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.

If you are having trouble getting an RSS Feed, click on the feed link below or type this into your reader: http://feeds.feedburner.com/lifedrivedoccom


Sunday, January 29, 2006

Mike Mace Speaks.

Again, if you get a chance, head to Mr. Michael Mace's website for an insider's look at the Lifedrive. Below is Mr. Mace's response to my comment on his story.

Michael Mace said...
Hi, LDD! You're the sort of user I had in mind for an archive device. I agree with you that solid state storage would be better than a hard drive, assuming the price is equivalent.

Thanks Mike and I am adding your site to my sites list on the left. Certainly you are one of the most influential people that I have come across in the Palm Community. Such honesty is hard to come by these days, but I think that we are on track for something special from Palm.


Michael Mace Great Article on the Lifedrive

If you get a chance, please see the blog of Mr. Michael Mace, "former Chief Competitive Officer and VP of Product Planning at Palm, VP of Strategic Marketing at PalmSource" at mobileopportunity.blogspot.com.

Mr. Mace provides a view that is really unique about the shortcomings of the Lifedrive Mobile Manager. I think that Palm will readily acknowledge some of the shortcomings that Mr. Mace is not afraid to describe.

I am very confident that Palm will come out with a Lifedrive 2 that far exceeds our expectations for stability and efficiency. I think that CEO Ed Colligan is actually listening to and reading the criticism about the device.

From almost all corners of the world in regards to both top devices, we are hearing about the need to have more on board memory - 128 to 256 megs minimum for Lifedrives and Treos. In order to run older programs that require continuous memory, you need to have at least this amount of memory on board. Hopefully we will see this come to fruition.

I did leave some feedback on Mr. Mace's site because I think that there were a few things missing from his post in regards to the lack of robust sales of the device. Hard Resets and sluggish response times were not initially mentioned and I feel that these issues kept a lot of physicians from buying the device.

But as one who loves the Palm Operating system I reiterate my confidence that the Lifedrive 2 will be a great device. They have had more time for testing and the support from even ex-employees such as Mr. Mace, combined with a CEO who appears to be listening, all bode well for the future.


Sunday, January 15, 2006

Thoughts on a New Lifedrive

February 16 and/or 26th appear to be coming from a few sources of mine in regards to the release of a Lifedrive 2. I am certainly hoping from a software standpoint that Palm offers the following if this is true:

1. A resolution of the memory leak fiasco which has not really been resolved with the update. I have called upon many friends in the field who have done the update and they are still experiencing soft resets at inapropriate times.

Speaking to a few software developers, some are perplexed by the fact that the program portions are in the same areas as the hard drive. They are suggesting that Palm should have and possibly should just come out with a solid state 128 to 256 mb Rom/Ram and then have the hard drive portion - 4-8 gigs - act as a repository and storage. Better yet, turn the whole thing into a solid state solution with NVFS and I think that this would solve the entire problem.

(If I recall, the Zaurus has a 4g hard drive and they do not seem to have this problem. I bring this up since the Zaurus runs on the same platform as the Lifedrive).

2. If they went to an all solid state solution, the size and weight would be decreased substantially. The only thing left to work on would tbe the aesthetics. Right now, it's a bit of a gladiator.

3. Right out of the box video and audio compatibility without the use of 3rd party apps. With the advent of the ipod and with the new offerings from Creative Labs and Samsung (See CES reviews on the various other blogs out there), this is a must for Palm to survive in this space.

4. Better wifi compatibility and a complete tweak of the underlying web browser. It is still buggy and does not use memory in an efficient manner. It is a major source for memory leaks.

5. Perhaps not for the LIfedrive 2, but the handwriting recognition aspect of this machine has really got to improve. Microsoft's Windows Mobile actually has better recognition with its block graffiti function, which is basically Graffiti 1. But above this, Nokia continues to lead the way with its Symbian operating system. They have developed an incredible piece of software for one handed use. It is something that developers will need to look into for the future.

So, armed with what I have been told by a few friends, I have taken the liberty of not loading the harddrive component with software and leaving it for storage. Using instead a 1 gigbyte SD card to run any additional software that I may have or need.

I have not had a crash in over 2 months. The hard drive has remained barren for much of December, but I recently added some A/V files and will consider adding software, but only for storage.

Hopefully this will be stable. I will embark upon the update very soon. But for now, as the old saying goes, if it works for now, don't make chanbes.

(A few pointers to a new Lifedrive being released or the former being phased out:

1. There are no more eCoupons available and the last ones run out on 2/15/2006.
2. Palm reduces the price of the Lifedrive by 10%.
3. There is increasing chatter by a few very reliable sources.
4. Two local stores have stated that they will NOT be getting a new shipment in.

The last one is the most important! It has, with about 95% sensitivity and 80% specificity signalled a paradigm shift. But we will have to wait and see.

Will I get one if it's released? Well, I wouldn't be able to keep this site going if I didn't :).



The new website for software development is still a work in progress. I have not put it up for beta release yet, but I am getting very close. The domain name LIFEDRIVEDOC.COM has been secured and you will be directed to this site if you place this in your browser.

It is the begining of much more to come.


Thursday, January 12, 2006

Medtronic Uses Revamped Palm for Intrathecal Delivery Device

Not exactly Lifedrive related, but apparently Medtronic has found a way to use a Palm Device to electronically control an intrathecal delivery device. They, along with other companies such as Advanced Neuromodulations Systems - a company presently working on pacemaker technology using handheld devices - appear to be at the forefront of what could be a new dimension for handheld gadgets.

No longer are PDA's limited to just PIM functioning, telling the date, showing addresses and appointment times, but they could become a literal lifesaving force for many patients.

What makes the Medtronics' Personal Therapy Manager (PTM) interesting is the fact that the company decided to use an old HANDSPRING model revamped to do its work. Medtronic apparently made a deal with Handspring to remodel the device, after realizing "that Palm interfaces were friendly and popular."

If Medtronic can do this with a simple first or second generation handheld with limited memory and functionality, imagine what they could do with a Lifedrive.

However, according to Reena Jana who broke the story in Business Week, the Medtronic device is so customized that its PIM functionality no longer exists. I

Additionally, the handheld device appears to cost about $2,000 in addition to the $20,000 for the implant. I think that many of us out there in Palm Land would never have believed that a Handspring would sell for $2,000. But honestly, I think that this is the begining of something wonderful to come. Bravo Medtronic for taking the leap.

Jana, Reena. Medtronic Automates Pain Relief, Businessweek Online, January 12, 2006.

Photos used with permission by Medtronic.


Sunday, January 08, 2006

Palm Addicts Reports Possible New Lifedrive In February

A rumor from Slovenia from Sammy McCloughlin's great site Palmaddict's has suggested that a new Palm Lifedrive may be released soon, sometime in february. Although rumors tend to take on a life of their own, particularly this one since the release dates for most palms is from April to June, Sammy has seen fit to publish this, meaning that it has a very high probability of being true.

The link to Sammy's short note is listed below or click on the title.