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Books, Journals, New Media
January 20, 1999


Author Affiliations

Harriet S.MeyerMD, Contributing EditorJonathan D.EldredgeMLS, PhD, Journal Review EditorRobertHoganMD, adviser for new media


Not Available

JAMA. 1999;281(3):291. doi:10.1001/jama.281.3.291-JBK0120-4-1

The Pocket PDR (referred to as a "platform" in its documentation) is in essence an electronic book with a limited degree of interactivity. Like Janus it looks both backward and forward: backward to the books from which its content is derived (in the case of this review, the Merck Manual, 16th edition, and the 1998 Physicians' Desk Reference) and forward to the world of electronic data, called up at the touch of a finger.

As a dedicated Macintosh computer user, I am allergic to user manuals, so my first test of the Pocket PDR was to see if I could get it to work without resorting to the instructions. It passed this test easily, although the system does offer a "cheat sheet" of instructions on the inside of the flip-up top. These hopefully will not rub off with time, as some of buttons (eg, Cap/List/Star) and some combinations of buttons (Star + Enter) have functions that may be forgotten if not used routinely.

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