Sunday, August 29, 2010


Just testing from Android!

Caesar on Android.

I recently picked up an HTC smart-phone (life changing, as much as I hate to admit it) and have just found out something pretty cool that it can do.

I have a fair collection of books on classical history in digital format and I've managed to get them onto my phone for portable reading. That in itself is probably not especially interesting to most people, but it's been amazing for me.

I am now reading "Always I am Caesar" by Jeffery Tatum, whenever I have a spare moment and nothing else to do. Flicking through the book using the capacitive touch screen is a really satisfying experience. (The books is pretty good, so far, by the way).

Modern technology has the capacity to really inform and change how ancient history is presented to this and future generations. Stage one was obviously the internet and easy access to information on history, ancient languages and scholarly work. Modern smart-phones now have a wealth of apps (applications) available that facilitate enquiry into the ancient world in a way never before imagined.

It's now possible for the phone to use your location to recommend sites of interest to visit and then to link directly to articles about said sites with info and other recommended reading. Another feature, although still in it's infancy, allows you to take a snapshot of anything unknown (a building, statue, painting etc) and then submit that picture to a database and then get information on what it is etc. This service will get better and better as more people use it and as the database grows.

Eventually you'll be able to visit a remote part of Greece and take a snapshot of a random ruin and have an answer as to what it was and what it's all about. That's a pretty interesting thought. The implications of such technology can be occasionally frightening, but in the realms of ancient history at least, they present a new age of connectivity and the sharing of information that in many cases is quite obscure.

Next step - try to update the blog from Android itself!