Wiser Web Wednesday 

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


Three Staples
The Drink Local edition was at the beginning of my Field Notes awareness, and therefore I’ve not seen them in the flesh. A Three Staples post is of course the next best thing.

Such a great theme and perfectly executed in colour as well.
Field Notes Colors: Drink Local

Also check out Jinnie’s latest post for some information on the direction the Three Staples blog is taking in future:
Updated Goal and Housekeeping #20161008


The Gentleman Stationer
I continue to enjoy seeing inks from Australian manufacturers receiving attention around the pen world. I currently have three bottles of Robert Oster Signature Inks in my collection (Bondi Blue, Peach and Ruby), however that probably won’t be where it ends.

Great post from Joe as always
Ink Brand Profile: Discovering Robert Oster Inks


The Pen Addict
Susan Pigott writing at The Pen Addict with some more Robert Oster ink appreciation — this time the decidedly blue-green Tranquility.

A name befitting a calming shade:
Link Robert Oster Signature Ink – Tranquility: A Review


The Gentleman Stationer
I enjoy reading reviews of pens less commonly seen, or well… reviewed. I had not heard of Otto Hutt prior to reading Joe’s post (my lack of knowledge more than outright rarity I’m sure), however this Design 06 model looks to be up there with anything in its price range.

As fountain pens experience a bit of a “renaissance,” and more and more people pay attention to pens online through blogs, forums, etc., it’s increasingly rare to find lesser-known high-quality brands.

The beauty of a great pen blog — assisting the enlightenment of other enthusiasts:
Pen Review: Otto Hutt Design 06


Quill & Pad
An interesting tale recounting the author’s visit to the P.W Akkerman store in The Hague:

His response was unheard of: instead of presenting me with what he thought I should have or might like, he went over to a display rack, picked up about half a dozen of pen magazines, gave them to me free of charge, and told me to come back when I had found my pen

Certainly a unique approach which appeared to pay off for both author and salesman, resulting in the purchase of a Visconti Van Gogh. That is just the beginning, as Martin Green provides the story for many a pen purchase along the journey — and boy are there some beauties here:
My Quest For My Ultimate Fountain Pen Part 2: The Italian Period


Tim Schönfeld reviews the Tactile Turn Gist fountain pen, which has recently emerged after another successful Kickstarter project by Will Hodges.

Indeed a nice looking pen, however the Bock titanium nib was not a winner. A forthright review which is always good to see:

Tactile Turn Gist


Alt. Haven
Another review of the Tactile Turn Gist, this time two of the models — one with a stainless steel nib, the other titanium.

Junee has a more positive experience with the titanium nib, however it sounds as though it certainly requires treating with care:
Review: Tactile Turn Gist


Pen Economics
Now we have the links to some pen and ink reviews listed for the week, some thoughts on bias in fountain pen reviews. In the week’s most un-startling news, Amazon announced a change of rules after it found a bias in reviewer’s opinions existed when the review products were received free or at a discount (not specifically related to any of the above posts of course).

I think disclosure being the most important point here, and to me, a simple “I received this [insert product] free for the purpose of this review” is more than enough, and I’ll weigh my opinion from there. Yes, it then seems natural to state the opinion was not then influenced, however as we can see, is that ever really true?

Just to reiterate though, as long as I know, I can make my own judgement with that knowledge:
Ethics, Bias, and FP Reviews


I don’t add many (read, one so far in nearly 300 posts) tables of information to posts on this site. I’ve often told myself it’s simply because the style of writing doesn’t require it.

That is mostly true, however in some cases, I’ve simply altered how I’ve written about certain topics to avoid creating a table in Markdown.

Not any more, as TableFlip for Mac has launched in the past week, and if the demo version I’ve been playing around with is any guide, things will now be a whole lot easier:
TableFlip Takes the Pain Out of MultiMarkdown Tables


2Do Blog
Still my task manager of choice across both Mac and iOS,  2Do goes free with a one-time in-app purchase after two weeks, for continued Sync, Backups and Alerts. If the user does not activate the purchase, the app will continue to function, albeit without those features.

I don’t know about you, and your opinion on this may differ, but I’d personally hate to see the 10+ apps I use frequently to turn into a $2.99+ monthly subscription. I appreciate that there’s a difference between a Service and an App, but nowadays everyone’s begun to portray their app as a service. Maybe it’s just me, but I’m not comfortable with that thought; even as a developer.

The change has been made by the developer in the hope of improving discoverability, user numbers and ultimately sustainability.

I think it is probably the best model to go with, finally allowing new users the “free-trial” so often missing when considering such a purchase. I hope it does well:
The Big Change


John Scullen
Having been on the receiving end of a few project updates which were, shall we say… less than engaging — any tool which aims to assist the process is worth looking at. Here John takes a look at a reasonably priced option to create simple Gantt charts and assist with presenting them to stakeholders in a project.

I always find John’s posts interesting and to the point, providing the information I need to assess whether it is something worth further investigation.

This one is no different:
Roadmap Planner review: project schedules don’t have to be ugly


Here we are again. The internet has had another little flurry around the merits, or lack thereof in relation to open floor plans or workspaces.

The Omni Group’s Brent Simmons talks of a “low-simmering level of anxiety” around others in a workplace, irrespective of who they are. A pretty good summary finishes off the piece.

When people who decide on workspaces for programmers don’t understand this, I wonder if they understand programmers.

To me though, it doesn’t go far enough, and we can simply replace “programmers” with “other people”. But Pete, this is the panacea, the way of the future in collaboration, creativity and spark. As I sit and have no choice but to hear everything going on around me, I also have a “low-simmer” happening, but it’s not anxiety, and for fear of offending, I’ll leave it there.

I do realise however, and fully acknowledge I need to remember, we are all different, and thus work differently. I would however, have appreciated it if those who plan offices had afforded me the same courtesy in their thinking:
Open Floor Plans


Finer Things in Tech
An update and reflections from David Chartier on his experiment in moving from Dropbox to iCloud for cloud based storage and syncing.

For my needs, it’s gone well so far, though I certainly hope Apple pays more attention to iCloud Drive to make it a more viable competitor in this space.

Seems about right:
From Dropbox To iCloud Drive: A Review And Some Thoughts


I’ll start this one with an aside. I listen to my fair share of tech related podcasts, and clearly read a little on such topics as well. The following from Federico Viticci pretty much hits the nail on the head in describing the ruminating and handwringing that often goes on in and around the tech press/podcasting world (the following in relation to the storm that became barely a ripple with Apple removing the headphone jack from the latest iPhone).

What I believe many failed to observe is that most people aren’t tech reviewers with a deep affection for cables and I/O standards.

They’re not podcasters either

I honestly don’t mind listening to these opinions (strong ones at that, even if they could be classed as hyperbole) — however it is laughable to assume the entire user base has (or should have) the same view (it’s actually the opposite). Mostly of course people don’t really care one way or the other — as the post goes on to say.

With that out of the way, Federico’s thoughts on the iPhone 7 itself, and what it represents for future technologies:
iPhone 7: Computer from the Future


Transparent Trade Coffee
Although this post is a discussion around the terminology and definitions used in reporting payments actually received by growers of green coffee, it does offer some information on the various other parties in the chain and the percentage they receive.

Of course this phenomenon is not unique to coffee, as any exporter of goods will no doubt tell you, however the main point here is if specialty roasters are reporting on how much actually goes to the farmers, it seems reasonable the calculated figure and terminology around the information is accurate.
Effective Grower Share versus Return to Origin?


Assembly Coffee
Some interesting thoughts from a very well-respected figure in the global coffee industry – Maxwell Colonna-Dashwood.

The future is inevitably going to be technology improvements that increase the ability to make better cups of coffee.

There are a few more topics covered as well, including Colonna-Dashwood’s foray into making speciality grade Nespresso-compatible capsules.

An interesting read:
Maxwell Colonna Dashwood — Colonna Coffee


Just rinse under the instant boil water and dry with paper towel. Do not, I repeat do not touch the communal dish brush, sponge or tea towel. I never have, and after reading this piece, any temptation to do so will be met with the fiercest resistance:
Don’t Wash Your Coffee Mug In The Office Break Room

2 thoughts on “Wiser Web Wednesday 

  1. I’ll add a few comments about the Gist since I own 2. Will Hodges’ aesthetics seem to match mine, since I own an aluminum Mover gel/ball/roller pen, brass/poly Gist, damascus/poly Gist, and have a Titanium Glider coming. For example, I think the Gist looks great, but the can’t stand the Lamy 2000, and Karas Kustoms leave me cold.

    One neat thing about the Gist is that you can swap parts around – it’s easy to swap the nib/feed unit (and some people have used non-Bock nibs), the grips, and of course the caps. I ordered an extra Zirconium grip, and plan on ordering some more, such as fire-treated Ti or DLC Ti – it’s a relatively inexpensive way of trying out different materials.

    I have the steel Extra Fine, steel Medium, and steel stub nibs; so far I haven’t had any issues with them. Most reviewers don’t like the Titanium nib, but I’ve seen positive comments from some users.

    Will was asked about fitting a normal standard-sized converter during the Kickstarter campaign; his answer was that it wasn’t possible given how the pens are made (machined on a lathe). Final note: I’d say Will is more part of the EDC (Every Day Carry) community than the fountain pen community – I don’t ever expect him to be making pens from wood, acetate, acrylic, etc; he’s even stopped making aluminum pens. But I won’t be surprised if he starts making knives.

    P.S. Just went to Daiso yesterday, didn’t find anything interesting.


    • Hi Tony, Thanks for stopping by and adding some more thoughts on the Gist. I agree on the aesthetics, I think they are a great looking pen as well.

      I’m also fond of pens with interchangeable components, and it sounds like you have some interesting combinations at your disposal! Perhaps the steel nibs are better than the titanium, however I’ve not had any experience with them, and as you say, there are some positive comments on them out there. I think you’re correct about the EDC slant, and there is certainly nothing wrong with that.

      Thanks again for your comments – I do appreciate them.



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