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Pampered Chef: Does anyone take there pc to shows?

  1. tiffanypc05

    tiffanypc05 Advanced Member

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    This is the first time I have posted a thread but anyways, I just got a laptop computer and was thinking of taking it to my show tonight and putting the orders in as i go...that way at the end of the show i could tell the host exactly how much in sales she had and all....i was wondering if anyone else has done this and is it worth lagging the pc around?
     
    Jan 24, 2006
    #1
  2. DZmom

    DZmom Veteran Member

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    I'm buying a laptop for just this purpose! I want to be able to focus on my customers instead of my horrible simple math skills! I can do Calculus and Trig in my head, but can't figure tax without messing up royally! So, I'd say try it out at a few shows and see how it goes!
     
    Jan 24, 2006
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  3. bbauman07

    bbauman07 Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Tiffany,
    I don't have a laptop yet but want to get one for this very reason. I think it would be worth it. I know you can take it home and just plug your laptop into your pc and upload the show to your home computer. There is a thread here somewhere that talks about this use your search tool to find if you would like to read it. I hope this has helped.
     
    Jan 24, 2006
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  4. tiffanypc05

    tiffanypc05 Advanced Member

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    thanks...i have to also figure out how i can retrieve my things from my other computer...it crashed...and i have called home office and sat on hold for about twenty minutes yesterday and finally just gave up...i figure having the laptop there would also help with my math skills..haha..mine are awful for some reason when i use a calculator..i know that sounds stupid..but it seems like i have to add it over and over just to make sure it right..
     
    Jan 24, 2006
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  5. Marg

    Marg Advanced Member

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    The only downside to this is when it comes to recruiting.
    You want to make yourself duplicatable (is that even a word?) - and you may lose out on a potential recruit thinking she needs a laptop to do the job.
    Would you still get the guests to fill out an order form? If you don't, you'll have to mail the host the printed receipts for the guests and enure that she gets them before the products arrive.
    Also, I think you'd have to be careful at tally time - this is the best one on one time you will have with your customer. It would be easy to get distracted by inputting all of the info into the laptop and not focus on the person.

    Just some thoughts.
     
    Jan 24, 2006
    #5
  6. Lisa S

    Lisa S Member

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    I take a laptop to every show... this is why.

    1) Last February I did a show with 30 people attending. Checkout took forever and everyone became impatient. I bought the computer with that paycheck.

    2) Having the computer actually gives me more time with my guests. I have them completely fill out their forms. I only enter their name and products at the show. Since I am horrible at math - the computer adds for me and I can have a conversation with them since it takes me about 1 minute to type in the info vs. forever tallying their order manually.

    3) As for the recruit aspect, people have asked me about my computer. I tell them I did not have one for the longest time, but I chose to purchase it as it made my life easier. I tell them that consultants are not required to have one... that you can just use a calculator. I am just math inept - and they usually laugh.

    Hope that helps.
     
    Jan 24, 2006
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  7. jenniferlynne

    jenniferlynne Senior Member

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    I use a laptop instead of a PC now, but have never taken it to a show. I plan to start though and can't wait! It took me awhile to get used to the laptop, but now I prefer it over our PC. I use it for everything. I miss the keypad, but that's it.
     
    Jan 24, 2006
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  8. pamperedbecky

    pamperedbecky Legacy Member

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    I got a laptop around Christmas and have done all my January shows with it. I LOVE it! It saves a lot of time. Plus, I have wireless at home so I can go back and enter addresses and other information while I'm in front of the tv. I do explain to people that it's not necessary to do this business.
     
    Jan 24, 2006
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  9. Chef Kearns

    Chef Kearns Legacy Member Gold Member

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    Me too!

    I bought a laptop last January. It has really helped cut down on paperwork at home and on mistakes. I am like the rest of you even with the calculator I would mess up. I don't know how, but I did it alot! Now, no mistakes and if someone has a conflict with the price I can show them exactly how the COMPUTER added it up.

    I still have the guests fill out an order form. I tell them it is just to document what they bought tonight, but that I will send them a computer print out receipt. I tell them to be sure to file at least 1 of them away in case of warranty questions.
     
    Jan 24, 2006
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  10. ericmcbean

    ericmcbean Gold Member

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    I just used my laptop at a show

    This Saturday and Sunday I used my laptop at the shows, I loved it. I will continue to do the same. However, I do still keep the orderforms just in case something happens. I think you will love to use your laptop at your shows.

    Good Luck,
     
    Jan 24, 2006
    #10
  11. lde1403

    lde1403 Member

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    love it!

    I have always used my laptop at shows since I began a year ago, but tonight I found a new use for it. I have all the pampered chef recipes i have loaded into my laptop. Well, tonight I was making the cheesy bacon bites and realized that I had forgot my recipe at home - SO I thought, it's on my laptop. So i just set my laptop on the counter and used it as my "cook - book" everyone at the show thought it was SO cool!
     
    Jan 24, 2006
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  12. Taking your laptop to your shows

    I have always brought my laptop to my shows and in December had to buy a new one the old one died. :eek: Well, the battery life on this one isn't what it was on the old one, only about an hour, so I finished with the customers but had to figure the hosts order by hand (she wanted to close out right then of course). So I urge you to bring the power cord with you at least until you get a system going. BTW - I figured the host order exactly right, no easy feat in January!!

    Andrea
     
  13. ddcook

    ddcook Member

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    Any recomendations?

    I've been toying with buying one. Most likley with my tax refund check :D But, I know NOTHING about laptops. Is one manufacturer better than another? What size screen do most of you have; 12", 14", 17"? Any advise and/or comments will be greatly appreciated!

    Thanks.
     
    Jan 26, 2006
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  14. pamperedalf

    pamperedalf Senior Member Silver Member

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    I personally love dells. I wouldn't waiste your money on HP, Compaq (If you buy one of these brands get it at costco, they have a great return policy as long as you have a recipt). A friend of mine just received full money back on a laptop that quit after 2 1/2 years, but she had an original recipt. If you are not very computer savy, gateway has an awesome tech support. I love having my laptop, it has made my life easier I couldn't imagine not using it. :D
     
    Jan 27, 2006
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  15. pampered1224

    pampered1224 Legacy Member Silver Member

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    Your best bet...

    From a computer programmer and operator is to go to your local computer store. See what they have and use/play with them to a point. Look at each and the screen size. See which you like best then make notes. One thing to really look for no matter who you go through is a free or very inexpensive software warranty. I have a friend who just got a Dell PC. It bluescreened on bootup - essentially died - one week after she got it. The cost for them to even look at is something like $70 dollars. That's nuts. HP/Compaq has free software warranties as does IBM for a year. Make sure you ask! And the other important thing is that you get at least a one year manufacturer warranty on all parts. YOU DO NOT NEED ANY EXTENDED WARRANTY! DO NOT PAY FOR EXTRA COVERAGE. If something is going to go bad it will occur within the first month or two depending on use. Check out the way the keypad feels, and the extra's that come with it, DVD burner, CD recorder whatever. You want at least a 60gb Hard drive as well. Also, when you do decide and then buy, get yourself a a backup device of some sort. I have one of those, and I really feel stupid here as I do not have it here so I can't tell you what it is, but it plugs into a USB port and looks like a finger. I have a 256 but they come bigger so...
    It is the best to have a backup device that is sperate from the PC or laptop.
    Then, if you are pc illiterate, find a few classes. Some community centers give them free.
    Can't hurt to get the most out of your laptop.
    I carry mine to every show. I stink at tax calcs and why shoud I have to figure out where the host stands manually when Pampered Partner does it for you. THAT's WHAT PP IS FOR. SO WE DON'T HAVE TOO! And I peint NOTHING at the show. It takes about a week to close so why stress on that at the show. And I DO NOT loose my one-on-one with each guest as I have them stay as I input their order, then go over it with them. So, no problem!
     
    Jan 30, 2006
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  16. batroark

    batroark Member Gold Member

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    I got a Dell laptop just after coming back from Leadership. My home PC crashed, took it to a guy that we thought was good, but basically told us that our home PC (Dell also) was wierd and never seen anything like what it was doing.??? I thought I had lost every bit of my PP from since I started, BUT I called HO tech support and they walked me all the way through getting it all back. About the only thing that we did make sure of was this guy working on our computer was able to back up what he could before completely nuking it. I am actually sitting at my kitchen table on my laptop away from my 2 1/2 yr old watching her Dora. I had a catalog show last week that she was a director of a local medical center here in town. I ask before taking it in, and she said of course you and bring your laptop in. When I told her her show total so far was at $244, she got on the phone calling different ones in that she thought would order and may have forgot. By the time we were finished her show sales jumped to $320 or so. And everybody of course knowing was going on about me stepping UP with Pampered Chef and that encouraged them to order that much more to help the host knowing she was shooting for the next level to get her Roasting Pan for 1/2 price which she did. I came out grinning from ear to ear knowing me putting down the investment for this laptop is helping my show sales already!!!!!!!!! I would definitely recommend everyone to get a laptop for this has made my life easier already! :cool: ;)
     
    Last edited: Jan 31, 2006
    Jan 31, 2006
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  17. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

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    There are a couple of things to keep in mind with computers, laptop or otherwise.

    One, the three most important words in the data processing industry are backup, backup, and backup. Until you lose your entire customer list and sales history, though, you won't learn. Recreating from paper by manually reentering data is a good teacher.

    Two, the PamperedPartner is an incredible memory hog and I find it to be relatively slow. I hate waiting for all those windows to pop up and disappear again. The most annoying "feature" of PP is having to use the *&^%$#! mouse to make every part number entry and not being able to use the tab key to move through the order form. I'm a computer jockey by trade but at a show, I can go faster with an order form, a calculator, and a pen. Yes, I have to enter everything at home into my desktop, but my customer also has a hard copy receipt when they go home, which they don't get at a show unless you drag a printer along.

    If you are going to buy a laptop, get as much memory and as big a disk drive as you can afford. A CD-RW drive is also useful but an external one can be kept at home.

    The "thing that plugs into the USB port that looks like a finger" is called a Jump Drive. They're cheap. (You can get them even cheaper on the Internet.) To the computer, it looks like another disk drive, and it is the best way to backup your data. You can use it to transfer your data from your laptop to your desptop, too, as well as back up your database.

    You should also back up your data weekly and monthly to CD or diskette, and keep those CD's somewhere other than at home. (If you have a disaster at home, your data will be safe somewhere else.)
     
  18. pampered1224

    pampered1224 Legacy Member Silver Member

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    Totally agree

    BACK UP, BACK UP, BACK UP. I use my jump drive EVERYTIME I back out of PP. Peace of mind is something good to me. I also heard from the network guys that I work with that the jump drive will eventually just stop working. At the cost though, it's better than lossing all of you PP info and just, to me, more econinomical than using CDs. Plus it is so easy to drop in the pocket so you know where it is at all times.

    I agree with you that PP has it's down side as well as far as movement goes. I can not figure out why it would be so difficult to get the tab keys to work. I contract out some of my projects and I work with a guy who said it is not that difficult to make it work.
    I use my laptop at shows because I am one of those people who has "fat fingers" and can not for the life me use a calculator. What I do is simply get all the way into the host's show before the show. Then it is not too bad. I just can not take a chance at screwing up an order. Plus I look at using a calcualtor like doing double duty. Why figure out the orders twice.

    As always, it is a matter of personal prefernece as to how you wish to do your business.

    So, the main thing is to just remember to do your research. Write down what you want from your laptop and go looking around. Sometimes it is just a matter of the different weights or the size of a screen that will make the decision for you. Or maybe a rebate or special of some sort.

    I have an IBM Think pad. I paid $2400. The reason, it had what I need for PC but also because my boss was willing to split the cost with me as I would use it for my full-time job as well. Good enough reason for me to by an IBM. when you can get a $2200 laptop for $1100 and make payments of $100 a month on a payroll deduction, why not?
     
  19. DZmom

    DZmom Veteran Member

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    When you are entering the order into PP I know you can use tab but you can use the ENTER key! I never use the mouse to enter my orders. I'm an Admin Manager by trade although I gave it up to stay home with my kids and I only use the mouse when I have to. I know all the keyboard shortcuts! I just find it easier! Just enter the item #, press enter and it will jump to the quantity field be automatically filled with 1 and just press enter again and it will move you to the next line's item # field.

    HTH and it should make order entry with PP much easier.
     
    Feb 1, 2006
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  20. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

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    Just for the record - that is counter-intuitive to every piece of order-entry software I have used in the last 25 years, which is why it frustrates me to no end. :mad: "Enter" (or "Return" for those of you who have also been around forever) typically closes the record and goes back to the main menu.

    As long as I'm at it, some of the most useful types of data searches are buried so deeply into the "Print" routines as being next to impossible to remember how to find, let alone use.
     
  21. DZmom

    DZmom Veteran Member

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    I don't think it should matter WHICH key you use to enter the orders into the fields as long as you don't have to use the mouse. I would assume that if you posted your annoyance with the NON-working TAB key that you did NOT realize there was more than one way to skin this particular cat!

    Just my opinion! I apologize if I was stating the obvious and wasting everyone's time!
     
    Feb 1, 2006
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  22. Chef Kearns

    Chef Kearns Legacy Member Gold Member

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    Donna--I'll tell you what...I didn't know that! I'm glad to know it though. So, if you have a helpful hint please know that it will help some people if not all of us. I do not have a technical background. I'm sure I could sub in an elementary class successfully, but I cannot do much with a PC.

    So thank you for the tip!
     
    Feb 1, 2006
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  23. The_Kitchen_Guy

    The_Kitchen_Guy Legend Member Silver Member

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    Feel better now that you've got that out of your system?

    You aren't stating the obvious, but you are, in fact, reinforcing another one of my pet peeves with PP. The documentation is abysmal. I can't help it, I'm a documentation guy.
     
  24. jenniferp417

    jenniferp417 Advanced Member

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    I just wanted to jump in the middle here and respectfully disagree with the poster who said not to buy extended warranties.

    With a laptop, the internal parts - especially things like the motherboard (the "brain" in a way) - are VERY VERY expensive. An extended warranty will cover that long after the manufacturer no longer will.

    The biggest thing: tech support. Staples, for example, has 24/7 phone support. It's 3 am, you HAVE to get a show submitted... and something goes weird... there's someone you can call.

    I'll admit: I worked at Staples for 7 years. I bought extended warranties on every computer I've ever owned. They can pay for themselves in SPADES when things go wrong.

    That being said - I love Dell. We have two Dell computers in our house right now.
     
    Jan 28, 2007
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  25. chefkristin

    chefkristin Senior Member Gold Member

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    I work at Staples at the Home office in Accounts Payable. Did you work at a store?
    Staples is laying off over 200 people as of April 30th. I am included. :(

    About the laptop-I bring it to every show and it is so much easier and I don't have so much work to do when I get home. I have a Gateway and I LOVE it!
     
    Jan 28, 2007
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  26. lisacb77

    lisacb77 Veteran Member

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    I take my laptop to shows, except for when I've done some holiday open houses with other reps and we didn't have a ton of guests. The worst part is fighting DH for it on football Sundays :)

    The way I get more one on one with the guests is I ask them to read out their item numbers to me and I call out what it is back to them. I tell them it's so I make sure it comes up right, but really it's in case I can cross sell, etc :)

    Ppl that ask about recruiting, I make sure to let them know it's not a requirement, it's just convenient for me that me & DH got it as an Xmas present and it saves me the step of typing in when I get home.

    HTH!
     
    Jan 28, 2007
    #26
  27. Susan M

    Susan M Novice Member Gold Member

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    I purchased a laptop over a year ago and have had my business for 7 years when I did so. I found that checkout was a pain when you had a lot at one show. I have had people ask me about my computer and I just tell them that I didn't have one for so long but decided to use one of my paychecks to give myself a gift around the holidays a year ago. They think that is so cool! This way I can also have the host sit with me at the end of her show and see everything up close and personal on the PC and they love it. Plus everything is already on my computer and I don't need to enter it when I get home and I can close everything out and balance and transmit.

    Another plus to having my computer now is that I can play the new DVD at my shows "Your Life, Your Way". You could have this playing at the end of your show or as people are coming in. One way or the other somebody is going to see this and actually pay attention and could actually get more recruits right on the spot. My director friend and I actually toyed with this idea last night and I played it on my laptop to see the effect and it can actually be quite inspiring at your shows. I saw the consultant do this on the new DVD we received "Getting Started Training DVD" - she had them go into the living room while they were eating and watch it on the TV. So why not the laptop too.
     
    Feb 1, 2007
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  28. tashayoung

    tashayoung Guest

    I love taking my laptop. My day job is accounting and I hate thinking about numbers away from there. :) I had one host ask if I had to have a laptop and I told her "no, I just wanted a calculator that multi-tasked"

    I can't tell you though how many times I've used it to pull up the internet and check out the PIG or other info from CC. I also have mobile broadband and I love it.
     
    Feb 1, 2007
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  29. pamperedgirl3

    pamperedgirl3 Senior Member

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    I have had my laptop since December. It was an early Christmas present from DH. I LOVE it! I hated messing up with tallying & not catching if a customer put down the wrong price/pantry at the top, etc. Plus, sometimes my calculator doesn't want to work if the light in the room is dim. This way I can focus on the person as I take their order instead of having to type numbers in a calculator. I've had a few people ask if I had to have it & I told them no, it is just nice to have. I plan on putting the Your Life DVD in mine too--just have to make sure it works.
     
  30. GourmetGirl

    GourmetGirl Senior Member Silver Member

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    I think everyone has just convinced me to try using my laptop at a show next week! Thankfully I know the host pretty well, so I can get her feedback on it afterwards. Thanks for all the first hand experience!
     
    Feb 2, 2007
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  31. Chef Bobby

    Chef Bobby Veteran Member Gold Member

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    Dell does offer a discount to consultants if anyone needs one. I've only used my laptop at a home show and it worked out great. I had my grown daughter entering orders as I was talking to guest before they left.
     
    Feb 2, 2007
    #31
  32. lizcooks4u

    lizcooks4u Advanced Member

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    laptops shows...

    I have a laptop with wireless card built in, but to make it even better I purchased a Sony Erickson Data card from T-Mobile (my family plan, cheaper and better than Sprint!!) and thought about taking it to shows, but people down here for the most part *where I've done most shows* can't afford much so haven't taken it to do shows with. It sure would make things much easier now though too, especially with the new PP3.

    liz:cool:
     
    Feb 2, 2007
    #32
  33. etteluap70PC

    etteluap70PC Legacy Member Gold Member

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    I have been using a laptop at my shows for over 3 years. I love it! I do not connect to the internet. I have all the specials downloaded though so I can reference them if I need it. I get alot of compliments and all my friends who are cons. for other companies are soooo jealous of our awesome software!

    I tell guests that a laptop is not requered but it works for me. I love my job so much and I get so excited while doing my shows that by the time I am done I need all the help in the math department I can get!
     
  34. AJPratt

    AJPratt Legend Member Silver Member

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    I use one. I always tell them that I bought it with a commission check!
     
    Feb 4, 2007
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  35. Jilleysue

    Jilleysue Veteran Member Silver Member

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    Dell, Dell, Dell, Dell, Dell, Dell, Dell!!!!
     
    Feb 4, 2007
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  36. lkspeir

    lkspeir Member

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    I haven't downloaded PP3 yet, but I"m wondering will we still be able to enter in orders at shows without being connected to the internet?

    yes, I agree DELL!
     
    Feb 4, 2007
    #36
  37. AJPratt

    AJPratt Legend Member Silver Member

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    Yes... it just updates things automatically.

    BTW: I have a Toshiba!
     
    Feb 4, 2007
    #37
  38. etteluap70PC

    etteluap70PC Legacy Member Gold Member

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    Toshiba for me too! Absolutely LOVE it! I did lots of research, and will be buying another one in the next year...
     
  39. PamperedK

    PamperedK Veteran Member Silver Member

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    Once my powercord is fixed, I'm going to do this as well. At least once at every show, I have a math error that I have to pay for! Last show I added up a guest's order, and she was $6 away from the special, so she ordered another cook's corer...turns out, I entered $6.50 into my calculator instead of $16.50 for a product, and had to eat the extra $10.

    I think taking my laptop will be very beneficial for me. And once I start having a more full schedule and making some real money, I will buy a new one!
     
    Feb 4, 2007
    #39
  40. DebbieJ

    DebbieJ Legend Member

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    I use my laptop at shows and use the write in receipts. I fill out the math part after first entering the order into PP as the customer tells me what they want. Then the program does the math for me, I write it in, and they get a receipt. Everything is done at once! I love it!
     
    Feb 4, 2007
    #40
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