Using CowCalf5 with PDA's
The biggest challenge with any Cattle Production
Record System is getting the data entered into the system in
a timely matter. Historically, data was collected on paper forms
and entered into the computer at a later date. By the time most
data is entered, the data is historical. Most of the relevant
and timely decisions had been performed without the use of the
We realized this problem years ago, and created
a program call ChuteSide when notebook computers were first
invented. The problems we encountered using a notebook at the
chute were numerous. First off, notebook computers are very
expensive. Most producers do not want to take an expensive notebook
out into a corral with dirt, moisture and cattle. Secondly,
notebooks only run on batteries for a short time, so AC power
is usually required, and may not be available. Finally, it is
nearly impossible to see a
notebook screen in the bright sun light. The glare on the screen
makes using a computer in the sunlight nearly impossible.
In the late 1990's, PDA's (Personal Data Assistant)
were invented. Unlike notebook computers, PDA's are designed
to work outside, run for days on one charge, are light and portable,
inexpensive and can be programmed like a computer.
We have developed software for the pda that allows
you to export your current herd inventory to the PDA. Make the
changes on the pda while working the cattle, then simply place
the PDA into a charging cradle and hot sync the data directly
back into the computer. Using the PDA, your data can be entered
into CowCalf5 within minutes of working the last animal.
Software for either the Palm or Windows
CE (Pocket PC) operating systems is included free with your
purchase of CowCalf5.
Some of the advantages of using a PDA over paper