Review: The Best Cheap Stylus, Ever by David L. Tran

Since the start of the iMedEd Initiative we have reviewed many styluses, experimenting with what seemed like endless variations of the same thing. We even helped you make your own in order to find a more cost effective solution. The price range for a decent stylus really varies, anywhere from a few dollars in bulk to more than $50 for a high end model – and each time we’ve broken or lost them. The tips have worn out and they’ve been dropped in the hospital, lost in our white coats, sterilized, rebuilt like Frankenstein, and either replaced or lost completely.

For those who live near a Daiso, I have found the most sturdy and cost effective stylus to date. The Daiso Stylus, which purchased at $1.50, is an incredible value for the money, and somehow has remained unbroken and functioning after nearly a year of usage.

The design is subtle and discreet. The stylus looks like a normal pen with a metal body and a simple black rubber tip on the end. It is lightweight, but sturdy and appropriately weighted so it doesn’t actually feel like a dollar store pen. When you uncap it, it reveals a standard ballpoint pen with black ink, though the cartridge is about half the length of a typical pen to accommodate for the stylus tip. With the cap on, writing with the stylus feels better than most styluses bought online because of the extra length and weight balance. Combined with programs like Penultimate for the iPad I was able to take many, many pages of notes.

The rubber tip is as expected, provides little resistance and slides along my screen nicely and has yet to snag. In a pinch the ballpoint pen is also of reasonable quality, for when I am writing patient notes or rounding in the early morning and I lose my pen, it serves as a good backup. The only downside is the cap doesn’t like to stay put when placed over the stylus end, perhaps owing to its thin metal body. The clip functions surprisingly well, and even after accidentally bending it, it held up nicely where I have previously broken many plastic clips.

Lastly, after a years of use the stylus looks surprisingly good – even after being repeatedly cleaned with Klor wipes and alcohol swabs. The conductive paint on the stylus has yet to disintegrate or chip given how many times I’ve dropped it, and at $1.50 I didn’t have many qualms about using chemicals to sterilize it after a day at the hospital. If you’re lucky, the stylus can be found at any Daiso for $1.50 and comes in black or red.

daiso2 daiso1 daiso3


The mini stylus, also found at Daiso for $1.50. It comes with an attachment that inserts into a standard sized headphone port. It is so comically small that I immediately lost it. And found it. And lost it again. I found it weeks later in the bottom of my Timbuk2 bag after a conference. And again, later, under my car seat.

It makes my hands cramp when I write with it. I could foresee this being very useful if you live in cold weather and are frequently wearing gloves. If you live in warm weather, seriously, just use your fingers.


Review: CloudMagic for iOS and Android by David L. Tran

Emails, endless emails hitting our inboxes. We are constantly flooded with a mixture of messages, “to do”s, inquiries, advertisements, and spam; it’s a wonder we get anything done at all. For those who use their inbox as a “To Do” list, you are likely constantly skimming and searching for that message you saw a few days ago, a reminder of that thing you were supposed to do. While Gmail is one of the few web-based email clients to successfully integrate search functionality into their application, there has yet to be a great solution for those using corporate email clients such as Exchange, Office 360, Outlook, and other IMAP services. That is precisely where CloudMagic comes in.

CloudMagic initially started in 2012 as a “personal data search engine”, a service which searched across email, contacts, files, calendars, and cloud services. The service worked well, however when the company found that 80% of their users were primarily using it to search their mailboxes (1), they shifted their focus to email and released their mail application in November 2013 to rave reviews and a rapidly growing user base. According to their founder, Mr. Rohit Nadhani, “The company has the singular focus of making you productive on the most used app on your smartphone – the email app.”

How does CloudMagic work?

You download the app and enter in your credentials for the inboxes you would like to connect. Their servers index and build a searchable database of those emails. This differs from traditional email clients, which download and index your messages on your computer, phone, or tablet while using up valuable system resources. If an email isn’t found it searches the server where emails are saved. What CloudMagic does is make searching that information significantly faster by keeping much it in the cloud. A reasonable analogy of this concept is searching Wikipedia on the web versus downloading all of Wikipedia onto your computer, then using the search function on your device to search your device as it processes everything over again.

What about security?

According to their privacy policy (2): “Your data is yours and therefore only read by you. Neither do we read it, nor share with anyone else”. They use a service known as OAuth whenever possible, so they never know what your password is, and in the event that OAuth isn’t possible, they encrypt the data on their servers before being stored. Currently, only one month of encrypted emails are stored on their servers and future versions of CloudMagic will only use their servers to push email to your device without holding onto them.

According to their founder, Rohit Nadhani, “We are not going to make money off your data, ever,” (3). The company plans to monetize by expanding into a freemium model in the near future and in email conversation with Mr. Nadhani, he emphasized their core email service will always remain free.

Fine. Tell me how it performs.

Searching in CloudMagic is fast. In testing it was significantly faster than using both the Gmail App and the iOS Mail app (which searches the server) to find messages via the university Exchange server. If I’m searching for a name, it quickly highlights both a contact person and where their name was mentioned in emails instantly. In our testing we were able to find information we needed within seconds.

The user interface is clean and simple. There aren’t any silly widgets, extra icons or features that you don’t need and the interface is whittled down to the bare basics (sometimes to a fault, more on that later). There is a simple swipe down to refresh and a search bar sits firmly at the top. For power users, the added functionality of Evernote integration will allow you to save emails directly into your Evernote using their card system. Currently you can also connect your Salesforce, Zendesk, Pocket, Trello, and MailChimp accounts to their app. Many more cards are on the way with the possibility of Wunderlist, Anydo and Asana app integration in the future.

As always, there are some minor issues that may need to be addressed in future updates. The default reply button is “Reply All” with the “Reply” button tucked away into the menu next to it. The app was meant for collaborators and teams, but having the option to change the default setting would be nice, especially after a few near misses in group emails. While the interface is wonderfully simple, a few more options under the settings pane would have also been helpful. The passcode lock option for the application is a much appreciated security feature, but there’s not much else in terms of customization beyond that.

Cloud Magic is a free download via Google Play for Android and the iTunes App Store for iOS.








Quick Notes from Today’s Session

A few additional thoughts for all of you:

1.  For those of you that prefer a PDF version of the instructions, here are those links:

2.  Email us if you’re having ANY problems – – or stop by our office in Room 1105 in the Medical Education Building

3.  If you get your email working, you will see an email with your code for the iPad tips and tricks app.  It works on iPhone as well.

Don’t stress, have fun, and reach out to us, even just to say hi!

Part One: Step-By-Step Instructions for Orientation

Welcome to the first day of orientation! We wanted to give you a heads up
about a couple of big events are coming up for you that relate to our Instructional Technologies Group. This Friday, you will be receiving your new iPad at the White Coat ceremony. On Monday and Tuesday, you will have your iMedEd and iPad orientation with our team.

We have a lot of great things to cover with you on Monday and Tuesday and we really need your cooperation to make the most of these two days. Below is the first set of items that we need you to work on this week…don’t worry, they don’t take very long. Once you receive your iPad on Friday, you should complete the second group of items.

My team and I are available via email all week if you have any questions, concerns, or issues. You can reach us at and one of us will respond to your email in a timely manner. Our offices are located in the Medical Education Building, Rooms 1104 and 1105 – feel free to drop by with questions.

I. Homework to complete before Friday, August 1, 2013:

  • Activate your School of Medicine Health Sciences, aka “HS” email account
  • Create an AppleID
  • Register for a free Dropbox account
  • Register your phone and laptop on the UCI Wireless Network
  • Use your $50 Gift Card to buy a case, stylus, or other item from the UCI ComputerStore
  • If you are using Windows, download iTunes to your computer

Refer to the Part Two: Step-By-Step Instructions for Orientation for instructions on the Homework to complete before Monday, August 5, 2013.


Detailed Instructions:

Activate your School of Medicine Health Sciences, aka “HS” email account

  • To make things easier, let’s define some terminology:
  • UCInetID – this will be your main ID throughout medical school, sometimes referred to as your account, username, loginID, or just the UCInetID. It consists of up to 8 characters, in some combination of your first and last name, and is the part of your email that precedes
  • For example: Mary Smith’s UCInetID and email address are msmith and, respectively.
  • HS – stands for Health Sciences. They are the hospital IT group that manages our email and our clinical systems. Their system is different from the main campus email in that it meets HIPAA and patient confidentiality standards. In technical terms when setting up accounts and email software, when a “domain” is asked for, you will enter “HS.”
  • OIT – stands for Office of Information Technology, sometimes referred to as main campus or undergrad. They run a separate email system that undergraduates and graduate students use called Webmail or UCIGmail. Both of these are not HIPAA compliant, so therefore we do not use their services.
  • Here’s a quick video explaining it better

So here we go! Let’s get your accounts activated….

  • Go to
  • This is the account manager for the HS system
  • Enter your UCInetID and click “Log In”
  • Enter your temporary password as formatted below:
  • YYYY (Birth Date Year) + Uppercase First Letter of First Name + lowercase first letter of last name + MM (Birth Date Month)
  • For example, Mary Smith born in March 1986 = 1986Ms03
  • Click on Change Passwords and follow the instructions
  • This will be your new password for all UCI sites
  • If you had a previous UCI account, please see the appendix at the end prior to proceeding
  • Go to
  • This is the webpage access for your email
  • Enter your UCInetID and your newly created password and you should be all set!

Create an AppleID

  • Go to:
  • If you currently have an AppleID, we recommend that you keep using that AppleID so all of your purchases are available across your devices
  • We recommend linking your AppleID to a credit card for easy purchases, but you can also set up your account without a credit card

Register for a free Dropbox account

  • You will be using Dropbox to help back up your documents between your iPad and your other devices
  • Visit to to get set up

Register your phone and laptop on the UCI Wireless Network

Use your $50 Gift Card to buy a protective case or keyboard case from the UCI ComputerStore

  • If you already have a case, consider using your gift card towards purchasing Apple Care, iTunes App Store gift cards, a stylus, other peripherals for your devices
  • They are open from 9am-6pm Monday through Friday and 12pm-5pm on Saturday
  • Their website is viewable at 
  • They are located in the Student Center (D5, Building 115 on map)

If you are using Windows, download iTunes to your computer

Dr. Eric Topol tweets about recent iMedEd announcement!

Dr. Eric Topol, author of the book The Creative Destruction of Medicine, and recent NBC News Story re-tweeted the recent iMedEd announcement. In his book, he talks about the need for medical schools to innovate to better prepare students for practicing in the new era of digital medicine.

Here’s the link to the NBC News story.
Here’s the link to our Health 2.0 Course if interested.


Trying to access UCI resources off-site? Use the VPN!

If you want to access UCI resources when not on UCI’s campus or up at the hospital, you will need to use the VPN (Virtual Private Network). There are a number of ways to do this:

You will need to use your UCInetID and password for all of the above, and sometimes the best results happen when you use the “UCIFull” setting.

Good luck and let us know if you have any questions!


PEER VIII Emergency Medicine Question Bank for iOS

Brief video review of the $69.99 PEER VIII iPhone app with comparisons to the print and online version.


  • Same 450 questions as the print and online versions
  • Priced at $69.99 vs $275 for print or online subscription
  • High-quality resizable images

  • Only formatted for iPhone, sorry iPad users
  • Shorter explanations than print/online
  • No way to mark or flag questions for later review

Overall not a bad app, just would not recommend using this as your only question tool!

View the video on iTunes here.


Research and Change the World Project Presentations!

This Saturday, August 25th, please join us at the 1st Annual United for Community Involvement Event, which features student research and Change the World project presentations!

For the “digital program” of the day’s presentations, please visit the following link to subscribe to the iTunesU course:

iTunesU course for Orientation


Please click on the following link to sign-up for the iTunesU course for your iMedEd / iPad orientation today.

Step by Step Instructions for Items to be Completed by Monday


We hope that you had a great time tonight at the White Coat Ceremony and that you are even more excited for the year to come.

As a reminder, your iMedEd and iPad orientation will take place on Monday morning at 8:00 in Tamkin Lecture Hall. Breakfast will be provided.

Below is a list of the rest of the items we need you to complete prior to the iMedEd orientation on Monday. Again, these items should not take very long and will significantly help you get the most out of the orientation session. If you have not done the items from Wednesday’s handout, please take a few minutes to complete those items as well.

My team and I are available via email all weekend if you have any questions, concerns, or issues. You can email us at – this is the general support email address that goes to our entire team – or feel free to email us individually.

Items to be completed before Monday:
● Buy a protective case. UCI ComputerStore is open from 12p-5p on Saturday so you can use your $50 gift card towards that purchase. Protecting your device is of utmost importance!
● Set up your School of Medicine, aka “HS” email account
● Create an AppleID by going to
● Register for a free Dropbox account at
● If you are working from Windows, download iTunes to your computer
● Sync your iPad to your computer
● Install any updates to your iPad
Register your iPad for the school’s wireless network
Install the Security Profile to your device (HS Provisioning)
● Download iPad Tips & Tricks app, Podcasts, iTunesU, and iBooks app
● Bring your fully charged iPad, protective case, and your laptop on Monday

Click here for the detailed iMedEd Setup Instructions