I’ve had my livescribe pen for a couple of weeks now and have started to settle down into a bit of a routine with it. I suspect this routine will change a little as I continue to experiment, but here’s how I’m currently using it. I also have a few ideas that would improve its usefulness to me.

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I got a Livescribe Pulse smartpen just about a week ago. This is a device that records your penstrokes (i.e. writing and drawing) and, optionally, records audio alongside, allowing both to be transferred to a PC afterwards. I bought it with the intention of using it to make better notes in meetings and seminars, and at conferences. It is a rather clever piece of kit, and I thought it would be worth making a note of my thoughts after a week of playing.

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Nokia BH-905iThis is the first of two slightly unusual reviews, both of Nokia kit kindly lent to me by WOMWorld/Nokia. Nokia is usually¬†associated¬†with mobile phones, and yet here I’m reviewing a pair of headphones. They are bluetooth headphones and they will operate as a wireless headset when paired with a phone, so it does make some sense. The most interesting thing about them, though, is that they have active noise cancellation. I’ve never tried noise cancelling headphones before so I was very curious to see how well the technology worked.

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I watched a programme on BBC 1 this afternoon about Vera Brittan who lived during the First World War. It was not my thing really, but I was ironing and there wasn’t much else on. What struck me, though, is that the whole life story of Vera Brittain was based on her diary and letters she had written or received. Of course they were all on paper. And that got me thinking. We know a lot about a lot of people in history from their diaries and letters, but I’m not going to leave the same sort of legacy to historians of the future (not that they’d be that interested, even if I did:-)

My diary, such as it is, is here. What will have happened to to all of this in 100 years time? I don’t write letters on paper any more. All of my communication is electronic in one form or another – email and phone mostly, but also on twitter, Facebook and other systems. Apart from email, which I can have a reasonable stab at preserving myself (I have emails in my collection from 25 years ago, already), I’m pretty sure the rest will have long gone 100 years from now.

Are we making the job of the 22nd century historian much more difficult? Is anybody thinking at all about how all of this electronic history may be preserved for them? The more I think about it, the more I think we’ll leave very little information about us to generations to come, and I can’t help being a little worried about that.