Wiser Web Wednesday – a semi-regular link to posts of interest from around the web, by those far wiser than myself:
A great piece by Ben Thompson on the position Apple finds itself in regarding its services (i.e. App Store, iCloud, Apple Music).
Apple will not fix the services it already has, or deliver on the promise of the services its hardware might yet enable, unless a new kind of organization is built around these services that has a fundamentally different structure, different incentives, and different rhythms from Apple’s device teams. You don’t make great products because you want to make great products; you make great products by creating the conditions where great products can be produced
A sound rationale put forward here on the need for change:
Apple’s Organizational Crossroads
Even if you have a solid system in place for processing the multitude of sources we gather information from each and every day, it never hurts to review that system for possible tweaks to improve it.
Do I process everything in all my inboxes every day? No chance! Not all your inboxes are created equal. While I usually clear my task manager inbox at least once per day, I’m comfortable processing my email inbox and notebook entries less often. Once or twice per week is enough for my physical in-trays and camera roll.
John never fails to get you thinking with these types of posts, Well worth reading, and then genuinely asking yourself the question:
Are you absolutely sure you’ve processed all your inboxes?
The Pelikan’s Perch
An interesting post on the back story behind Pelikan’s 4001 Blue-Black ink, which I was unaware is not available in the US.
While today’s packaging omits such phrases, Pelikan’s own published literature does indeed confirm the presence of at least a small amount of iron gall in their Blue-Black ink. The iron gall allows it to be more light resistant than any of the other inks in the 4001 line (though less than Scribtol or Fount India)
Although I don’t own any myself, it’s always interesting to learn a little more about the tools we may come across in the pen and ink realm:
The Story Behind Pelikan 4001 Blue-Black
The Pen Addict
Great tips and a look at some possible tools for fountain pen photography by Susan M. Pigott writing at The Pen Addict.
I’ve never really been a photographer by any definition, with the first half-decent camera I’ve really used being the Canon DSLR we purchased second-hand for my daughter’s senior school art projects. Even now, the photos for this blog are still taken on my trusty iPhone 6 with the stock standard lens.
One thing I would add, for just A$4.49 from the App Store, the iPhone app Camera+ has a macro mode, which captures pretty decent close up images (such as this one from a recent post), without having to resort to an expensive add on lens.
Clearly my photography and image processing are not up to the standard of many, though I think it’s worth pointing out you can achieve a lot (and perhaps enough for what you need) before outlaying a significant amount of money on additional equipment.
Mind you, there are some great and very well styled images here, and there is a lot to be said for natural light:
The Art of Fountain Pen Photography
From the Pen Cup
Certainly not the usual Pilot-Namiki post, given those are traditionally pen-containing pieces. Not this one, with Mary bringing a couple of mechanical pencils into the fold.
These look and feel like heirloom quality pencils, and came with price tags that seemed more than fair.
At first glance they look like pens, however provide a great option for a beautiful looking mechanical pencil:
Pens! Paper! Pencils!
Ian takes a look at the recently released Pelikan M120 fountain pen, which probably has a certain appeal to many given the “old school” looks.
I think it looks great: very Mad Men, which is a good thing, although of course I don’t suppose that lot would have used a pen with a steel nib.
As noted in the review, Ian had a few issues with the nib skipping when writing, incidentally not found by two other reviewers using the same pen:
Pelikan M120 Fountain Pen Review
The Well Appointed Desk
Such a shame to see things like this, which I guess is always a risk when having work done on any pen – vintage or otherwise.
In other words, my pen was returned to me more damaged than when I left it with him and I only received a cursory apology and a “these things sometimes happen”.
Sound advice here which may not prevent such occurrences from ever happening, however might at least limit the damage or expense if they do:
When Bad Repairs Happen To Good Pens
Nib & Ink
Matthew Morse with a great review of the Visconti Rembrandt. A lovely blue, though perhaps not to everyone’s tastes as far as overall styling is concerned.
The Rembrandt collection is offered in a few colors, all of which are made from a variegated resin, giving them a visual texture reminiscent of the chiaroscuro technique so popular with the pen’s namesake
I must admit I don’t mind the overall style seen in the images, however you can only be certain when seeing the pen in the flesh (or variegated resin as it were). If you agree, click the link to check out the post, and enter the giveaway running through to the end of the week:
Review & Giveaway: Visconti Rembrandt
Fountain Pen Quest
Not a bad ink and pen combination by any stretch. Ray describes an interesting occurrence with the nib appearing to loosen of its own accord. I had a similar experience with a Pelikan M205, however put it down to somehow loosening the thing myself. That was some time ago and I’ve not had any problems since.
From the sounds of it, perhaps this nib’s days are numbered in its current form anyway:
Ink and Pen Notes: Pelikan M805 Stresemann with Pelikan Blue-Black
Jonathon puts forward the valid suggestion that any list of beginner pens could well do with one of the vintage variety.
Most bloggers have a list of five beginner pens which they feel are good value, but I worry sometimes those lists are more about the five best pens which could be your very first one. My feeling is that the first five you buy should offer you a nice range of experiences so you can help to figure out what suits you: long/short pens, thick/thin sections or barrels, East/West nibs. And those lists should probably include a vintage pen as well.
Upon thinking a little on that, personally, my hesitation centres around two points: my own lack of experience with vintage pens, and additionally, the possibility that if the first pen was a dud (which of course is possible with any pen), the other four wouldn’t even matter.
Still – a good point, and one well worth putting some thought towards:
Why aren’t vintage pens more popular?
I’m not the biggest fan of the standard Whitelines paper, however expected this collaboration with Leuchtturm would perform better on that front.
Apart from being a bound notebook and Leuchtturm paper, the major difference between ‘regular’ Whitelines paper and the Whitelines Link-thing is that the latter comes with a designated App to scan in the Whitelines Link paper.
Although upon reading the post it does sound like an improvement, I’ll most likely not be racing out to buy one, even though it does do a pretty good job of scanning the results:
Review: Leuchtturm 1917 “Whitelines Link” notebook
Five Senses Coffee
Exclusive Australian importer Five Senses with a brief rundown on the new Sette grinder from Baratza.
The Sette is a complete overhaul on its predecessor models with not only a new look but also an innovative approach to the internal mechanics.
Also without doubt on of the best looking consumer level grinders out there (check out this video).
Expected at Five Senses around June:
Introducing the Baratza Sette
Recently, some professional coffee folk banded together on a project to do with coffee grinding – it turned out pretty well.
So interesting, that we decided to turn it all into a paper; subjecting our methods to peer review and the rigorous process of publication. Last week, this paper was published in a Nature sub-journal -Scientific Reports- as open access.
There are some interesting findings on origin, processing, fines, and temperature, all in relation to grinding. Without resorting to reading the full, in-depth paper – a nice overview by Matt Perger – one of the authors:
The Grinder Paper: Explained
At SL28, a members only coffee bar in London.
Of course, due to the nature of the co-working space being accessible only by members, you have to belong to access the cafe. Luckily there is a membership tier available just for the intrepid coffee drinker: for £10 a month, you get access to the delicious coffees of SL28, with three free cups included in your monthly dues.
All that remains is to check the entry criteria.
“What! Are you serious? Sorry buddy – not in those shoes.”
Inside London’s First, And Most Exclusive, Members-Only Coffee Bar