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Appraisal Software

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Robert W Bell

Freshman Member
Joined
May 4, 2003
Professional Status
Certified Residential Appraiser
State
South Carolina
Does any one know of a appraisal software that will run on a Mac operating system. I have wintotal and a brand new computer with the best of everything and windows XP. I get winform errors constantly, BLUE SCREEN and loss of all data as well as printer drivers.

Thanks,

bob bell
 

Joshua Fookes

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
Man I would be on that like flies on stink.

I'm a hugh mac buff and the only reason I bought my PC was because I needed something to run Wintotal. I'll tell you the mac is far superior in stability and effecientcy.

HEY Alamode, LEARN TO WRITE UNIX FOR MAC OSX AND SEE IF YOUR TECH SUPPORT DOESN'T TAKE SOME TIME OFF.

Josh
 

xm39hnu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
As far as I know, there is none. We <were> using Bradford and Robbins, back when they published MacAppraiser. But they dropped the ball, so I wrote my own 1004 and report generator using Adobe Acrobat and JavaScript.

It works O.K., but a la mode is not in any danger.

However, there's a new kid moving in. OpenOffice.Org publishes an open source office suite which is file-compatible with MS Office programs. It will link to any database with an ODBC or JDBC driver. You can construct your own forms in its word processor, save as PDF, and even e-mail out of it. Price? $0! Free! Drawbacks? Runs in the Unix partition under X-11, so it's slow. Next year, however, they should have a version out called NeoOffice. That version will run under Aqua and Quartz, and will not need X-11.

Combine this with the PostgresQL database (also open source and free) Apache Web Server (also open source and free) and you can have a web-enabled database solution which might make A La Mode very uncomfortable. Or perhaps they'll just adapt, and start publishing for Mac/Unix.
 

Justin Czerniak

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
No Sorry I do not know of any.

But you can take a blank form wintotal and print it to a pdf file.
Then open it on the mac, so then you can type right into it or export the form to excel.

I can not think of any other way right now.
 

xm39hnu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida

But you can take a blank form wintotal and print it to a pdf file.
Then open it on the mac, so then you can type right into it or export the form to excel.

Oh, no, no, no. It's not that easy. You can print the blank to a PDF. You can open the PDF on the Mac. But that's as far as you're going to get unless you own Acrobat Professional.

If you do own Acrobat, then you must place all fields on the form (one at a time), declare their type, and program any calculations you want to make. Any data you've entered can be saved as an FDF file, or you can save the whole form if you're using Acrobat Standard or Professional, but not the free Adobe Reader. You cannot save field data with the free Reader.

These problems are the reason I recommend looking closely at OpenOffice.org, since you can save the WinTotal form as a JPG or PNG, open it in OpenOffice, place your fields, and have that entered data automatically saved into a PostgresQL database. You can also print to PDF right out of OpenOffice. That program also offers the option to e-mail out of it directly, but I haven't tried that option yet, so I can't speak for the quality of its capability. The main thing lacking in OpenOffice is the ability to electronically sign the report.
 

Joshua Fookes

Junior Member
Joined
Jan 15, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
California
I hearby nominate Jim as the mac spokeman to cordinate with alamode and integrate alamode software for the Mac.

If you can pull it off, I'll buy you a new G5!

I'd love to get off windows. I've got a nice box and all but it's nothing compared to my mac.

Josh
 

Justin Czerniak

Junior Member
Joined
Jul 6, 2003
Professional Status
Licensed Appraiser
Yes, you are right Jim.
you would want acrobat pro.
I was assuming that was installed.
 

xm39hnu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Originally posted by Robert W Bell@Jul 10 2003, 02:25 PM
Does any one know of a appraisal software that will run on a Mac operating system. I have wintotal and a brand new computer with the best of everything and windows XP. I get winform errors constantly, BLUE SCREEN and loss of all data as well as printer drivers.

Thanks,

bob bell
I just re-read the post that started this thread. Bob, it sounds like you may have some faulty memory, or possibly faulty cooling. Both will produce erratic errors. XP is pretty stable, for a Micro$oft Operating System, although it has some gaping security holes in it, recently found. Check their website for the patch. A La Mode I've never used extensively; won't run on Connectix's Windows Emulator for the Mac. From what others say, it's a stable piece of software. That leaves only hardware faults as the most probable culprit. Of those, memory and cooling are the two cheapest and easiest to find. If you have a Compaq box, be advised that their return rate is reported to be approaching that of Packard Bell, around 30%.
 

xm39hnu

Senior Member
Joined
Jul 10, 2003
Professional Status
General Public
State
Florida
Originally posted by Joshua Fookes@Jul 18 2003, 11:48 AM
I hearby nominate Jim as the mac spokeman to cordinate with alamode and integrate alamode software for the Mac.

If you can pull it off, I'll buy you a new G5!

I'd love to get off windows. I've got a nice box and all but it's nothing compared to my mac.

Josh
I would much rather encourage the development of an open source solution. I've used Bradford and Robbins' MacAppraiser. They started out programming for the Mac. Compared to Total (DOS version) it was a dream come true. But Windows outstripped Mac in market share, so they've all but abandoned MacAppraiser in favor of Appraiser's Toolbox. Bought MacAppraiser for my wife when she got certified. About five years later, I started helping her measure and inspect, and proofreading her reports, and got interested enough to attend the qualifying ed courses. Got my Trainee's license, and called Bradford and Robbins to see how to get my name in the Appraiser's field. They told me it'd cost me another $250! For software I already own! Only one of us at a time can use it.

There is no excuse for the extortion we have to pay on an annual basis to the Software Gods at Microsoft, A La Mode, ACI, etc. (And I'm not knocking A La Mode. I've heard nothing bad about their software, and I've heard lots of good comments about their service.) Everything we need to do--and more--can be done by open source systems. If we can get one simple 1004 system working to generate a good appraisal report and save the data, and do it through an open source system like Open Office, then we can shed the shackles of ALL these specialized software houses.

Here's how Open Source works: we're the programmers! Now, few of us can program at the level of the developers of Open Office or Linux. But we can darn well write an algorithm for calculating the Cost Approach from entered and stored data. (For non-programmers, the algorithm is the method of solving the problem. You learned the algorithm for the cost approach in your qualifiying ed classes. The program is the list of instructions which actually solves the problem.

Now, I do a lot of 1004's, because you can't do 2055's (exterior) in a rural area and get good results. So I develop my 1004 processor in Open Office. Maybe one of you folks in the city needs a 2055, so you develop that form in Open Office. I post mine to the common website for download. Y'all download it, use it, and b***h about its faults. Somebody else says, "Plante's too lazy to fix this turkey, so I'm gonna." She does, and posts the improved form on the website. Soon we have an assortment of form appraisals, narrative templates for all kinds of different sorts of properties, canned comments, macro's etc. -- and all of it free for the downloading time. I happen to get an assignment where I can use the 2055, so I download yours, use it, and b***h about it.

No single one of us will probably ever produce a form that works completely right the first time. Each time someone repairs a fault, it gives somebody else an idea. That idea gets incorporated. And it just gets better and better.

The thing I like most about Open Office is that there are versions which run on just about any platform or operating system. The three biggies--Linux, Windows, and Mac--get the most attention. However, templates written on a Windows box will run on Linux and Mac, and vice versa.

Open Office can be downloaded for free from http://www.OpenOffice.org/. It contains Writer, which is a styles-based word processor; Calc, which is an Excel-like spreadsheet; Draw, which is a vector drawing program similar to Adobe Illustrator, but which has some of the features of Visio; and Impress, which is a presentation program similar to PowerPoint. Writer, Calc, and Draw can exchange data within live frames, i.e., you change a drawing which is incorporated in your word processing doc, and the frame in that doc reflects your changes automatically. Same with calc charts. Hell, go to the website and check it out. This post is already too long.

What do the rest of you folks think about starting an open source website for appraisers?
 

frankpace

Freshman Member
Joined
Apr 30, 2003
Professional Status
Certified General Appraiser
State
Canada
I to am a Mac user and somewhat disapointed with the appraisal software that existed.

We use, and with great success, Filemaker Pro. Its a cross platform off the shelf relational database program that we find very stable and feature rich.

We have all the time saving features of the big boys and more. It is considerably faster to populate the form because we built it and we have created in house solutions for our particular needs. With Filemaker Mobile we even have a pda solution (works with Palm and CE).

We never worry about site licenses, have NEVER needed tech support and we did it all inhouse. A fellow area appraiser has joined the Filemaker enthusiast team and has hired a Pro to suit his large office's particular networking and appraisal form needs.

If a group of appraisers got together and formed a cooperative, a feature rich and very inexpensive form software solution could shared (mac, wintel and linux users).
 
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