Well, I finally found my answer after doing tons of research and speaking to multiple idiots....I mean Chevy owners. lol The problem is there isn't really one simple answer because GM changes the computers and the language they speak every so often. In fact, depending on the year and model you might need two different readers for two different vehicles simply because one is a 2007 and the other is a 2009. Regardless, the home mechanic's best option is to get a cloned version of the official GM tool. Essentially someone in Chine bought an official GM tool, hacked it, copied all the software etc, and then bundled it up into something a regular schmoe can afford, and you can buy it on Amazon. lol There are several options depending on what year vehicle you have, and, of course, which brand of hacked software you want to buy. I won't post it up here, because it's hacked and not just an independent innovation like FORScan, but if someone wants to know what I used I can PM a link.
I will warn everyone, though, if you're buying software from China be prepared for some malware/virus issues. Depending on what you get it may be a legitimate virus or not. What I mean is the software looks like a virus to anti-virus software when it's being installed sometimes, but of course sometimes there actually IS a virus snuck into the package. I decided to scan the software before installing. My AV found a virus and took care of it. I installed and tried running the software and it wouldn't work. A bit more research and I found out how the legit software can appear like a virus, which explains why the instructions said to turn off the anti-virus (almost always a bad idea). Me, being a computer geek of sorts, opted to instead install the software as-is into a sandbox (a virtually segregated part of the computer which can't infect anything else). When the virus alert appeared I told it to allow the install. Once installed it worked perfectly. I then did an in-depth scan of the sandbox and no virus was present....it was just the legit software appearing that way during the install. This was my experience. Others had legitimate viruses. YMMV. Oh.....it's also a PITA to use! No instructions really. Feels a lot like those little mini computers you use at Walmart to figure out which filter you need by pressing the down arrow until you reach your year, model, engine, etc. You literally have to tell it what vehicle it is connected to or else it won't work right....but it does work. And it does have some limited reprogramming. So far I have only used the feature to change tire size, but there's supposed to be more.