Wiser Web Wednesday

Wiser Web Wednesday – a semi-regular link to posts of interest from around the web, by those far wiser than myself:


It’s indeed a busy time in the world of Apple software updates, with iOS 10 now in the wild, and macOS Sierra currently awaiting my go to update my Mac mini.

Although you’ve no doubt seen the plethora of ”5/7/10 things you need to know about iOS 10” out there — for a definitive resource, there is no going past Federico Viticci’s now yearly iOS reviews.

In what can only be described as a hefty 50K words, it is however, well laid out, indexed, and supported by enough video and screenshots to make checking any particular feature or aspect of iOS 10 a breeze.

You need not go anywhere else:
iOS 10: The Macstories Review

And of course:
macOS Sierra: The MacStories Review


The Brooks Review
Ben Brooks experiments with using the on-screen keyboard on the iPads Pro for a week. The results? Not bad, however not as good as an external (in this case Smart) keyboard.

Given I write quite a bit on the iPad (currently typing this in the back shed while some coffee roasts away in the yard), I’ve long used an external keyboard for such purposes. Though probably ridiculously (from a size perspective), on a Logitech Ultrathin Keyboard with my iPad mini 2, and now I am back on the iPad Air 2 – the Microsoft Universal Mobile Keyboard, which is absolutely fantastic (provided you don’t mind lugging a second device around).

Of course the best part about the iPad is the usability of the on-screen keyboard for times I either don’t want to carry the external one or find an unexpected time to get a bit of writing down when just the iPad itself is with me.
Just Glass


From the Pen Cup
Coincidentally, at last Friday night’s Pelikan Hub in Brisbane, conversation at one point turned to converter options for the sport-sized Kaweco pens, with mixed views on their merits.

It seems the same is the case amongst reviewers online, with Mary finding success, yet referencing the less than stellar performance of the converter when Jeff Abbott reviewed it for The Pen Addict last month.

Depending on how you use it (read fill it) will perhaps depend on the results you end up with and whether persevering is worthwhile. I’m not rushing out to buy one, mainly because I’ve always been content with cartridges in my Ice Sport.

If you do decide to try one out, it certainly isn’t a pricey endeavour:
Another Viewpoint: The Kaweco Sport Squeezable Converter


The Pen Addict
It’s nice to see an Australian ink maker’s products receiving such positive reviews around the globe.

If you’re looking for a rich turquoise ink with great shading and sheening properties, Torquay is a great choice. It really does have that little “certain something” that makes it stand out from other inks

I have a couple from the Robert Oster range which are some of my favourites, and no doubt quite a few more will reach my collection in future.

Keep an eye out for these high quality inks as they hit both brick & mortar and online stores around the world:
Robert Oster Signature Ink Torquay: A Review


Notemaker Blog
A great roundup of why Rhodia paper is seen in some form or another on just about every fountain pen users desk.

In addition to the points listed — greater availability than ever before (see Officeworks, Dymocks etc) makes Rhodia a compelling option.

Of course a little support for an Australian online retailer never goes astray either.

Well said Notemaker:
Rhodia – Why this brand has so many admirers


The Pencilcase Blog
A thoughtful and balanced review of the Montblanc Rouge et Noir Heritage edition fountain pens released earlier this year.

But the skinny profile, especially at the section where it’s not much thicker than a woodcased pencil, might put some people off. Being a special edition pen, I think most people would expect something a bit larger

Pen number one on my fountain pen journey was my Montblanc Meisterstück Classique (which incidentally is now 19 years old and still going strong) — another very slim pen. I’ll admit, depending on your particular preference and what you are used to, pens on the slender side are not for everyone — particularly at this price.

For me, the design of the Rouge et Noir edition is not quite for me, however I think Montblanc has done pretty good job overall.

A well written review:
Montblanc Heritage Rouge & Noir Fountain Pen Review


Pens! Paper! Pencils!
Speaking of slim pens, Ian Hedley reviews the BNdot ballpoint — recently launched on Indiegogo (link in Ian’s post).

Quite a few of the pens sitting around my desk are fairly slender in nature, and as Ian points out in the post, such pens definitely have their role — however perhaps that isn’t in handwriting your next novel (a situation which might not occur too often for many of us I’d imagine).

Coincidentally, this review also comes at a time when I’ve been thinking about when exactly I became fountain pen only. Of course that couldn’t be further from the truth, however readers of the blog would be forgiven for thinking just that if I look back at the pen related posts for quite a way on the site. In any event, I must redress the balance soon, however this link is about another great review from Ian rather than the foibles of my review choices.

Also check out Brad’s thoughts on the BNdot over at the Pen Addict, and while you’re there, if you poke around a little you can find other first looks at the BIGiDESIGN Ti Arto (Kickstarter campaign ending soon) and the Tactile Turn Glider (Kickstarter campaign also ending very soon).

So much going on! Over to you Ian:
BN Works BNdot Ballpoint Pen Review


Nock Co. on Kickstarter
But wait… there’s more!

Nock Co. with another Kickstarter project, this time the launch of The Lanier Briefcase. I use my Nock Co. pen cases from the original Kickstarter every single day, and can certainly vouch for the quality and functionality of the materials, design and manufacture. No doubt The Lanier will be more of the same.

Although personally I’ve never been drawn to the design and appearance of these types of briefcases, head on over to the project page to view what I am sure will be another successfully funded campaign:
The Lanier Briefcase by Nock Co.


Pen Economics
Dr Deans with some analysis of whether that old “more environmentally friendly” chestnut really does apply to the fountain pen versus disposable ballpoint comparison.

Ultimately, understanding environmental impact is a complicated matter. To make effective decisions, we need to make sure we aren’t focussed on a single, potentially unimportant detail

Whether we are talking pens or the environment in general, I think we are all probably prone to erroneous assumptions about such matters, and I offer you this for a more informed view:
Are Fountain Pens Good for the Environment?


Crónicas Estilográficas
Exciting news of a new flagship fountain pen from Pilot.

The result is a flat-top pen made of ebonite, coated with black urushi lacquer, and filling mechanism through cartridge and converter (CON-70). In fact, this pen can be seen as a scaled up Custom 845—same shape, same materials, same structure… but bigger, longer, thicker.

No doubt more will be heard in the coming months:
Custom Urushi


Pax Coffea
Coffee industry expert Peter Giuliano outlines what he believes to be a turning point in the coffee industry.

I believe we will look back upon 2016 as one of these special moments, when we see the first sparks of a new era. For coffee, that is.

The post refers to recent announcements by two US Universities of plans to open Coffee Centres for research and development, along with similar plans from the now unified SCAA and SCAE (American and European Specialty Coffee Associations) as evidence of this.

While I cannot speak for the industry itself, I would add that various online resources such as Barista Hustle are providing better than ever access to science and expert opinion for the average enthusiast as well.

Interesting times ahead:
Why I Believe We’re Witnessing the Beginning of an Age of Wonder in Coffee

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