16 October 2011 - 07:15 PM
My boss owns 3 shops and is very hands off (nearing retirement). Sometimes I end up working at more than one location carting 100 lbs of labor estimating guides, manuals, not to mention tools, scan tools, ect around in the back of my Subaru. I do general repair foreign and domestic - no collision repair.
I was thinking if I had all my estimating software, labor guides, scan tool software ect setup on a netbook or inexpensive laptop it would make my life MUCH easier. Any software I buy or use has to be strictly above board. I don't want/can't use anything that isn't legit, but I also don't need the latest versions either.
Where can I find 3-5 year old CD-Rom (electronic) versions of labor guides, scan software, ect? I will be paying for this stuff myself so cost is a concern. Right now I own an old MTG-2500 Snap On scanner but the software I have is getting REALLY old.
Thanks a million for any suggestions.
Posted 18 October 2011 - 08:06 AM
Is an iPad/tablet an option for you? Light wieght, LONG battery life, great ebooks app that reads PDF's very well, tons of apps available. You would still need your scanning tools, but you could get rid of all your books and that sort of thing. I have a laptop at home, and I use my iPhone more than it to do almost everything I need, including reading FSM's and that sort of thing. I rarely use my laptop anymore.
The thing about netbooks is that they are limited on ports, which if you wanted a computer to replace your scan tools and your books, you would need to make sure that you have several different types of ports available, especially for older cars. So I would stay away from a "netbook" and just focus on a laptop if a iPad/tablet won't work for your needs. Laptops are cheap enough now days that you can get one with options for not too much more than a netbook.
Posted 18 October 2011 - 07:44 PM
Posted 19 October 2011 - 11:22 AM
You will need storage space local to the device to store reference documents, files, part numbers, instructions, install and removal torque specs, etc.....
Or you could go with net book, and get a notebook paper binder and write that stuff down in it with a pen.
Posted 19 October 2011 - 09:11 PM
Posted 19 November 2011 - 10:27 PM
Sounds like a laptop might be the way to go then. I need to start looking into what is available software wise. Thanks!
What I use is a Panasonic Toughbook,main reason is they have a serial port that is needed for many automotive applications,they also live in a workshop enviroment.
The model I use in the shop is a CF52 semi rugged business model and at Rallies a CF 19 full rugged.Thge CF52 is widescreen and decent speed so is a good choice for what you are looking to use it for as the full rugged models are small screens and not what you want to use all the time.
Dell also have a similar model to the CF52 that at least in Australia are used by Snap On Dealers maybe the same in the USA.
Posted 21 November 2011 - 07:11 PM
Posted 30 December 2011 - 09:19 PM
Posted 31 December 2011 - 12:49 AM
Posted 31 December 2011 - 08:26 AM
I guess it depends what model you are using in the shop.
This one too...
Edited by Rpm90001, 31 December 2011 - 08:31 AM.
Posted 31 December 2011 - 03:45 PM
I bought all of mine on eBay, that's where I was able to find the best pricess. I fully recommend the Toughbooks for shop use if you can find a good deal - I also always bought ones with a serial port for backwards compatibility with older instruments and programmers as well, fwiw. If you don't mind the small screens, any cheap netbook is also a consideration, I have used my wife's in the garage on many occasions, its small size and 'disposability' were key factors.
Posted 31 December 2011 - 08:05 PM
Posted 31 December 2011 - 11:09 PM
Although I may get back to my main shop soon - I have brought my big roll away home and locked it up where it's safe. I am trying to put together a nearly complete and much more portable solution for tools like several smaller boxes organized first by metric and standard and then perhaps by job type. I have access to an Interro PDA 2100a 4 channel lab scope and it's been a great learning tool. Finally I can see accurate patterns on injectors, crank and cam sensors, ect. The Interro portable 5 gas is great too. Unfortunately I don't own those.
Edited by Crazyeights, 31 December 2011 - 11:18 PM.
Posted 01 January 2012 - 01:23 PM
Any idea on tech ref materials or labor guide software for foreign and domestic? Perhaps they are all subscription based and on the web these days?
All Data or Mitchell on demand are about the only two out there. Personally I prefer All Data over and above Mitchell. All Data has a great shop management program as well.
Then there's the new Snap On stuff, where you can be at the car doing a diag, yet look up all the TSB's, flow charts, labor estimates, and how-to pages all from the same lap top and never have to leave the car to look different stuff up....it costs about 10k though.
I would figure your boss having three shops and you being a tech would already know about the above mentioned items.
Posted 01 January 2012 - 02:01 PM
Happy New Year everyone!
Posted 09 March 2012 - 05:27 AM
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