Sunday, June 14, 2009


Welcome to my new blog. The Iphonedoc is a blog about, well whatever I feel like writing about on the day. Most of it will be Mac related.

A little about me. I am a physician and I work a very long day. In my spare time however, I love to play music, write and enjoy some of the tech toys that I purchase every once in a while. Most of my "toys" are utilitarian, meaning they were purchased not so much for fun, but for work. Hence, my Mac has enhanced my life in so many ways that my original Windows XP machine could not. I never upgraded to Vista on account of not only negative publicity, but because a lot of my software would not run on it. It would however run flawlessly in Parallels on my Mac.

During this time, my faithful companion was my Lifedrive by Palm. I have been in the Palm fold for almost 9 years, but the day that I received the Lifedrive as a gift, I wanted to go somewhere else! The device was a nightmare! None of my software would run on it without crashing. Despite letters to the chairman - yes, I didn't stop with just customer service - nothing was ever done to correct the problem. Nevertheless, I learned how to use the Lifedrive and kept the crashing to a minimum. This included:

1. Never attaching the Lifedrive to the Computer for backups.
2. Learning how to back up individual files without hotsynching.
3. Hotsynching = Strychnine. After every hotsync, my Lifedrive was more unstable.
4. Limiting file transfers to the SD card. The actual 4 gigabytes of onboard memory were so volatile that anything interrupting it would cause a soft reset, lasting 4-7 minutes at a time, in which you held your breath and hoped that your data was still there.

There's a lot more, but you can peruse for those horror stories and solutions.

After alot of soul searching, beginning in 2006, I looked for alternatives to my Lifedrive. I was going to purchase the TX, but found that it had the same flawed operating system as the Lifedrive and the only thing that separated the two was that the reset time was only 1-2 minutes instead of 7. I then saw the iPhone. I fell in love with it immediately, but wondered how useful would it be if I can't put programs on the device. Thus I waited for the App store to come out. Then I thought, what a lot of hype. Lots of preliminary programs, but no true medical ones. Then Handbase came out and a few calculators and I began to see the light. Palm was dying! And it didn't matter what you looked at, the obvious choice among Physicians and others in the health care field was the iPhone. It would only be a matter of time before the other companies started falling like flies. In the medical profession Palm ruled, but that was going to erode and I could see it coming, whether Palm issued the greatest device known to all mankind or not. Windows CE or whatever it's called these days would not stop it either. Despite its long entry into the medical field, multitasking (done wrong) and supposed interoperability with Microsoft Office, I found it lacking.
Wifi setup was a pain. Exchange was was a pain (that coming from IT itself), rendering of spreadsheets and other data poor - a surprise given the fact that Microsoft created it. No, I would wait.

The change however came in October of last year when the 3G model came out. I bought a few medical apps, which were rudimentary and could not replace my Lifedrive, until Handbase and SplashIDcame out. Once those arrived, I knew that it was time for me to move on. It was one of the most difficult transitions ever. You see, I am not afraid to say the following: I LOVE PALM COMPUTERS. Literally, I actually turned around, after being 20 miles out, to go home and pick up my Palm VX once - in snow! But, the promises that came from Palm, from 2006 onwards were too much to bear. The constant delays, purchases, sales, purchases of the OS were just too much. With Palm announcing that they were ditching the PalmOS altogether and moving to WebOS, I knew that I had made the right choice. WebOS is really akin to Apples iPhone incursion into this field. It didn't work as well as it was first perceived. Delays in application runtime and the inherent design of Java (can you say long load times) make this not the best in show. Although I believe Palm will be working on internal applications, I cannot afford to wait any longer for software, updates etc.

As for Microsoft? The technology is old! Apple is leading the way now for the handheld market. More and more developers are turning to them. I am learning OSX myself to attempt to write a few rudimentary apps. The SDK is right there in the computer to learn. No downloading etc.

Yes, I am an iPhone guy now and I don't see myself turning back to Palm or any other handheld system any time soon. Having said that, I really do wish Mr. Rubinstein and Palm all the best and I really want them to succeed with the Palm Pre. Not only for all of the people who love Palm as I do, but competition will make the iPhone better.

So what of this blog? Well, I am going to write about a lot of Medical Apps that I have purchased. And just as in my previous blog about the Lifedrive, I will neither receive nor accept any software, kickbacks or anything of the sort. I will give my honest opinion (and I state that early, because there are a few negative ones coming up). Most of my commentary will be made in the hope that the programmer/developer/company improves the product. I am not an island unto myself, thus I am always open to criticism and suggestions. I will write about the iMac, not just the iPhone, although the latter will predominate. I will also write about a lot of software not germane to Medicine. You will be able to pick out things on the side that you're interested in. I do read my mail. So feel free to drop me a line.

/The iPhone Doc.

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