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  1.    #1  
    ePocrates users may have noticed how big the .prc file has gotten lately. I have an old version still in my computer from a while back, weighing in at a svelte 85K or so (porky for a Palm file, but slim for ePocrates). The newest version, 6.0, crushes the RAM to the tune of 269K--and that's just the .prc file. What do you get for all the mem-lard? A new tabbed interface, DocAlert reader built-in, an icon for MultiCheck, and a couple of useless tabs if you use the free version. I was a little put off until I tried loading the whole shebang into the POSE and made an accidental discovery...

    The .prc from Version 4.0 still works with the new databases, and will save you about 110K! AutoUpdate still works, and you can delete the Uncompressor file, along with eula-nc-2 and smsheula-nc-2, with no ill effects, chopping off another 50K or so. You will get the same ol' clean interface you're used to without the AltMeds and Tables tabs (which, in the free version, have nothing but a message that the feature is not available in that version and if you want them, pay for the Pro version).

    If your 4.0 version has expired, don't delete the .prc from your computer. Delete the ePocrates app from your Palm, download ePocrates 6.0 and follow the installation instructions, then use Filez or your aftermarket launcher to delete ONLY the new ePocrates.prc (not the databases or prefs). Re-install ePocrates.prc version 4.0, and you're back in business.
    "Yeah, he can talk. It's gettin' him to shut up that's the trick!"
    -Shrek
  2. #2  
    Originally posted by Tom LaPrise
    ePocrates users may have noticed how big the .prc file has gotten lately. I have an old version still in my computer from a while back, weighing in at a svelte 85K or so (porky for a Palm file, but slim for ePocrates). The newest version, 6.0, crushes the RAM to the tune of 269K--and that's just the .prc file. What do you get for all the mem-lard? A new tabbed interface, DocAlert reader built-in, an icon for MultiCheck, and a couple of useless tabs if you use the free version. I was a little put off until I tried loading the whole shebang into the POSE and made an accidental discovery...

    The .prc from Version 4.0 still works with the new databases, and will save you about 110K! AutoUpdate still works, and you can delete the Uncompressor file, along with eula-nc-2 and smsheula-nc-2, with no ill effects, chopping off another 50K or so. You will get the same ol' clean interface you're used to without the AltMeds and Tables tabs (which, in the free version, have nothing but a message that the feature is not available in that version and if you want them, pay for the Pro version).

    If your 4.0 version has expired, don't delete the .prc from your computer. Delete the ePocrates app from your Palm, download ePocrates 6.0 and follow the installation instructions, then use Filez or your aftermarket launcher to delete ONLY the new ePocrates.prc (not the databases or prefs). Re-install ePocrates.prc version 4.0, and you're back in business.
    what is filez
  3.    #3  
    It's a popular freeware program that lets you view every file in your Palm device. It also lets you view the file attributes and change them (backup bit, copy protection, modification dates, etc.), and allows you to beam or delete files or move/copy them between RAM and directories on VFS-capable expansion cards (SD/MMC, Compact Flash, or Memory Stick). And it lets you create or delete directories on VFS-capable cards, too.
    "Yeah, he can talk. It's gettin' him to shut up that's the trick!"
    -Shrek
  4. #4  
    does this run in windows or on the palm
  5.    #5  
    On the Palm.
    "Yeah, he can talk. It's gettin' him to shut up that's the trick!"
    -Shrek
  6. #6  
    Originally posted by backwerd
    does this run in windows or on the palm
    darn im still looking for something like syncwizard for the treo's
  7. mbaker911's Avatar
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    #7  
    I've given up on the new version of ePocrates. I never liked the autoupdate feature because it syncs every time (ie not just weekly or monthly) As a result, I always used the version that did not use autoupdates. The new version requires autoupdate. The "doc alert" displays messages every time I hotsync, not just when I use the application. Also, the new interface has many buttons that just tell me to purchase the full version. Finally, there is no longer a free version of qID. I feel ePocrates has junked up the latest version.

    I realize the software appears free, but it isn't really. The doc alerts allow for messages highlighting (advertising) drugs. Also, I recall that the user agreement allows them to download what you are looking up. (ie check what drugs you look up.) I always wondered if this information was being sent to drug companies to target me.

    I think it is time to buy what I need. Remember, you get what you pay for.

    If you still want free, consider pdr.net (But it has its limitations too.)
  8. #8  
    Thank you for the tip about restoring Epocrates4. I have been really disappointed with the new version 6, and your tip has made life much easier for me now, as well as saving precious RAM space on my Palm - actually I use the Samsung SPH-I300, which is a PDA/cellphone device, working on Palm OS, with 8 Mb of RAM. They are supposed to be coming out with a 16 Mb version any moment.
  9.    #9  
    MBaker911, I just set the ePocrates conduit in my HotSync Manager to "do nothing" as default, and when I want to update ePocrates, I change it to Synchronize just for that HotSync. I don't like having to have AutoUpdate, either, but I guess it's a trade-off between having to load a whole new ePocrates package every month or so, or AutoUpdating every now and then. And the fact that the ePocrates 4 .prc file can be run from a card helps.

    Those useless tabs with the "you're cheap, why don't you get ePocrates Pro?" implications turned me off, too. I know I'm cheap, but they don't have to put it right there in my face like that. And I had ePocrates ID for a while, too, but it wasn't worth the RAM to me--but I'm not a medical person. (My wife has asthma and takes several prescriptions, so I do like to look up what she's taking/side-effects/contraindications, etc.)

    Melpich, does that SPH1300 have a SD card slot or anything like that?
    "Yeah, he can talk. It's gettin' him to shut up that's the trick!"
    -Shrek
  10. #10  
    I'm a physician and have a couple of comments about ePocrates. I understand the concern regarding bloat. That's one reason I use a Palm rather than a pocket pc. I think the pocket pc (and all Windows products in general) are loaded with unneccessary junk. I use ePocrates on a daily basis and find it extremely useful. I was initially turned off by the 'new and improved' ePocrates but wanted the use of ePocrates ID so I decided to upgrade to 6.0 Pro. I could do without the 'DocAlerts' but otherwise I'm pleased with the new version. For the size of the application I think it is very complete without too much pork (DocAlert being the main exception.) My other point is that I would caution non-medical people using the application as a source of drug information. I think it was designed as a quick reference for medical professionals with training in the use of prescription drugs. Keep in mind that drugs may be used for indications not listed, contraindications may be relative or absolute, and adverse effects may be rare, uncommon, or common. EPocrates makes only superficial distinctions. If you want more information about your prescription then either ask your doctor or check a reliable source designed for non-medical people. Okay, I'll get of my soapbox now.
  11.    #11  
    Good points, Beagle92.

    I don't use the info in ePocrates in any critical way, but it does satisfy my curiosity about what these drugs do and how they do it (Mechanism of Action) and it helps if my wife wonders if she could take a couple of sinus headache tablets if she's already taken her Proventil or something like that. (We would err on the side of caution, anyway--if ePocrates shows an adverse drug interaction, I'd say "not a good idea" and have her check with her doctor to be sure.) I'm not going to "second-guess" a doctor (or "play doctor" myself) because of a Palm program, whether or not all its information is complete or true anyway. While I have a background in cellular/molecular biology and lots of medically-related reading under my belt, I know I'm nowhere near qualified!

    I haven't yet checked to see if ePocrates ID would work with ePocrates 4.0/databases from 6.0. When I get home today, maybe I'll try it in the Emulator and see.
    "Yeah, he can talk. It's gettin' him to shut up that's the trick!"
    -Shrek
  12. #12  
    No, the Samsung SPH I-300 does not have an SD card or any other way to expand the memory.
    They are supposed to be coming out with a new model with 16 MB RAM, and an optional digital camera module. Have a look at this link: http://www.infosync.no/news/2002/n/2632.html
  13. #13  
    Has anyone compared epocrates with Tarascon directly?

    I haven't been able to get either to run off the memory stick on the Clie. The next version of Tarascon is absolutely huge, but the web page is promising support for memory stick etc., which will make it a much more attractive option than epocrates for me.

    Salto
  14.    #14  
    I've never heard of Tarascon, but if it has VFS support and the whole thing can be put on an expansion card and run from there, that would be a definite plus. ePocrates COULD run from a card/MS, but you have to use something like MSMount to make the .prc see the databases. Then you have to have enough free RAM for the .prc and the databases.

    By the way, Beagle92, ePocrates ID does work if you use ePocrates 4.0 with the new 6.0 databases. But then you don't get the Alt Meds and Charts and DocAlerts tabs. OK for me, except that I've put the .prc on my SD card so if I go from Rx to ID and try to go "back" to Rx, since I exited Rx (thereby deleting it from RAM), it crashes. Oh well. I had ID in my m125 for almost a year and only looked at it a few times anyway.
    "Yeah, he can talk. It's gettin' him to shut up that's the trick!"
    -Shrek
  15. #15  
    I can't compare the quality of the info, but Tarascon's Epharmacopoeia has a more professional-looking interface.

    I've tried to use both epocrates and Tarascon with PIDirect, with no luck with either. But, as I said, Tarascon claims it'll have memory card support real soon now, on the web page for its new beta (at around 4MB, it's just too big to load into memory). I also just noticed on the web page that the product might not be free starting in 2003.

    URL is: http://www.tarasconpublishing.com/store/palm.asp
  16. #16  
    ut, as I said, Tarascon claims it'll have memory card support real soon now, on the web page for its new beta (at around 4MB, it's just too big to load into memory).
    The new version (12/02) currently runs on memory cards and the DB is down to 2.5MB. The .prc is 88k and the other file is 8k.

    The other point of note is Epocrabloat 6 Pro can't be installed with a Mac and therefore Epocrabloat ID is no longer available at all! According to the FAQ it is because they're working on products that bring in revenue. Ha! Ha! Making it work on a Mac and adding autoudate would take two hours max. Maybe they think they'll get more money by pushing all their customers and potential customers to Tarascon.
  17. #17  
    Maybe I'm missing something--

    I know there is a cost diff--
    BUT

    Isn't it easier and more complete to just use the PDR on a expansion card?
    Last edited by EJSHUMAK; 01/05/2003 at 02:43 PM.
  18. #18  
    The PDR does not include generic or over-the-counter drugs. EPocrates does include the. However, for clinicians the PDR on CD-ROM is pretty slick. It contains everything the full PDR does, including images, but in a much quicker to use searchable format.
  19. #19  
    I can't get ePocrates to load at all. On a Mac (OS X) the download file has 31 items (what the hell is with that anyway?), which seem to be on the machine, but when I launch ePocrates it says it was an incomplete synch.

    I tried opening up the PC .exe file on my PC to see what's there, but the installer shuts itself down when it sees that I have no Visor installed on that machine. I looked at the contents in WinZip but I just see a bunch of install files, no .prc files.

    Visor Deluxe with 8 MB flash Springboard. (Doesn't work with the board removed either.)
  20.    #20  
    After installing all the ePocrates files from your download, you have to HotSync again with your computer online so AutoUpdate can get a few more files from the ePocrates server. Dumb, yes, but that should get you the necessary files.
    "Yeah, he can talk. It's gettin' him to shut up that's the trick!"
    -Shrek
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