Category Archives: Blogroll

What’s on Doc’s iPad Part 1

I used to be one of those that thought I didn’t need an iPad . . . OK few of us really NEED an iPad, but I’ve come to the conclusion that my iPad is a wonderfully handy tool and I use it almost daily. The iPad has not replaced my Kindle as my favorite way to read books. I find both the Kindle and the iPad helpful for different purposes.

Some of my favorite apps were recommendations from friends or articles I’ve read.  This article is the first of a series of three articles where I will review my favorite, most used iPad Apps.

The first app I installed was Evernote which is essentially a digital filing system. Evernote is a must have. It works across all platforms, allowing you to save something on your desktop PC and have it automatically sync with all of your other devices.

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It is excellent service and obviously not just for iPad users. When I was doing research for my book An Eye Doctor Answers: Explanations To Hundreds Of The Most Common Questions Patients Wish They Had Asked all of my data was saved to Evernote, thus no trees were harmed in the making of this book. Evernote has a free starter program and if you need more storage or expanded options there is a paid program.

SugarSync is another must have which syncs your saved data among all of your devices. SugarSync will automatically back up anything you designate and then allow it to be accessed by all of your devices. SugarSync has many other nice features, too many to list here; however, one of the features I particularly like is that it  automatically backs up the photos on your phone and makes them accessible to all of your devices. SugarSync  has a free 5 GB introductory account with paid accounts starting at $5 per month.

Many people. myself included, like to work with music in the background. Numerous apps do this. I like Pandora. It lets you enter a song or an artist and builds a play list with similar songs. When a song you like is played Pandora will then let you buy it within the app. Pandor has both free and paid options.

There are many apps that let you organize your Todo list. I like Remember The Milk. I use it frequently every day. It is free for use on your PC, however if you want to share your Todo list across mobile devices, such as an iPad, Kindle or your cell phone it’s $24 per year.

So far we’ve covered productivity apps. The iPad is a great device for entertainment though. If you hit writer’s block or need to blow off some steam, logging a little bit of air time flying a paper airplane or a foam biplane might loosen things up. Air Wings lets you sit in a five different airplanes or a quadracopter and dogfight with your friends or people all over the world. Games are quick, lasting only a couple of minutes. A word of caution though, it can be addictive. Air Wings is free. Upgrades are available for different airplanes and new maps.

Gmail has rapidly become one of the most popular cloud-based email providers. Gmail’s iPad app gives an excellent user experience and gives you fool access to your email, just like using the browser interface.  Given that email has become such an integral part of our work and personal life I this is easily one of my top 5 most used apps. The Gmail service, as well as the Gmail app are free. This app is easily a must have for all Gmail users.

Flipboard board is beautiful on the iPad. During set up you tell it what feeds you want it to include, such as Twitter, Facebook, or numerous other social media services. You can also include online news services such as CNN and FoxNews. Also available, is the option to include your interests or hobbies and it will go out and find relevant content. Flipboard then formats the data into your very own personalized news magazine. Flipboard is free.

Alarm CLock HD is just what it says, however it will wake you up in the morning by reading the news, your tweets or Facebook  or even wake you to music. It also has a flashlight mode should you need some light in the middle of the night. In addition to giving you the time, Alarm Clock HD also has the current temperature and weather for the day. Alarm Clock HD has a free ad-supported version or for $.99 you can go advertising free.

There you have it, in no particular order, nine of the apps on my iPad . I’ll post part two of this series very soon. Like I said, some of the best app recommendations I’ve received have been from people like you so I’d love to hear your thoughts. Let me know what iPad apps you can’t do without.

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. 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 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 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