[Journeys logo]

Technical notes


[ Caboose ]Introduction >> Technical notes ]

South America
North America
Turkey 2003
Mount Cameroon 2005
Technical notes

The site is a work in progress, the 'Album' page in each section contains some photos but only some sections have much text.

Contact me

Just in case you're interested. This page lists the equipment which I used in the creation of this site.


Canon SureShot Sleek

A very nice little compact camera. It's pocket sized but takes good pictures and the auto-exposure and auto-focus even coped with snow scenes.

Nikon FM

My SLR for the first winter at Halley. This is about as simple as big SLRs get, fully manual, the only battery-powered part is the light meter. It works right down to the -40s, although the metal body really sucks the heat out of your hands (even through gloves). Now passed on to my little sister.

Nikon F70

Bought for my second winter. This needs batteries, so I wasn't expecting to be able to use it for the extreme cold jobs like aurora pictures or penguins in August. I was surprised how well it worked and how long the batteries kept going in the cold. A very good automatic SLR, easy to use and with lots of extra options to play with if you think you need to.

Sony DSC-P51

A nice little digital camera, fairly cheap. It was used for the Turkey photos. Saves the hassle of scanning in slides.

Manfrotto tripod

OK, it's not a camera! It was essential for things like aurora photos though. Many tripods have too many plastic parts to be any use in the cold, they become brittle and snap off in your hands. I could work this one with big thick gloves on.

Slide scanner

After looking round the web and various camera shops I heard that Minolta were bringing out a new scanner with a USB interface. As this would avoid me having to buy a SCSI card I had a look at their web site and decided to go for the D'Îmage Scan Dual II. So far I'm very happy with it.

The Minolta software isn't great, so I've changed to using Vuescan. The results are better, it crashes less often and it's available on Linux, Windows and MacOS.


I started off with a Handspring Visor Deluxe, which was very good and ran for weeks on a pair of rechargable AAs. Then I was seduced by the high-resolution colour screen of a Sony Clié T625C.

Recently the T625 has been replace by a Clié TH-55, with a beautiful 320x480 screen and built in WiFi and Bluetooth. It can still run most of the same software as the Handspring did and has all the ease of use of PalmOS.

Internet Service Provider

I had an account with Demon Internet from 1994 until a couple of years ago, when we got broadband. Dad's still with Demon, they're reliable and seem to offer decent customer service.

Now that I'm on broadband I no longer need my Demon account, so I moved this site to phpwebhosting. They provide a good service and they're fairly cheap.


For most places I've used Lonely Planet's books (Slovenia, Mediterranean Europe, South America), which are well written and widely available.

For South America, the South American Handbook is much more useful and informative. It's less obsessed with churches and contains more places to eat and stay. Taking both books would be ideal but some people get on fine without any!


I personally use Opera and Mozilla Firefox, so I know the site works in those. I'm not using the more obscure bits of HTML so it should work in Internet Explorer and other browsers too.

I hope that this site won't be too bad for people using more basic browsers. I've used Lynx (a text-only one) myself and I know how irritating it can be.


  • HTML Tidy - points out errors in your HTML and can reformat it as well. It can even fix the horrific HTML output from MS Word.
  • Perl - my preferred programming language.
  • Gentoo Linux - Gentoo has a marvellous package management system that avoids the dependency hell that most other distributions seem to suffer.

[WebMake logo]