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Laptop with Air Card for Mobile Groomers

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  • Laptop with Air Card for Mobile Groomers

    Several have called or written about air cards for mobile groomers.

    Today I wouldn't be a mobile groomer without a laptop with an air card. There is a cost though.

    If you have a laptop in your van or trailer with wireless capability, you can of course locate a hotspot and get on the Net to pickup mail, and if you don't have GPS you can of course got to map sites like mapquest and get driving directions to your next new customer, check in with this board, pickup email, authorize credit cards etc.

    Well, that is, when you are in a hotspot. For example, Starbucks often has wireless available inside and you can get on the Net.

    With an "air card" and service, you insert the card in your laptop and wherever you can use your cell, you can be on the Net. Everywhere a cell works, you are also in a hot spot for the Net. That also means when you go home, you don't have to use a dialup or DSL cable in your house, if your cell phone works at home, your air card provides the Internet, no dialup or DSL required anymore.

    By the way, we are using a USB "air card" instead of the standard laptop card. The card works only on laptops, but the USB version means I can go to anyone's modern computer that doesn't even have Internet, put the USB in an available USB slot and that computer is now on the Internet. You need to have real good skills to do this one though. The first time setup on a new computer is a bit challenging without experience.

    We have Sprint/Nextel service for cell so we just added the "air card" service which runs about $59 a month. If you are on the road having the Internet anytime anywhere cells work is incrediblly convenient to pickup emails (especially if you are using online appt making), picking up email, searching directions, searching for places, or just entertainment while on the road all without searching for a hotspot like Starbucks etc.
    Most questions regarding GroomerTALK are answered in the Board Help Talk Forum. Thanks for coming to our community a part of PetGroomer.com https://www.petgroomer.com.

  • #2
    Now if we could just keep hair away from it

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Crystal View Post
      Now if we could just keep hair away from it
      Put a clear plastic cover or bag over it maybe (just make sure the vent area is free to breathe)...or keep it in a drawer when you're not using it.

      Comment


      • #4
        Dog Hair in Laptop

        I take my laptop in my van with me and every 6 months I take it in to be completely cleaned. Even putting it in a case and covering it during drying it still gets hair in it.
        Buy the Maintenance agreement! All these cleanings cost me nothing, because I paid for a 2 year maintenance agreement. Totally worth the cost.

        Comment


        • #5
          I think it would end up costing me more time & money to have a laptop and air card in the van with me. I'd end up getting sidetracked on the 'net, and the cost of the air card service and the wear and tear on the laptop, I just dont see it. I have a Treo 700w, I have my entire client data base in there, my calendar, and its my phone as well. I can even have a photo of each dog in its file. I can access the 'net (unlimited data ended up just adding $25 to my cell phone bill), if I ever can figure out how to set it up I should be able to check e-mail, but quite frankly I can't think of anything that can't wait until I get home to read. Most of it seems to be spam anyway. I like that most people assume I cannot be reached until mid-afternoon.

          If I get lost I can call up MapQuest. I can even watch the news if I felt like it, but basically my day is to be at the first house by 7:30 am and I usually groom straight through. If my phone rings and it's the unknown caller ring tone I ignore it until later, if it's a client who I am seeing that day or the next I'll pick it up in case it's something that can't wait. Otherwise all calls get returned in the afternoon or evening.

          After 5 - 9 grooms, I go home and walk my dogs, check my e-mail, log my checks into QuickBooks, grab a bite if I haven't stopped off somewhere already and then I tackle cleaning the van. Considering how often I have to replace my Treos I don't think I'd want my laptop in the van with me!

          Meesh

          Comment


          • #6
            Laptop

            I recently began taking along my laptop and I have been thrilled with the convenience. Fortunatly, most of my grooms have several "hotspot" areas around them and as yet, I have not had too much difficulty getting online. I currently use the 123Pet software program that provides a direct link to Mapquest. It has been a huge help. I also log my payments as I go and have more time for cleaning the van (yeah, right) when I get home.
            I recommend giving it a go and bringing the computer along for the ride. There are several companies that offer the plastic keyboard cover and it is defitely a must have.

            Comment


            • #7
              My concern is about the cost. Is it a flat monthly fee or is it like a cell phone and you get X # of minutes for that monthly fee and after than pay extra by the minute?

              I would love the convienence of doing things as I go in the computer. I have also seen places where I could get a pretty small mobile printer (did search online) and could print my invoices directly from QB. This and the abillity to actually swipe credit cards rather than have to call them in would save me a ton of time that should be spent with my husband rather than with the computer once I get home.

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              • #8
                treo 700w

                Originally posted by Meesh View Post
                I think it would end up costing me more time & money to have a laptop and air card in the van with me. I'd end up getting sidetracked on the 'net, and the cost of the air card service and the wear and tear on the laptop, I just dont see it. I have a Treo 700w, I have my entire client data base in there, my calendar, and its my phone as well. I can even have a photo of each dog in its file. I can access the 'net (unlimited data ended up just adding $25 to my cell phone bill), if I ever can figure out how to set it up I should be able to check e-mail, but quite frankly I can't think of anything that can't wait until I get home to read. Most of it seems to be spam anyway. I like that most people assume I cannot be reached until mid-afternoon.

                If I get lost I can call up MapQuest. I can even watch the news if I felt like it, but basically my day is to be at the first house by 7:30 am and I usually groom straight through. If my phone rings and it's the unknown caller ring tone I ignore it until later, if it's a client who I am seeing that day or the next I'll pick it up in case it's something that can't wait. Otherwise all calls get returned in the afternoon or evening.

                After 5 - 9 grooms, I go home and walk my dogs, check my e-mail, log my checks into QuickBooks, grab a bite if I haven't stopped off somewhere already and then I tackle cleaning the van. Considering how often I have to replace my Treos I don't think I'd want my laptop in the van with me!

                Meesh

                What's a treo 700w? Sorry I'm an Artist not a techie.

                Comment


                • #9
                  If you go to verizon's cell phone site, they have a palm pilot/phone combo thingie. That's what it is. Love my technical terminology? I'm an artist too, but I can dabble in technical stuff occassionally...as long as it doesn't involve wiring.

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