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I hate doing estimates. But without them, I’d be out of work, so my goal is to make them as easy and painless as possible. These days, we’re besieged with a bewildering array of tools to help us estimate: spreadsheets, estimating programs, laptops, and palm pilots. But is the high-tech route right for every company? Will it necessarily make your estimates faster, more accurate, and more consistent? For some, particularly larger companies, the answer is an unqualified yes. The rest of us need to consider the cost of re-tooling and training time. Factor in a half-dozen high-tech glitches, computer crashes, and the need to regularly update material and labor prices, and then ask yourself: Will a move to high tech