BBC Archive: Titanic

Ever since working for a marine boat modelmakers in the summer between Sixth Form College and University I’ve been interested in the story of the Titanic. There were many books in our office, mainly about trawlers and ferries (I was in Hull and we were based in the marina) but one was about the Titanic, and covered the full story. In more recent years I’ve found other books (The Titanic Disaster : As reported in the British National Press being a particular favourite), I’ve been to an exhibition at the National Maritime Museum and watched various documentaries.

Today, I was browsing around BBC iPlayer watching Olympic coverage, and stumbled upon the BBC Programmes minisite and via that the BBC Archive collections of radio and TV programmes, documents and photographs. On the BBC Archive page was a link to the Titanic Collection, containing radio features and interviews with people like Commander CH Lightoller (first broadcast in 1936) and Commander Joseph Boxhall (first broadcast in 1962 – Boxhall was a relative of a family friend).

The BBC Archive looks like an excellent resource to listen to, or sometimes watch, pieces of history.

Software on Palms vs Software on iPod Touch/iPhone

In days gone by both Richard and I had various PDAs – we both started off with PalmPilot Professionals in the late 1990s, moved on to Handspring Visors in around 2000, then Richard went the mobile phone route and I had a Handera 330 and finally a Sony Clie TH55 before also going the mobile phone route. Richard is now an iPhone user, and I have an iPod Touch and a Nokia 6110 Navigator.

In 2005 I blogged about what software was on my Sony Clie, and long before that Richard had listed what he had on his Handspring Visor. There is quite a lot of commonality between those lists:

  • Email: I used Snappermail back then, now I use either the IMAP facilities on the Nokia Navigator 6610 or on the iPod Touch. Richard uses his iPhone but did at one stage used Top Gun Postman to send and receive mobile email. No additional software needed
  • ToDos: I used to use WP+ to manage recurring ToDos. Now I use Remember The Milk and the web access from either my phone or my iPod Touch
  • Security: in days gone by both of us used Secret!. Now I use HandySafe on my phone. With the advent of the iPhone/iPod Touch applications, I’m sure there will be an equivalent purchase coming soon
  • Data storage: I used to use Pilot DB which allowed me to create basic databases and store data. I’ve not replaced this and haven’t missed it
  • Timesheet: I used to use Timesheet, Richard used to use PunchClock. I don’t currently do timesheeting, so don’t have an application installed on either device.
  • Backup: I used to use Flyzip to back up to the external memory card. Now I rely on the syncing between my mac and the device
  • Games and entertainment: I still miss RocketMania – and excellent game which worked really nicely on a handheld device. I’ve installed some of the new iPod Touch game apps and am enjoying Hangman, Sudoko and Sol Free. Obviously having mobile internet access takes away quite a lot of the need for offline document readers, for all but airline travel. I’m currently trialing the great instapaper as an iPod Touch app to see how it behaves

Over the years, the pre-installed software has improved a lot, I remember having a hard time trying to find a Palm OS application which could handle both IMAP and HTML emails. I recall paying quite a lot of money for Snappermail at the time. I’m sure that there will be more and more iPhone/iPod Touch applications available as time progresses, and it’ll be interesting to revisit this list again sometime.

Walking in London


I was catching up with Ash the other day, and on the way back to the station I used the maps application on my phone to find my way. What I hadn’t realized up to that point was that the map automatically updated to show me my position (this is an old phone, mind you, not the one with GPS built in). So as I navigated, I took screen shots each time the map updated and the above is the merging of the screen shots. Blue circles are where the phone thinks I am; red dots show the route I actually took.

I’ve used this since to find my way around bits of London I don’t really know that well, and it’s worked nicely for me. The downside is that you need your phone out and on, which does mean a mugging can’t be far away.