Category Archives: Sites We like

What’s on Doc’s iPad Part 2

Tablets are becoming an increasingly bigger part of how we entertain ourselves and even conduct business. I have found some of the most useful apps via recommendations of friends, colleagues, patients, and articles like this one. I hope you find a must have app or two. This article is the second of a series of articles on useful iPad apps. Part one of the iPad app series was published a few months ago.

Google Earth iPad App Logo

Google Earth is a great way to see what your iPad is capable of. Pick a destination on the globe and you can then view it in 3D. It doesn’t matter if your desired location is your childhood home or the Pyramids of Egypt, virtually the entire earth is available. The resolution is great. If you can imagine having the ability to fly, you get an idea of the viewing perspective available with Google Earth. Most popular destinations and cities are available to view in 3D. You can zoom in or out on your desired location and hover above it from any altitude. A fun and interesting way to kill a few hours. Google Earth is free.

When I was looking for an office productivity suite I first checked out the Apple products, Keynote, Pages and Numbers, however I wanted better Microsoft Office compatibility and settled on Quick Office Pro HD. It allows for basic formatting of Word, Powerpoint and Excel documents and overall works pretty well. It is clearly not a replacement for MS Office, but it takes care of most of your needs when advanced formatting is not required. What I do like best about it is that it integrates well with numerous cloud storage providers such as Google Drive, SugarSync, DropBox, and Evernote. Quick Office Pro HD is $14.99.

LastPass-Tab-BrowserLastPass is a password management tool and consequently a very important app for me. I use it multiple times a day and can not recommend it highly enough. When you set up your account, LastPass encrypts your passwords on your PC, and uploads the encrypted passwords to their servers, giving you an encrypted offsite back up of this critical information. You can then opt to only store encrypted passwords on your PC, further enhancing your passwords security. I usually use the desktop version which smoothly incorporates password management into your internet browser. The LastPass iPad app gives you access to all of your passwords via its own internet browser. LastPass uses its own browser since iPad’s Safari browser does not allow plugins or app integration. LastPass works very well and provides a safe, secure way to store  passwords and other confidential information. LastPass offers free and paid options.

desktoponliveiconOnlive Desktop gives you a virtual Microsoft Desktop. This is great when you need to make a 100% Microsoft compatible document. The only drawback is that it requires an internet connection. When you log in it looks like you just logged into a windows PC. You can share your OnLive files with your desktop PC or Mac by logging into files.onlive.com. I can’t believe this service is free.

itunesu ipad App LogoDo you want to learn about a particular subject? iTunes U has hundreds, possibly thousands, of free courses available on nearly every topic you could want. There are college level courses offered by major universities in addition to K-12 classes. There is also a section where private or non-profit organizations offer courses. The courses are very well done with class notes, audio and video material. iTunes U is an incredible resources. You can download the complete courses to your iPad for later use or pull them off the internet as needed. The iTunes U app and access to the library of classes is free.

skype_for_ipad_iconWho doesn’t love Skype? Do you remember seeing the Jetson’s as a kid? I remember seeing Jane Jetson talk on the video phone, and if she wasn’t “presentable” she would cover her face with a mask of herself while she talked. I thought how cool would it be to be able to see the person you are talking with on the phone, just like on the Jetsons. Skype now gives us that ability. The free version allows you to video-teleconference with one other person. If you want to make calls to ordinary telephones or video-teleconference with more than one person there is a modest monthly charge. Skype is a must have, making it easy to stay in touch with family members that are far away.

wordpress-iconThe Eye Doc Blog is powered by WordPress I often use this app to manage comments, check statistics, and read other blogs. If you do any blogging this is a great app. The WordPress app lets you manage your blogs, and functions as a good blog reader. This app is free.

Gmail iconIf you have a Gmail account then this app is a must have. I use it daily. It allows me to do everything on the app that I can do when I log into my Gmail account via the web.  This app is a freebie.

logmein-ios-app-icon-225x225Have you ever been at home and wished you could log into your office computer? LogMeIn let’s you do just that. Most often, you will navigate to the Logmein (Log Me In) website and gain remote access to your registered PCs. The iPad app is very well done and easy to use. It’s a handy app when there is something you must do or have access to on a remote PC. I do miss the lack of a mouse while using the app; however the advantage of using the app versus logging into Logmein via Safari is they have incorporated various finger gestures into the app to simulate mouse functionality. While not quite as efficient as using a mouse it will allow you to do what you need to do and beats having to drive to the office to get that must have file. Logmein is free for basic access to 6 PCs, a subscription service is available for more advanced options.

That will do it for now. Nine more iPad apps I have found helpful. I’m sure you have some winners as well. I would love to hear your recommendations on iPad Apps that you have found helpful. You can read part one of the iPad App series here.

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A Visual Treat – Video From The European Southern Observatory

I saw this beautiful video from the PopSci RSS feed Sunday and wanted to share. The video is from The European Southern Observatory which operates four telescopes in the high plains desert of Chile. The visuals are spectacular. Watch it in full screen HD and you will be in awe of our gorgeous sky. Enjoy, you are in for a visual treat.

Dr. Rich Driscoll’s New Book An Eye Doctor Answers Is Now Available

A book has been swimming around my head for quite a while and it is finally out. The blog posts have been pretty scarce over the last 10 months as my wife Dr. Diana Driscoll and myself were each putting the final touches on our books. My first book, An Eye Doctor Answers: Explanations to Hundreds of the Most Common Questions Patients Wish They Had Asked Their Eye Doctor, was the last to make its debut and was just published last month on Amazon.

It is very exciting to see something that I have wanted to do for a long time finally become a more than just an idea. When I first set out to write this book I thought I would cover the top fifty questions patients asked their eye doctors. The list of questions patients either wanted to know, or I thought they should know, about their eyes quickly grew. In An Eye Doctor Answers you will find the explanations to almost 400 questions.

My intent was to write a book that was easy to understand, that would read as if you and I were sitting and talking at the end of the exam. Sometimes, nothing makes a point more clearly than a picture or a diagram thus I have included a lot of both. Most good reference books list the sources of their information, An Eye Doctor Answers is no different. I have included a lot of references plus a detailed index to make it easy to find the answers to your questions.

In almost 25 years of practice I have naturally answered a lot of questions, after all that is a big part of what we do, helping patients understand their condition and the associated treatment. Of course, I included the common questions that center around what is myopia, astigmatism, cataracts, glaucoma, and macular degeneration, but I didn’t stop there. Many patients are very curious about a wide variety of questions such as how do 3D glasses work, what are my refractive surgery options and risks, or how do I keep my kids from getting more nearsighted. To make it easier to quickly find what you need there is a complete list of questions at the back of the book.

 An Eye Doctor Answers: Explanations to Hundreds of the Most Common Questions Patients Wish They Had Asked Their Eye Doctor is published by the Physician’s Publishing Group as a 254 page paperback or as a Kindle eBook both of which are available on Amazon.com

Total Eye Care has a YouTube Channel

Total Eye Care’s YouTube Channel is up check it out and let us know what you think.

New iPhone App for the Visually Impaired

EyeNote™ LogoThe US Bureau of Engraving and Printing has developed EyeNote™  a free, new iPhone app to aid the visually impaired or blind in identifying US paper currency. Essentially, the app is designed to allow the user to hold the bill in one hand and the iPhone in the other while scanning the paper currency. After a few seconds the iPhone will tell the user the denomination of the currency in English or Spanish. EyeNote™ can also operate in privacy mode with a different number of beeps signaling the value of the currency.

The app runs independent of a data connection. EyeNote™ can not differentiate between genuine and fake currency.  EyeNote™ works on the following devices

  • iPhone 3G
  • iPhone 3Gs
  • iPhone 4
  • 4th Generation iPod Touch
  • iPad2EyeNote QR Code URL

Scan the QR code to the right with your iPhone to go to the iTunes EyeNote™ page.

Dr. Diana Opens Her New Website for the Chronically Ill

Dr. Diana Driscoll PhotoIt’s been in the works for a couple months now, Dr. Diana’s new website www.PrettyIll.com is now live. Check it out. I think you all will be really impressed by all of the information available there with much more information still to come. The website will feature information, mostly in video format, for patients facing chronic illness such as Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, Multiple Sclerosis, Postural Orthostatic Hypertension and Dysautonomia to name a few.

The PrettyIll.com website will also be the hub for a number of studies that Dr. Diana is starting. The first of which is Vascular Fundus Changes in Patients With High Probability of Chronic Cerebrospinal Venous Insufficiency, a study that is being done at Total Eye Care. The second study is Head Circumference Growth in Children with Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome Who Develop Dysautonomia later in life. There are other future studies planned as well. I hope you check out the new site and leave a comment!

Computer Vision Syndrome Highlighted in The Wall Street Journal

As our population ages and we all spend more time staring at computers, cell phones and the like, computer vision syndrome becomes more of a problem.  In today’s lifestyle section of The Wall Street Journal there is a good article on computer vision syndrome entitled Becoming a Squinter Nation.  We have covered CVS on The Eye Doc Blog as well. A complete list of all of our Computer Vision articles is available via the computer vision tag.

Setting up your computer workstation to minimize the effects of computer vision syndrome is very helpful. For more information for tips on how to do this see our article on Visual Ergonomics – Setting up Your computer Workstation for Maximum Visual Comfort at TotalEyeCare.com.