Thursday, June 18, 2009

Does your iTunes stop recognizing your iPhone after 3.0 update:

If, like me, you treacherously updated your iPhone to 3.0, in order to get the latest and greatest software or just to experience Copy and Paste in all its glory, then you spent the time going through the backup process, which seemed like an eternity and the reboot process.

The next morning you awoke and forgot to download that all important app or you found out it wasn't in your homepage. Or you just remembered that you had to recreate the scene from Office Space where you pretend to be a rapper, even though you're really a suit and tie guy/gal. You try to hook up with iTunes and suddenly your iPhone is no longer recognized.

What do you do? Well first of all, like a good geek, I went to the Apple forums, where you can get an answer to almost any question in regards to your software/hardware problems within minutes. It's sponsored by Apple, but mainly answered by die-hard fanatics and it is a diamond in the rough when it comes to information. Today, that failed me dismally. The information that I got did not work.

Then I called my closest Apple store. They suggested redownloading iTunes and/or reinstalling iPhone 3.0. The latter by the way paved the way to another question, which was answered badly: Can I downgrade to iPhone 2.2? NO! Was the answer, you can't. Now you know.

I didn't do any of the above. After 2 hours of tinkering, including turning on the computer, turning it off; turning on the iPhone, rebooting the iPhone, Soft reboot, Hard reboot, I finally tried something that I had learned in the Windows World 3 years ago, just before I did "an office space massacre" with my shoes (remember the scene with the copy machine?). That event led to my first iMac.

Anyway, without further procrastination, here is what I did and it worked flawlessly:

1. Turn off the iPhone and disconnect it from the USB connector.
2. Hard reset the iPhone.
3. Turn off the Computer.

6. Leave everything off for 30 seconds to 1 minute.
7. Plug the computer back in and restart.
8. Boot up iTunes (and iPhoto if you've got it set up that way).
9. Plug in the USB connector. iTunes should recognize the iPhone now.

Let me know if this works for you. It worked well for me and increased productivity too. I was able to get back to work (it was a day off) on important things and enjoy that fruity iPhone goodness.

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.