Pre & Me
A little while ago, I posted a piece where I mentioned my newly acquired Palm Pre. In my role as a grunt in the trenches pediatrician, I am familiar with the terrain of the un-hip. Pediatrics has long been considered the red-headed stepchild of medicine, often used to promote good will and charitable giving, but never funded or reimbursed with the robust enthusiasm provided to surgeons or radiologists. Rural medicine provides yet a further layer of “you’re not really as good as the big guys” to my repertoire of un-hiptitude.
Thus, perhaps it is in keeping faith with my pattern of life choices that I decided to forego any Apple attitude adjustment and buy the underdog Palm Pre. (Well, I also read a bunch and received a great going-under-the-covers review from an amazing hacker I know in Boston who broke down the pluses and minuses of the iPhone vs. Blackberry vs. Pre, but that detracts from my rep of un-hipness, so we’ll pretend I didn’t actually make a smart choice based upon research and investigation).
Despite some initial misgivings about Sprint’s signal coverage and battery life, I continued to push through the envelope of this new techno-toy. After a mere six weeks, I am so very happy to report that Pre & Me are now true BFFs. I love this little guy, plain and simple. I have so much fun with, and am so enabled by, the integrative design of the features and functionality of my new hip-mate (referring to my belt clip carriage of the Pre, not a pretense to iPhone ego equality) that I find myself using my desktop PCs less often. In fact, far less often.
Some of the cool tools even inspire moments of “Pre envy” in my desktops or laptops or pen tablets. I wish they all were as utilitarian and Zen-like in their design considerations. I now see that those contemplatory eggs gracing the desktops of the Palm Pre’s designers added value and some feng shui focus for the chi of these genii.
The battery issue required a few extra chargers around and an enhanced awareness of usage patterns, but the simplicity of the Touchstone inductive charger has such a coolness to it that slapping it onto the sloped, magnetic, easy on/off base is a mini moment of geek fun. Keeping several chargers about has allowed me the freedom to experience in full-blown glory the multi-open-apps power of the Pre. Zipping from tool to toy to tunes is easier than on a PC and finger-flick fun. (You iHipsters know what I mean.)
I still hope the planned cell tower I see on Sprint’s map of coming attractions just outside of my little burg is a sooner rather than later construction project. Still, though my bars are more often 0-2 than 4-5, I’ve had far less connection troubles than the absence of bars initially implied. The value add of this little beauty has virtually blinded me to any continuing cell signal coverage concerns.
The App Store for the Pre is small, yes, but it’s growing. If you’re brave enough to try homebrew apps and open up the developer mode function, there are many more available. I won’t bore you here with the laundry list of cool tool apps I adore as the gazillion iPhone apps available expose the Johnny-Come-Lately limitations of Pre App unhipness yet again.
However, I will leave you with one rather interesting observation. At a weekend business meeting of some pretty amazing techno mega-minds where most were iPhone adept and enabled, and despite a comment or two about my meager little Pre pal, I did catch more than a couple of my iHip colleagues glancing over my shoulder as a finger danced with my new BFF. Perhaps most amusingly, I also heard more than a few quiet wows! leak out, though they were obviously muffled to avoid any loss of iStreet Cred.
PS – Though it isn’t certified compatible, I should note that I am able to access my web-based EHR from my Pre. The Calendar function is limited, but patient data is accessible … not iHip, maybe, but cool enough for this geek in the trenches doc.
“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” – Leo Tolstoy
Dr. Gregg Alexander is a grunt-in-the-trenches pediatrician and geek. His personal manifesto home page…er..blog…yeh, that’s it, his blog – and he – can be reached through http://madisonpediatric.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.