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Computer considerations for precision ag software (Part 2)

by Jul 15, 2010SMS™ Software

Welcome back!  As promised, here are the additional items to consider when purchasing a new computer for use with your precision ag software.  In case you missed the first part of this list, click here.

SMS Support Specialist dual monitor setup.

Monitor and Screen Resolution: SMS Basic/Advanced requires at least a 15” monitor with the ability to display a 1024 x 768 screen resolution or higher.  Monitors purchased over the last couple years should have no problem meeting this requirement. If you spend a lot of time analyzing data in your precision ag software or just want more viewing area, I would suggest updating your screen to a 17” screen or larger with full HD 1080P or higher resolution.  For those of you that like to multi-task, you might even consider getting a computer that supports working with dual displays. I’m currently using dual 22” wide-screen monitors at work to do support and testing and I like it much more than the 15” laptop screen that I use at home. CD/DVD/Blu-ray Burner: As with any record keeping system, it’s important to make backups of your information. Your precision farming information should not be treated differently.  Burning backups to a CD (up to 700 MB) or DVD (up to 8.5 GB) is a very cheap way to ensure your data's safety.  For those of you that need more capacity, consider purchasing a Blu-ray burner (up to 50GB).  Making a backup of your precision ag software data and saving it to your computer’s hard-drive is simply not enough.  I’ve heard of hard-drives crashing, computers getting viruses, basement offices flooding, laptops being stepped on, and even where a computer was thrown half-way across the room!!  You depend so much on the information that you’ve spent time collecting in the field, organizing and analyzing it – it would be a shame to have to redo it or worse, lose it altogether. Card Reader: Card readers are what you use to transfer the data from many precision ag displays into your precision farming desktop software.  If you have an Ag Leader Edge display, you will need a card reader that can read Compact Flash (CF) cards.  If you are running an Ag Leader Integra display, you do not need a card reader as the INTERA uses a USB stick which can be inserted into any empty USB port on your computer. Additional add-on’s worth considering:

  • Bluetooth module
  • Built-in WiFi card – b/g/n support
  • Gigabit Ethernet connection/card

Hopefully you now feel more informed before purchasing your next computer.  If you have additional questions on computers, I would recommend working with your computer provider to find out more about the different options that you have.  Good luck!

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