Lifedrivedoc.com began as a place to talk about the Lifedrive. It soon became apparent that it was much more than that. Since moving on from my Lifedrive, I am engaged in more avenues of technology. That technology has intersected with my professional life - Medicine as well as my social life.

As noted above, the blog is about a lot of things in relation to technology. If you are looking for Lifedrive related material, I am currently dividing the blog so that those searches will be easy for you to find. Most of them will be pre 2007, that should help. Additionally, if you are looking for the links that used to be on the left border. They will be back up in a different format soon. I do enjoy reading about new things to do with the Lifedrive, so you can feel free to let me know about those. I will also post those on the site.

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Sunday, November 13, 2005

Any news on a Lifedrive Update?

I am still awaiting the word on when Palm will release an update to the Lifedrive. It is usually around this time that we can expect an update of their product cycle to correct problems.

I believe that December is also a good month for these things. Right now, my Lifedrive is acting as an overpriced MP3 player. It does that very well. It crashes after viewing movies, using mobidatabase, dataviz's programs both for extended periods of time. Wifi is becoming another problem, with many crashes during use. Blazer is unstable for most of the time.

I have just purchased a 1 g ultra card which is magnificent, but for my real work, that of billing etc, I have had to go back to the Tungsten 1. It is getting harder and harder to recommend my "precious" to anyone but a video collector and picture buff. Still, I haven't gone over to the other side, although i have been tempted.

I am also not jumping into the waters for a Tungsten TX. No, I am waiting for an update --probably idiotic to do so -- in the hope that Palm will make things right again. I can only hope.

On another note, I am now begining to wonder whether it is really worth my time setting up databases with mobi Database. I am finding all sorts of restrictions with this program that inhibit me from writing a really good app to collect patient data. It is begining to look like a tool for rearranging and presenting data in a different way, rather than real time updates.

And, since my last post, it appears that Dataviz has struck back in the Office Space, bringing out Version 8 of their Office product. This time they are advertising carbon copy technology that renders word documents exactly the same as their originals -- a page taken from mobi office I presume-- and the very radical native PDF program. Although someone has posted a glitch on the web, the product has been a long time in coming. I will of course wait for version 2.0 of the product to come out before I buy.

So, now without further adieu, I will hibernate once more awaiting the Palm update for the Lifedrive.


Tuesday, November 08, 2005

Highly Recommended List -- Reading long documents

I had the pleasure of going through an important document using my Lifedrive yesterday. It was thrilling. It was not boring as most contracts are. It was very linear and I felt as if I was in control of what I was reading. It was really a very new experience and well worth the time invested.

This information may help many professionals who have a lot of document reading to do. Lawyers, Students, Actors and of course Doctors come to mind.

First off, let's go through the motions of this and what I found to be the most useful:

1. Getting the document into the lifedrive:

o The Lifedrive doesn't crash if you install the document
onto the lifedrive itself. However, it is faster to save
it in memory. Equally as fast is if you use an SD Ultra
II card. It reads from this as though from internal

o Secondly it helps if the file is in a word format. I am
lucky to be in a place that is very tech savvy in this

2. Which program to use once it's there:

Well, I have two programs that I use now. Although I have
heard that Wordsmith is one of the best for .doc files, I
have not used it. I have also not used QuickOffice, which
has received great reviews. But here are my thoughts on
the the two that I do use:

o Documents to Go.

This comes standard with the Lifedrive. Apart from some
early crashes, the upgrade (*a) to it appears to make it
very stable. It loads .doc files very quickly and appears
to navigate equally as fast.

However, for reading some docs, it has several drawbacks.
First, it's default setting appears to be ALL BOLD and the
fonts are too large. It doesn't feel "natural" to read a
document. I found myself having to manipulate the document
to make it readable. Thus, I was never certain whether
certain aspects of the document were important or not. I
felt no continuity or naturality (is that a word?) as I
read it. It was as if a computer just opened the document
and everything was there to be read.

In defense of Dataviz however, once the fonts are changed
there is better readability.

o Mobisystems Office.

Mobisystems offered immediate opening of a document without
queries. The original .doc document opened flawlessly and
appeared as original as the printed copy. The feel of the
reading experience was as close to reading the document on
paper as one could have. I actually flew through it,
highlighting areas and saving versions of the document
(as redundancy is always the key to medicine). I could scroll
through the document at will and I knew exactly where I was at
all times. The bookmark feature was also flawless.

If there is a drawback with Mobi's version it is the slowness
in loading. Whereas, Dataviz loaded the document in about 10
secs, it took Mobi 30-45 seconds to load and render. After
that, things worked out very well. Another small drawback is
the fact that the font files are over 200k each, so that
rendering and formatting comes at a price if you don't have a

Additionally, I have not been able to use the print function
with Mobi yet. It works well with Dataviz's product. I am
certain that may be an issue with the network though.

I have been told that it is possible to load the entire Office
suite onto an SD card. I recommend an ULTRA card if possible
and I will try this soon to see if this works.

Overall, the better program in regards to naturally reading a document was Mobisystems Office. It was actually "fun" to read. And Mobi's very intuitive, Explorer like loading-file window is the best I have ever seen on a Palm device. It even has an area for network files.

3. Advice on Storage:

If you can, I really recommend the ULTRA SD cards for storage. I purchased a Sandisk Ultra II card recently and I have to tell you programs, podcasts, files operate as though they were in memory. It is that fast! It is like having 1 gig of Ram. In terms of storage, I use the Lifedrives' 3.8 g's to just store the files. That seems to work. But always, always, always let redundancy be your guide. Back up and copy everything, especially if it is really important.


(*a) Upgrade to Documents to go if it constantly crashes. This answers the memory leak probem:


Sunday, November 06, 2005

Getting Closer

I am getting a little closer to putting up some Mobi Apps, more medical than not.
I am still having some issues with the program. The main one is redundancy, or lack thereof. One cannot copy databases verbatim to make backups. One can only copy the skeleton or the empty database with all of the queries, forms etc intact. However, once I work out all of the logistics with the host that I wish to use to host the files, I hope that many of you out there will add to the list of files created using this.

I am particularly looking for medical files if possible, but I am not limiting the search to this. Other apps can be added as well. As for selling these apps, I'm not certain that will be a possibility for now. I am just going to use the website in the hope that it helps others. I will probably use the advertising model (NOT THE FOUR LETTER WORD BEGINING WITH S ) to subsidize it.

I think that we can start using this as a source for other projects too, including Dataviz's Smartlist, Handbase among others.