By Joe Stoddard There's no "best way" to use technology. With ingenuity, remodelers can find business solutions the original developers never imagined.

Simple collaboration. A digital camera plus imaging software like Paint Shop Pro ( goes a long way toward eliminating project misunderstandings. Annotate your digital images, then post the marked up versions on your Web site. Or, embed them in contract documents and e-mail them to clients for approval.

Take remote control. You're at home, but your files are on your office computer. No problem. Fire up Microsoft Netmeeting 3.0. Created as a video/chat product, Netmeeting moonlights as an excellent remote control package, and it's free, unlike LapLink or PCAnywhere. If it's not already on your computer, download Netmeeting at

Connect from anywhere. Need to get online but no phone jack in sight? Most new cell phones double as wireless modems. You'll need a special cable to connect the phone to your laptop and wireless data capability added to your account. Despite the slow-poke connection, the first time you download missing appliance rough-ins, or e-mail an approved change order without leaving your truck, you'll be hooked.

--Joe Stoddard is a technology consultant to the construction industry,