Thoughts on Pens

Tuesday, May 8th, 2007

I’ve never liked writing with pens. I’ve always preferred pencils, mostly mechanical. My handwriting is fairly attrocious, but I found the friction of the right graphite on paper slowed me down enough to be legible while not so much as to cause me to loose whatever thought I was hoping to preserve.

Recently I’ve found myself trying to find a pen that I can use comfortably. I’m not completely sure what caused me to want to switch to pens after all these years. The fact that pencils have a high tendency to fade over time has something to do with it.

One pen I’ve found I really like is the Paper Mate PhD Multi. Twisting this pen switches it between a pen, a PDA stylus, and a 0.5 mm mechanical pencil. It appears that you can replace the stylus with an additional pen refill, but I haven’t been able to find them in any color but black. Having red ink, black ink, and the pencil would be best for me. I wasn’t crazy about the included pencil leads, but I just replace them with some 2B which is simple enough. I really like the way this pen feels in my hand.

Unfortunately, the PhD is a bit large to stick in your pocket all the time, so I’ve also been using a Bullet Pen from Fisher Space Pens. When caped it’s just over half the size of a standard pen, and the cap isn’t just going to fall off in your pocket. The clip on the other hand, fell off when I breathed on it wrong, but a little Krazy Glue fixed that. It should write underwater or in outer space, and in temperatures of -30° to 250° F, which in New England should be pretty useful. It does clump occasionally, but I know it’s always going to write, even in the strangest situations. I find that comforting somehow.

Help Convince Belkin to Support the Dvorak Keyboard Layout

Tuesday, February 6th, 2007
Margaret Fisk wants help convincing Belkin to add Dvorak support to their PDA keyboards. If you use the Dvorak Layout (like me), or even think you might be interested in trying it someday, get on over there!