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AgSnap

Technology in Agriculture, Simplified

August 31, 2017
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Don’t Change Your Computer’s Date & Time

So maybe you have an older piece of computer software that doesn’t like today’s date and time. Or maybe it “expires”, even though you’ve paid for it properly (this isn’t to be used for getting around trials). So to get around the issue of a calendar date the software developers didn’t anticipate, you change the date on your computer for that one program.. So what’s the big deal with that? Well I’ve seen major problems with more modern kinds of desktop computer software such as JD Apex or AgLeader SMS. Date and time is important to these programs, they don’t usually like seeing an old calendar date, and can throw errors or corrupt files. More than once this has happened, it’s easy to forget to change the calendar date back and forth for that one other program.

I recently ran across a solution to solve changing the date and time for a specific program. It’s called “RunAsDate“. This simple, little executable changes the date and time for just the program you want it to. It does not affect any other programs on your computer. I’m using this on a parts catalog program and it’s been flawless so far. Make sure Immediate Mode is checked on.

http://www.nirsoft.net/utils/run_as_date.html

July 14, 2017
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Voice Recognition Technology in Agriculture

Friday thoughts…

You can ask your $500 smartphone almost anything by voice

You can ask a $100 Amazon Alexa or Google Home device almost anything by voice

You can tell your $50k automobile to change the station or navigate somewhere (maybe) by voice

But we have $200k-$500k+ farm machines you can’t ask anything?
And they can’t verbally tell us why something quits or breaks either?

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June 27, 2017
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Subscription AgTech Thoughts – New Gen 4 4640 Display and More

Earlier this month, John Deere announced a new model to replace the 7 year old standalone 2630 display, the new Gen 4 4640 display. The new 4640 operates very much the same as the Gen 4 Command center displays, which have been on the armrest of large, final tier 4 emissions tractors for almost four years now. However, there is a huge change in the strategy of software activations such as AutoTrac and Section Control.

Instead of one-time fees for activations, the 4640 requires a recurring annual or five year subscription. This is a major shift in strategy for the second time in the last four years. For 2630 displays and other previous generations, activations were both transferable and up-gradable to the newer generation of display (ex: 2600 -> 2630).

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May 27, 2017
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#DeereAMS Q&A Spring 2017

Long overdue for Q&A post.. here’s an update on the things I saw this Spring, 2017..

 

I do have to say the software this spring has been great. Unless you have a very specific reason not to update software, I highly recommend updating your 2630 display and 3000 / 6000 receiver. I had one 2630 that for whatever reason would not AutoTrac on last spring’s software, so it was backdated. Updated said display this spring and no problems at all.  Even had very minimal problems with Apex, but the software changes there have been very minuscule for some time.

Note: If you do your own updates, I’d highly recommend the method I went over in this YouTube video:

(many folks seemed to have difficulties with updates failing when hooked to SeedStar planters this spring)

 

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February 25, 2017
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Precision Ag and Farm Equipment on eBay

A few quick thoughts and things to watch for on eBay…

 

Used Precision Ag items on eBay

You need to be very careful buying used Precision Ag items on eBay.
The issue isn’t so much about sellers not providing what they said they would, it’s buyers not getting what they expected.

You CANNOT buy a BASICS activation for an GreenStar 2/3/4 display.. you CANNOT activate anything or even make a map without BASICS
– They can be transferred however, but the donor won’t have BASICS
– Many times these are displays that have been replaced under warranty and didn’t go back or get destroyed like they should have

Watch out for displays and receivers from other countries
– AMS products are region locked  (North America one region.. three other regions for the rest of the world)
– Some of these may actually work, but it’s a huge risk and they might not be able to be software updated

On the flip side of this, I have purchased several harnesses and brackets off eBay at a nice savings and had no problems. I have also sold a couple items for a great price as well due to eBay. ATU’s in particular seem to sell for almost new price.

Long story short, used AMS tends to resell very good. If something goes for half normal price, it’s probably for a reason.

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February 11, 2017
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Rant: Ag Website Design Going Backwards

 

Hey marketing and website design people.. wake the heck up and stop making websites worse

I’ve been browsing many equipment and technology websites lately, and I have to say I’m really disappointed a lot of the website redesigns.

It never ceases to amaze me when equipment dealers and other Ag businesses spend tens of thousands of dollars to “modernize” their web sites and they end up with a barely functional website which looks like some kind of cross between Facebook and a crappy photo gallery.

 

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January 30, 2017
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Art of the Ag Equipment Deal

So you want one hell of a deal on a piece of farm equipment?
You’d better be prepared to do the work to get that deal.

There are many factors that effect your ability to get a good deal on farm equipment. Here are my thoughts on how to get a good deal on farm equipment:

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January 29, 2017
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Cheap Unlimited 4G Internet?

Around a year ago, I stumbled on some online discussion of a cheap source for internet access that seemed too good to be true. An unlimited hotspot device that uses cellular 4G technology to deliver unlimited internet for $10-20 a month seemed impossible; and even tax deductible as a charity donation too? But as I found out over the last few days, these options are real, and it works… If you have really good Sprint cellular data coverage.

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November 28, 2016
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The Internet Connected Security Camera Conundrum

I’ve been researching IP (internet protocol) security cameras lately, and I’ve arrived at the conclusion that a perfect one does not exist. I guess that shouldn’t be a surprise with any piece of technology, but it’s especially prevalent in the fast evolving home security sector. Here’s some ideas of what I have been researching and some common sense tips. Let me know what you think / what experiences you’ve had.

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November 20, 2016
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4K TV’s – A Few Notes of Caution

I’ve had several questions about 4K TV’s as of late. It seems like 4K TV deals are everywhere right now as we lead up to Thanksgiving and the holiday season, so let’s try and make this simple. Depending on what you use a TV for, be careful on what is really a deal and what is really unnecessary.  Very little content like sports, TV programs, and movies are being filmed in 4K. Very few of us have internet capable of streaming 4K video. The standards for broadcast over the air antennas haven’t even been finalized for local TV stations to transmit in. Additionally, most cable and satellite TV boxes can’t even do 4K, or don’t have any 4K content. I wouldn’t throw out or replace an HDTV that’s working just fine for a 4K TV unless you had a very specific reason.

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