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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Thursday, September 21, 2006

Near Nirvhana with Nokia

Over the past few months I have been looking for a solution to end my relationship with my favorite phone the Nokia 6310i. The phone has been a beauty for me for many years. It could do everything that I wanted and above all else, communicated with my Palm Pilots 'all of the time.'

During the early days, my faithful Palm Tungsten T would surf the web flawlessly using the bluetooth connection and when the memory of the phone was full in the address fields, the Palm was an amicable substitute with its bluetooth connection to dial friends.

When I purchased my lifedrive, I was a little disappointed that the transition was not seemless, but this ended when Palm came out with a few phone updates that corrected the issue and I was satisfied. So, when an unfortunate stool finally broke the faithful Nokia 6310i, a phone that was dropped, flung, stomped-on, drenched and sat-on (accidentally, of course) finally gave its last electronic blurb, I knew that it was time to move on.

Although "The Brick" (as it has been affectionately called) still continued to work and despite the constant berating that took place from my coworkers, friends and family for carrying such a "large" phone, I enjoyed the seemless nature of it. What made matters worse was the fact that I could not find a replacement and carried the broken "brick" around for almost five months before replacing it.

The Contenders

I looked at the RAZR and, with all of the discounts available, thought that this would be a worthwhile replacement, however the RAZR was actually slower than "The Brick." The menu system was akin to starting Windows. Although the bluetooth connection was nice, it felt clunky and slow. Cute, but not practical.

Next, was the Sony Ericsson. There were many model numbers to choose from but even though they were all nice, with a decent menu system, I could not find a bargain among them. And my rule is: If I have to pay a house payment for a phone, I am afraid that it will not do. So, cute but too expensive.

I looked at a few Samsung models next, but could not find any that came close to matching "The Brick." Most did not support bluetooth, but all had magnificent screens. Infact, I would have to say that just about all of the Samsung phones that I tested had magnificent screens and excellent print and video quality. But again, if I couldn't use it with my Lifedrive, I couldn't use it - period.


Then it came! A glow, the parting of the clouds, an angelic sound through the quagmire of despair. Could it be? ..........

I perused the store looking at a small form factor phone. Odd, was the fact that the phone was a flip phone. Why? Because Nokia is not known for making flip-phones. They, and I say this proudly, MAKE BRICKS !!! BRICKS THAT WORK !!!! But this was beautiful. Akin to seeing the girl of your dreams from a distance and not being able to open your mouth to say hello. It flipped, it's menu system was very intuitive. The address book was familiar, the menu system was familiar and of course bluetooth and infrared all in one package. I turned on my lifedrive and in no-time flat was connected to the internet through the phone. I was able to upload my address book to the phone without making any modifications in the address book sequence. It saved vcards accurately. It's bluetooth connection to my Lifedrive, dare I say it, was actually faster than The Brick. And it timed out after lack of use after 3 minutes, instead of randomly as it had done previously on The Brick, while surfing the internet.

The Nokia 6102i is a splendid phone. It has a small form factor and works FLAWLESSLY with the Lifedrive. There is absolutely no need to download any additional software to update the bluetooth connection. Its affiliation with the address book works flawlessly. There have been some reports that the picture quality is not that great, but for me, I bought the phone to speak to others, not to take pictures.

A real plus is that you can send all of your photos or movies taken from the phone to your Lifedrive via bluetooth or via infrared and clear the memory that way. Additionally, the phone comes with software that connects to your computer which can do the same. Additionally, you can transfer multimedia files from your lifedrive to your phone and vice versa all wirelessly. I have even surprisingly surfed the web via a bluetooth connection with my Lifedrive connected to the phone and conducted a call via the speaker function of the phone.

Worth taking a look, I think that this phone is a worthy successor to the 6310i if you are in the running for a new LIFEDRIVE-Compatible phone. There are many phones that are probably better, but for the incredibly discounted prices that are now out, this phone is very hard to beat.


Sunday, September 17, 2006

Software Review: Riley Kidometer & Shots 2006

Riley's Kidometer is a God-Send for Pediatricians and Generalists alike. If you have ever listened to a child's heartbeat and said to yourself, "Is that normal?" or looked at a newborn CBC and wondered, "Is that Hemoglobin for real #$%* ?" then Riley Hospital for Children's Kidometer is for you.

Edited by Dr. Joel Topf, the Kidometer is a statistically fact based solution that graciously simplifies the obvious. If you are looking for the respiratory rate of a 1 month old, you select the age at the bottom of the screen and select from the dropdown menu on the top right of the page - selecting Basic Vitals. The data is broken down into a range (in this case, 36-64 (awake)) and in parentheses the mean value is also given for the range. Thus in the case of our excited one month old, this is average (Caution to Care providers: Always use judgment with this as you well know, if the kid looks septic don't take the "average" or normal value to mean that he/she is normal - I really trust that everyone reading this would take that into account).

This program exemplifies two things that I greatly appreciate in "the perfect medical program:" SPEED and SIMPLICITY. This program is much more complex than it would appear. Age specific data is not that easy to compile and deliver in a concise format, yet the developers manage to do just that. You select an age and select the information that you are looking for and voila, the information is there.

So, are there negatives with this product? Not really, it works well on the lifedrive but I would like to have seen a simpler presentation of the vaccines, since this is something that is constantly changing. Although it still presents itself well with the information provided, I picture students or early residents looking for a quick response, not appreciating all of the reading that is needed to decide upon the 2,4 and 6 month vaccines. It is a detour from the succinct presentation listed in the rest of the program. Again, this is not really a negative but an observation.

On the subject of immunizations, I cannot recommend the immunization program SHOTS 2006. (http://www.immunizationed.org/) I was going to write a review about the product, but decided against it since I had nothing good to say about it. The product nearly destroyed my LIFEDRIVE. The program, which comes in two versions - a graphically intense version which sports graphic images of the childhood diseases being vaccinated against and one with fewer graphics. Unfortunately both appeared to crash. The "lite" version still appeared to look for pictures found in its counterpart graphics-intensive partner. Since it could not find them, it would crash! The larger version of the program appeared to fall into the vast Lifedrive Wormhole attempting to look for the picture files and not finding them. Even if the picture files were in the same directory (which they were not even during a hotsync), the sound of "ker-Klink" and reset would take hold.Even after I rid myself of the program from the LIFEDRIVE, the device went into a cyclical reset and stopped short of a Hard Reset, resetting all of my files in memory by wiping out the registration info, but leaving the files intact.

It is a shame that I could not get the Shots 2006 program to work on the Lifedrive since the group, The Society of Teachers for Family Medicine (STFM) does such fantastic work. They are driven to providing education and immunizations to children and this misstep in providing software for what I must assume is all NVFS devices appears to be a slip from the norm. I have used their previous versions of Shots in the past without problems, but I surmise that the issue may be in trying to provide these diverse files which the Lifedrive has problems accessing. In regards to their software for other devices, it would appear that there is no problem, but I think that a big Caution should be presented on their download page for owners of Lifedrives, until they have corrected the problems listed.

So, thumbs up for the RILEY KIDOMETER - Living proof that there is still good software out there that is well written. I highly recommend it. The company offers a 30 day trial, followed by a request for $17.95. The information is sent via email.

Disclaimer: As with all of my reviews, this review is independent of any secondary gain. I feel that I must publish this disclaimer with any glaringly enthusiastic reviews that I give.