Wiser Web Wednesday

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

 

ABC News
An interesting overview of where your “data” actually is and how it travels around this vast, yet also fairly small (at least in a digital sense), world of ours.

However, the focus for data security is on the development of software, as though we have forgotten that data storage happens in real places on the ground — and not in “virtual” clouds.

Your data is out there (not up there)…somewhere:
Where is your data? It’s not actually in the cloud, it’s sitting in a data centre

 

The Sydney Morning Herald
As an avid Plex user, its great to see ongoing development and new feature implementation within the service. Australians will now be able to schedule live TV recordings via the Plex web interface — previously unavailable due to local networks insisting their EPG listings were subject to copyright.

Common sense would suggest that you can’t copyright a simple list of program start times but, considering that the commercial broadcasters refuse to stick to their advertised schedules, perhaps they believe the TV guide is entitled to copyright protection because it’s clearly a work of fiction.

The DVR feature is only available to paying Plex Pass subscribers, however depending on how much local network content you actually watch, there may never be a better time to pull the trigger on a paid subscription:
IFA 2016: Plex live TV recording comes to Australia

 

The Saturday Paper
A new sponsorship deal between the ABC and supplement giant Swisse, doesn’t appear to have everyone entirely on board. Of course it isn’t the first time things have gone awry for the multinational:

The program demonstrated how, after their product’s claims were judged to be unfounded by the TGA, they merely repackaged the same product and put it back on the market. Swisse’s own correspondence with retailers confirmed it.

An interesting read:
Inside Swisse and its vexed ABC sponsorship deal

 

David Hewson
For the budding writer, some advice from a man who coaxed me through 55,000 NaNoWriMo words a couple of years ago with his Writing a Novel with Ulysses book.

Do I outline everything in detail first? No. I will have a few ideas about where I’m headed but this is a journey into the unknown. I want to be surprised and enlightened along the way because if I’m not the reader won’t be either.

I reckon he knows a thing or two about the craft:
How to start writing a book

 

The Pelikan’s Perch
A very useful post with some science thrown in for good measure — particularly as air travel with fountain pens is still a point of intermittent discussion in the fountain pen community.

Fly, be free:
How-To: Air Travel With a Pelikan

 

The Gentleman Stationer
Joe has just updated the Best Pens page on The Gentleman Stationer. If its been a while since your last visit, it is worth a return trip.

You could select from any category you find on this page and be satisfied a great pen will soon be in your hands:
Best Pens

 

Fountain Pen Quest
After an initial double-take on Ray’s tweet mentioning “Shows and Clubs” (thinking perhaps he may have been launching some sort of pen nightlife section on the blog) — a click through soon clarified things.

This is a great addition to the resources page on Ray’s blog, and a bonus of checking out the page was the reminder it provided of the other useful information posted there (i.e. nib workers, restorers and makers), which had apparently slipped my mind:
Pen Shows and Pen Clubs Added to Resource Pages

 

Perfect Daily Grind
There are many challenges in developing a successful coffee industry, however some are unique to their region:

Within the archipelago there are 10 main languages, but as many as 748 mother languages are in use. In order to maintain high-quality production, it’s necessary for stakeholders to communicate across both languages and cultures.

Obviously it involves more than just a few plants in the ground:
Indonesian Specialty Coffee: The Challenges & Opportunities

 

Perfect Daily Grind
The specialty coffee scene in Brisbane really has gone from strength to strength in recent years.

I highly recommend a visit to any (or all) of these:
A Coffee Shop Tour of Brisbane, Australia

 

Scotch Whisky
I would not have thought India would necessarily be on top of the whisky consumption by country list, however with such a staggering population, I guess things scale fairly substantially.

Right now, the best barley in the business goes to Talisker and The Glenlivet, with both sharing huge popularity in wedding and business function contracts. Weddings might seem paltry to us, but when the guest list is 5,000-strong and the father of the bride wants a bottle of whisky on every table, the numbers skyrocket.

Point taken:
India: Scotch whisky’s wild, wild east

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
Any man who raves about the Delfonics Rollbahn notebooks I’d consider a friend of mine. Here Matt (Mr. Three Staples) turns his hand to the Pilot Prera, and a fine piece of writing ensues.

I love the consideration given to “matching” the other items on the desk. Having never really considered a white fountain pen before, this post is as good as any in leading me towards changing that thinking.

Looking forward to the next guest post – after a few from the Centre Staple first of course:
Discovering the Pilot Prera


Everyday Carry
Ed Jelley with a pretty handy back to school/work guide to pens, particularly if your budget isn’t running in a surplus at the current time.

In it I see the Parker Jotter – my first “I’m going classy exec style”pen from high school. It was a blue section for me back then:
The Best Everyday Carry Pens for School and Work


The Gentleman Stationer
With a few pilot pens already in my collection, the glowing reviews I often see of the Custom 823 place it firmly on my “to purchase” list as well.

It’s nice to see Joe has finally moved his over to the “purchased” side of the ledger. Yet another positive review of a great looking pen:
Pen Review: Pilot Custom 823


Pen Economics
I wrote and published a short piece over the weekend about my first year as a member of the Fountain Pens Australia Facebook group.

If you’ve not as yet read it, this great post from co-founder and admin of the group Jonathon Deans paints a bight picture of the group’s first year, and if future plans are any indication – things are certain to get better and better:
One Year of Fountain Pens Australia!


Alt. Haven
You may have seen a post of mine in the recent past, praising the value represented by some of the paper-based stationery products in Japanese discount store Daiso.

While in the store, more than once I’ve looked at the fountain pens in those cheap packages, and thought better of it. Junee’s thoughts here suggest that was perhaps the correct way to go.
Review: Daiso Fountain Pen


An Inkophile’s Blog
I thought my lead in to this link would contain: well, I”m an …….– and give you the ink that best represents me. In the end I found that to be easier said than done. Have a think about your signature ink.

Adapted from a great article in the August 2016 issue of Pen World magazine, by “Inkophile” Margana Maurer, this colour wheel will get you thinking about your particular signature ink. A link to download the full article in PDF can be found in the post:
Signature Ink And A Color Wheel


London’s Best Coffee
A handy reading list for the coffee enthusiast, and I hope there are at least a few of you reading these pages.

Though all the books will have something to offer coffee professionals, we have in mind the consumer at some stage into their journey of adventure into the world of coffee.

There is no excuse for your coffee table to be sans, well… coffee table books about coffee:
A Guide to Coffee Books for the Novice Explorer and Enthusiast


European Coffee Trip
Quite an in-depth look at the emerging Italian Specialty Coffee scene.

Specialty cafes have a problem to charge more than 1€ for a single shot espresso. That is the regular price in all cafes but the speciality ones.

Tradition, attitudes, law. It’s all here to challenge third wave style proprietors break new ground in a one of the oldest and well established coffee markets there is:
Italian Third Wave Coffee Scene – Does Anyone Know About It?

Wiser Web Wednesday

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

 

The Sydney Morning Herald
Former host of the Reckoner Podcast (amongst other things), Peter Wells provides some thoughts around the limitations of podcasts in general, namely discovery and sharing.

Podcasters need to start making shareable content: smaller clips that work on the medium they’re sharing to.

Many points in here upon which I tend to agree:
The problem with podcasts

 

Six Colors
Vesper held a spot on my iPhone’s home screen for what I’d describe as “a good while” a couple of years ago.

I must admit to having enjoyed using it, however as an avid Drafts user with an active Evernote account at the time, there were only so many places to put those notes.

As a result, I thankfully don’t need to export numerous entries now:
All-star notes app Vesper reaches the end

 

MacStories
Although there are many features in PDF Expert (both on Mac and iOS) I leave under utilised, it is certainly nice to have them when required.

This latest update to version 2 on the Mac adds some pretty impressive editing features. Thankfully it is a free upgrade for existing users (there is a free trial option on the Readdle website). At AU$89.99 on the Mac App Store it is a significant investment, however you do get what you pay for.

PDF Expert has been my go to PDF viewer and editor across both platforms for some time now, and I’m looking forward to delving a little deeper into the new features:
PDF Expert 2 for Mac Adds Powerful PDF Editing Features

 

The Pelikan’s Perch
When you’ve got an extensive collection — organise it well. Exactly what it says that a couple of the most well organised collections around contain largely Pelikan pens I’m not sure.

Between David Brennan’s Too Many Inks Filemaker Pro Database, and this one outlined by Joshua using Recollector, there really is no excuse not to get inspired — even if yours starts with a simple spreadsheet:
Review: Recollector Collection Management Software

 

Jet Pens Blog
Part instructional how-to, part equipment supply room. A great post on the Jet Pens blog about all things Sketchnoting, which makes me want to give it more than the cursory thought I usually do.

Of course every time I think of jumping in, I then think about all of the information I’ll miss while trying to make a coherent sketch which is meaningful to me later.

Yes, perhaps I should have more faith — and if on the fence, perhaps you should too:
Sketchnotes: A Guide to Visual Note-Taking – JetPens.com

 

Three Staples
Another Three Staples Field Notes review — this time the Starbucks Capitol Hill Edition.

I’m glad to say, I like Capitol Hill more than I thought I would. There are many details in it to appreciate as a Field Notes fan…

A great review as always of a nice bright bunch:
Field Notes: Starbucks Capitol Hill

 

Whsky Buzz
The Whisky Cabinet author Mark Bylok on the whisky industry and the rise of “no age statement” releases.

NAS whisky does have an unfortunately bad reputation. Equivalent or better whiskies can be produced without the age statements. The thing is, the supply of quality barrels of whisky is decreasing, and we’re feeling that on every level of the whisky being made whether it be the new NAS release or our favourite 18 year old whisky.

Certainly a competitive time for the larger whisky makers, in no small way attributable to trends in other spirits:
Supply, Demand, and Shelf Space – The Story Between Whisky Makers and NAS Haters

 

Barista Hustle
Key concepts are always worth repeating, and there are plenty to be found at Barista Hustle.

If your roast does have green/stemmy/grassy/savoury flavours then it’s underdeveloped. This means part of the coffee bean is too light and you can taste it. Note: the whole bean doesn’t have to be too light for it to be called underdeveloped.

A little reminder it’s not always just about the roast colour you see:
Roast Development and Colour

Wiser Web Wednesday

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

 

Macdrifter
Taken in the context of my recent post about the Ulysses update, this is a clear demonstration of how your mileage may vary.

Not long after writing that post, I dragged about 150 files from an iCloud folder to Dropbox within Ulysses, then added an additional 130 or so files to the same one from another Dropbox folder while at my Mac. All files dutifully appeared across my devices in the Dropbox “External folder” I’d added to Ulysses.

Although it was a decent amount, it is a far cry from a couple of thousand text files as reported here. Worth reading if you are considering Ulysses and whether or not it will suit your particular purpose:
Ulysses for iOS Updated with Dropbox Sync

 

Practically Efficient
Following on from the link above, Eddie Smith describes his reticence to continue with Ulysses after an initial foray — with future-proofing as the main concern:

So eventually I stopped doing much personal writing in Ulysses because most of my personal writing is highly fragmented—bits and pieces of thoughts that sometimes sit idle for years before coalescing with other things.

My own use of Ulysses for blog posts is typically an in and out scenario, where, over a few weeks to a month, they are drafted, written, edited, published and archived (one copy remains in an iCloud folder as a .ulysses file, another in Dropbox as a plain text file). For me personally, other bits of text are found in Drafts on iOS, or nvALT on the Mac, with notes containing additional data such as links and photos within Apple Notes.

Enough about my thoughts though, and a fair call by Eddie in pointing out that batch exporting the Ulysses files to plain text in a Dropbox folder is perhaps “future proof enough”.

This one sent through to me by a friend of the blog — thank you kind sir:
Ulysses batch export

 

Gourmet Pens
Azizah with a review of the Australian made Blackstone ink Barrier Reef Blue (available from local online retailer Just Write).

A mighty fine-looking ink if you ask me, and it has certainly never been a better time to sample some Australian made inks:
Gourmet Pens Ink Shot Review: Blackstone Barrier Reef Blue

 

Macchiato Man
Another impressive looking blue ink, in the Kobe #38. As Yagan indicates in the post, given the similarity, investing in some Robert Oster Blue Night may be a more straight forward option.

It would appear though if you want that amazing sheen then the Kobe is what you need:
Ink Review: Kobe INK #38 Kitanozaka Night Blue

 

The Gentleman Stationer
If there is one thing we can count on as far as a pen show is concerned, it’s a great wrap up from Joe about what went on.

The D.C. Pen Show has come and gone for another year, and all that remains is to catch up on the various purchases made by those within the pen community.

In the meantime, here is some of what we missed:
2016 D.C. Pen Show Recap: Friday and Saturday

 

The Clicky Post
This would have to one of the more impressive collections of vintage stainless Pilot pens going around.

The striping is icing on the cake, and watching Mike’s video review of the set is a joy to behold:
Vintage Stainless Striped Pilot Pens – Video Review

 

The Pen Company Blog
Ian Hedley writing on The Pen Company blog about Lamy’s 14k gold nib.

I’ve always been happy with a good stainless steel nib, which you’ll generally find on most Lamy’s you purchase, however I also own one of the 14k gold nibs as well, and it is certainly an impressive writer.

What I consider the best part of the Lamy nib system, Ian also points out in the post:

One of the lovely things about Lamy pens is they all (except the 2000) use the same nibs and these nibs are very easily swapped (simply pull one nib off and push another one on)

My gold nib is currently sitting in my blue Safari, and isn’t that a joy to pick up and make a few notes with.

Perhaps worth considering if you have a few non-2000 Lamy pens which might enjoy a rotating gold nib:
Lamy Z55 14K bi-colour gold nib review

 

A Good Keen Savage
There is a lot to take in regarding water and coffee brewing in this post, let alone in an entire book which is the subject of this great review.

To sum up — water matters:
Water for Coffee – Book Review

 

Sprudge
Aside from the title, the post contains an accurate description of a new venture from Dutch entrepreneurs looking to source decent coffee, which at times may be found in homes rather than local cafes.

It’s called Coffee Shots, and its aim is to lead discerning coffee drinkers to the homes and personal workspaces of discerning baristas, be they amateur or professional.

Peer to peer crowdsourcing gains yet another addition, and although a sound idea, the proof will be in the cup, app, security and privacy all at the same time:
This New App Is Like Tinder For Coffee

 

Whiskysponge
An amusing take on a brand representation that probably suits, well… scotch and coke I guess.

All that remains is a dab behind the ears and you’ve got a new Beckham fragrance as well:
David Beckham: Master Distiller – A Whiskysponge Exclusive

 

Scotch Whisky
As this article states, many incidences of “corking” routinely go unnoticed, as the level of taint is below many a drinker’s perception. Of course that’s not to suggest this is always the case.

What is it? The main culprit is a chemical compound called 2,4,6-trichloroanisole (TCA to its friends), which can be picked up at two parts per trillion (ppt) in the case of white wine. The level rises to 5ppt with red wines, and I’d assume it would be higher again in the case of oak-aged spirits.

Although the wine industry has moved increasingly towards screw-caps, not so whisky:

Whisky, on the other hand, is moving the other way and corks are now increasingly commonplace. As a result, it is inevitable that TCA infection will have risen.

Here’s to all of your bottles hopefully being TCA free:
Is there such a thing as corked whisky?


Wiser Web Wednesday

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

 

The Gentleman Stationer
Okay, spoiler alert – I am mentioned in this post along with some other blogs. I do wish to point out the link is included here not because of that fact, for if you are reading this, then you are already — well, of course…reading this blog.

The reason for linking to posts and other blogs on these mostly weekly Wednesday link posts is to share with you the other sites I get a kick out of reading — many of which you’ll find highlighted in Joe’s post.

As for this blog? It fits perfectly in the not exclusively stationery-focused and not updated as often category in which it appears, and for that reason I am very grateful to Joe for the inclusion.

I would encourage you to click-through to the post and check whether the websites included are in your RSS Reader or whichever method of following you may use — there are some great sites here:
Pen and Stationery Websites You Should Be Reading

 

The Pen Addict
Jeff Abbott looks at a fountain pen-friendly pocket notebook in the Clairefontaine Life Unplugged series.

I’ve long been a fan of Clairefontaine paper, and this newest addition to my collection is a new favorite. A 3.5″ x 5.5″ notebook filled with creamy, white Clairefontaine 90gsm paper is hard to beat.

If fountain pens are your daily carry note taking choice, indeed these would be hard to top as the paper half of any combination:
Clairefontaine Basics Staplebound Pocket Notebook Review

 

The Pelikan’s Perch
There is a good bit of local excitement given Brisbane made the list for a Pelikan Hub in 2016, with fellow Fountain Pens Australia Facebook member Thea Monks designated hubmaster (in my mind I continue to refer to it as hub-meister, however will go with the official term here).

Taking place for 2016 on the evening of September 16, I’m very much looking forward to participating in this fantastic event:
News: Pelikan Hubs 2016 Locations Announced

While you’re at The Pelikan’s Perch, check out Joshua’s very thorough, detailed review of the retro-inspired M120N released this year. For one main reason noted in the post, it perhaps won’t find its way into as many hands as perhaps it might have, which is a shame.

Great review though as always:
Review: M120N Green/Black (2016)

 

Ed Jelley
Certainly some solid choices here for fountain pen users looking to expand their notebook collection.

The Apica CD Notebook remains a favourite of mine:
The Best Fountain Pen Friendly Notebooks

 

The Pen Company Blog
Admittedly I’ve only tried a limited number of Faber-Castell fountain pens, however the nibs have always been outstanding. I am a little enamoured with the unique shape of the E-Motion as well.

A great review from Lucy at The Pen Company Blog:
Faber-Castell E-Motion Pear Wood Fountain Pen Review

 

nib & ink
The more I see of the Murex and Myu line ups from Pilot, the more I like them.

Great reviews like this one do nothing to reverse that trend either:
Review: Pilot Murex

 

Alt. Haven
The doctor is now consulting. Well, at least he was recently in Singapore. Junee provides an insight into the approaches and philosophies of the Pilot Pen Doctor Atsushi Takizawa.

An enlightening read:
Pilot Pen Clinic with Pilot Pen Doctor Mr. Atsushi Takizawa

 

Smith Journal
This short piece in the Smith Journal contains further links to the topic at hand.

My favourite though, is the link at the very end on building your own. If you have a spare ten minutes it is well worth watching, then proceed to the backyard, stand in front of your current shed, and begin planning:
Famous Writers’ Writing Shacks

 

And now it’s all this
Beyond posting links to these types of posts, all I have to say is that I spend a considerable amount of my time on iOS, however love using my Mac just as much.

I don’t really have much desire to head one way or another in isolation. As acknowledged in this piece by Dr Drang, many of the advantages iOS brings are duly noted, however it also demonstrates that sometimes the evangelism doesn’t necessarily stack up to objective scrutiny:
Intuitive by proxy

 

Finer Things in Tech
David Chartier moving in what would generally be considered the opposite direction to many when it comes to cloud services. I’ll be interested to see how the experiment goes:
From Dropbox to iCloud Drive: An Unexpected Experiment

…and finally:
iOS 10 Safari: Close all tabs at once

 

MacSparky
David Sparks and Jason Snell with a new podcast about their experiences in going out, and continuing to succeed in, working on your own.

Free Agents is a podcast for people who work independently or are thinking about working independently. The show will be a mixture of topics and guest interviews dealing with the challenges and joys of working independently.

Generally with podcasts or blogs writing about such a theme I find very interesting up to a point. When that changes, it has nothing to do with the quality or content of the show — merely the fact I become worn down by listening to the joys of working independently as I spend an hour commuting to the large office where I work every day. Sure, I don’t drag myself out of bed whingeing and moaning each day, however I’m sure you can see the challenge in maintaining enthusiasm for these types of topics within that context.

I’m predicting this time will be different, for although I’m not going “indie” any time soon, I have been working on a side project which has certainly sparked a good deal of enthusiasm in recent months, even if progress on that project is slow.

I very much enjoyed episode 1, and the topics planned for future episodes in Free Agents are beginning to become just that little bit more relevant:
My New Podcast: The Free Agents

 

Ars Technica
Where everyone goes for whisky news right?

An interesting read into a research area which appears to be very much in its infancy.

Within the traditional distilling community, there’s certainly some skepticism about how fully the effects of quick aging can replicate time in a barrel. “I think that accelerated maturation is an enhancement, not a substitute,” says Angels Envy executive Wes Henderson. “There’s no substitute for time, mother nature, climate, ingredients. Maybe I could be proven wrong, but I don’t know. I hope we never lose the magic of aging.”

Unless there is ever a significant shortage of course, and then perhaps everyone will be aging their product as fast as they can artificially increase the speed on that clock.

I can see the labels now: “aged 8 years, tastes like 12”:
The scientific arms race to age our whiskey

 

The Whisky Topic Podcast
Mark and Jamie discuss a very specific and statistically based process of assessing whisky, with Eric from the Whisky Analysis.

Eric uses the “meta reviewer” concept on his website, where he collects whisky scores from various reviewers and provides an overall ranking

The discussion provides a fascinating analysis of some of the characteristics of whisky reviews, and also provides a basis for the differences in opinions of occasional drinkers and experienced reviewers.

Hearing why the default sorting of the database contained on the site is by flavour then by score is fascinating in itself.

Check out the database and find your “cluster”:
Is the “Meta-Critic” the ultimate whisky reviewer?