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


Saturday, March 22, 2008

SDHC Lifedrive Upgrade to 32 gigs? Dmitry Grinberg says YES WE CAN.

Today, I read an article by long time Microsoft supporter David Dejean, in Computerworld. He discusses the work of Dmitry Grinberg, a software developer who has offered to write a driver to enable the SD card reader in the Lifedrive to accept the 8 to 32 gb SDHC cards.

Dmitry has a website named Palmpowerups.com . You may remember Dmitry put out an overclocking program to accelerate the Lifedrive. It was able to also decrease (underclock) the lifedrive for greater stability. He is quite a capable programmer and I think that he will come through in June or July with this.

If you get a chance, drop over to Dmitry's site, but more importantly, head on over to David Dejean's site. Wow, news continues for the Lifedrive...


More waiting for Linux

I just received an email from a programmer stating that Palm Inc. is expected to release a Linux based OS code named NOVA. We can expect the first devices running Nova in the first quarter of 2009. Unil then, Palm will be pushing the Centro. According to this source, Access will continue to work on ALP Linux, but there is no certainty as to who will be building the devices in question for the ALP system.

In terms of compatibility, this appears to be a major hold up, in that both are working on backwards compatibility of software. To me, I think that they need to make a clean break, but I guess Palm's base is still entrenched in the old software.

Although most of this information has been out since January, I am only now starting to believe it due to the programmer discussing this with me. Additionally, I think that Palm may indeed pull out all of the stops in January or perhaps surprise us with a 3rd quarter release or announcement - just like the old days. Additionally, NS Basic appears to be one of the first companies to line up with Palm for the new Linux based machines. Good to hear.

Following my discussion with my programming friend, I scoured the internet for stories on this. The most interesting one came from PalmInfocenter's January posting. They have gone on to state that the next generation OS is currently being tested internally on a yet to be released product code-named Zeppelin.

More information, although this appears to be rumor (from mytreo.net) supports the probability that this new device will have wifi and may come under the Treo name (800's). Again this paragraph is all rumor. I stand by the paragraphs preceding this one.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Software or Hardware?

So, another bad quarter for Palm Inc. You can read the numbers on a financial blog somewhere, they were dismal. Yes, the Centro is selling like hot cakes, but with its $99 price tag, it has done nothing for revenue or income and in fact has obviously cannibalised the Treo. On the conference call, there was mention of 2 new Treos coming out, but unless these have a very sexy look to them, this could be another dismal showing. There is some excitement knowing that one of Apples' hardware designers is now on the Palm team, but Palm will lose either way if they do what I believe they will: If they come up with a similar Treo that looks remotely like the 600 or 700 series, no one will be excited; if they come out with a brand new original "cool" Treo, but carrying the same OS 5 operating system, no one will be excited.

With the SDK being released for the iPhone, Palm essentially has 3 months to come up with something dramatic. The iPhone SDK, as I thought it would be, is actually quite amazing, according to a few developers whom I have spoken to. With Epocrates now releasing its software natively on the iPhone, we are seeing the migration to this device. It is only a matter of time, before Dataviz, Mobisystems and others do the same. I am expecting physicians to leave the Palm fold in droves. There is already an online petition being written for physicians to use the iphone as a medical device and requesting that software be written for it, leading to easy migration away from Palm.

I have not yet left! I am still using my Lifedrive, albeit reluctantly due to its lack of speed and its weight. Yes, I was excited about the refurbished iphones being sold by AT&T for $250.00, just slightly above what I would have expected to pay for a new TX. But I am still using a Palm device. Why? Well, it is not as simple as many on Engadget and other tech sites believe, to just drop this device. For a physician who is using critical data files, such as those found in Splashdata, Handbase, Smartlist and other proprietary programs for which there are no substitutes, walking away to another platform is not that simple. For Apple, despite its SDK, it will still take at least 6-12 months for developers to write software that will be of the same complexity as those found on the Palm. There is a plethora of software for the Palm and that is why the demise of this company is so hard to bear.

It is software, NOT HARDWARE, that has been the achilles heel of this company. Its failure to release OS 6.0 or Linux; its failure to offer multitasking or a definite roadmap for its developers has led to this problem that we have now. Without giving up anything (the developer has an NDA), I have seen a few programs on the iPhone that have simply made my jaw drop. Xrays shown in fantastic detail with no blurring with magnification. Why couldn't Palm come up with this? Any attempt to mix graphic visuals with text and wifi will crash your hard drive on a Lifedrive and soft reset the TX.

So, here we go again. Three months to go and we will either see Palm rise like a Phoenix or (and I take this from the great Mike Cane)..... do so poorly that they have to go private. Innovation is a difficult thing to do.