of the Sony Clie PEG SL-30
By: Keith Anderson, RN, NP, MS
Keith is a nurse practitioner at the Center for Joint
Replacement at Loma Linda University Medical Center
in Loma Linda, California. He earned his Master's Degree
in nursing from Loma Linda University in 1998. Prior
to graduate school, he worked as a registered nurse
in the ICU and ED of Loma Linda University Community
Medical Center for approximately 7 years, having earned
his BSN from Pace University in New York in 1993. Prior
to entering nursing, Keith earned a Bachelor's degree
in Molecular Biology from Hampshire College in Amherst,
Massachusetts in 1990. Keith has long been interested
in technology and science, and has been using Palm OS
devices in his practice since 1998.
|When I first received the Sony
Clie PEG SL-30, I was impressed by it's small size and bright,
high resolution (320x320) color screen. Then I started playing
with the various optional applications that are included on
the installation CD, including a picture album, slide show
viewer, and generic movie clip viewer. I started by installing
a dozen or so JPEGs of my son at his first birthday party,
and a video of him walking forward (rather than cruising sideways
around furniture) for the first time. Its really cute. He
has this plastic car with a handle that he stands behind and
pushes forward like a shopping cart, the whole time wearing
this big grin on his fac... What?
This review is supposed to be about what? Nursing Applications?
Hmm? What? Oh. OH! ...Nursing applications. Right! (I knew that).
||The Sony Clie PEG SL-30 Personal Entertainment
Organizer has a 33 MHz processor and a high resolution, backlit
color screen capable of displaying 65,000 colors. It runs
Palm OS 4.1, and includes the usual Sony tweaks, such as the
Jog-dial, memory stick slot and MP3 player option. It also
has 16 megabytes of RAM (only 15 free though) as well as 4
meg of ROM. I immediately tried to fill the thing up. The
new ePocrates, MedRules,
all my AddressBook, MemoPad, and Calender entries, a few games
(some are included on the installation CD - Zap! 2016 is much
more fun in color!), and the various multimedia files mentioned
above. (He really is cute, grinning as he stomps his way along....Sorry,
I'm doing it again, aren't I?.) That took about 10 meg (Including
the video). If I'd had a memory stick to put in the slot,
I could have done a lot more. (I've read that a 128meg memory
stick will hold almost an hour of low-res video).
So - what's the deal with nursing and the SJ30? Well, its small
and fast, with an easy to read screen, and it has enough memory
to handle one or two of the larger reference applications onboard,
without having to resort to external cards, with the hassle that
sometimes leads to. I showed it to a coworker who is beginning
to suffer the ravages of presbyopia (her arms aren't long enough),
which is making it very hard to read her old Palm V series. She
loved the high-contrast display, and the ability to color code
entries. At 33MHz, its not the fastest Palm OS device out there
(there are several running at 66MHz, and Sony even has one device
with a 200MHz StrongArm processor), but it is fast enough to run
reference or database apps. You will notice a slow-down if you
try to do heavy number crunching (such as running a spreadsheet
on TinySheet, or sorting a large database in HanDBase). However,
at $250 (street price) you can't really complain.
The multimedia functions did give me pause to think. I could
see using little video clips as an adjunct to patient teaching.
I work in Orthopedics, so I occasionally have to teach patients
and family how to do minor procedures, such as wet-to-dry dressings,
or external fixator pin care. Occasionally, something comes up
that I can't demonstrate on the patient (If the pin care is done
correctly, there aren't any scabs, so I can't show people how
to remove them...). I can also see using an MP3 player to listen
to CE courses, or clinical digests. Sony makes a digital camera
on a memory stick that you could use to document wounds, or faces
(the address book now lets you attach image files to individual
addresses, so if you remember faces but not names, you can look
them up). Margi Systems now makes a memory-stick version of Presenter-To-Go,
so that you can store a powerpoint presentation on your PDA and
not have to lug a laptop for your next conference presentation.
I actually think the SJ-30 would make a good entry-level PDA.
Yes, at $250, it's a little expensive for entry level. But think
of it this way: It has enough memory to hold a lot of reference
material, is small enough to fit in a scrub pocket, and runs a
version of Palm OS that is new enough that it won't have to be
upgraded for a few years. On top of that, it has enough multimedia
options to make it palatable to the young user (like, say, a new
grad nurse?) AND is manufactured with that well-built, stylish
design that long time Sony users have come to trust.
My final score? 95 out of 100 - a colorful, stylish little baby
that would just love to come home with you!
Keith can be reached by email
Get the Sony SJ-30 here