Sunday, 17 September 2023


 So a few weeks back I picked up a TWSBI Echo from my local pen shop just to try something new.

I've been collecting pens for a while but for the most part I've been picking up two specific types of pens that are released in different color each year. While it makes for a nice looking display it's also something that doesn't really give a lot of verity in the way that those pens write. I've been thinking of picking up some different pends from other companies and the Eco is one of the first that I've grabbed aside from really inexpensive ones that I have played with.

The pen itself is a piston filled deal, so no ink cartridges to have to track, but you then are having to look into keeping bottles of ink around so that you can fill the thing up. The pen itself isn't that much bigger than the Safari that I usually have inked, but it is a little wider and thicker all the way around - not taller though. 

Writing was smooth, and after writing with it for a day I actually liked the feel of the pen enough to go pick up a second one so that I have a matched set for use in my bag, there is a bit of variance with the way each one writes - the orange pen is a touch dryer than the blue. That may come down to differences in how the specific inks flow in those specific pens or just the variance in the manufacturing of the pens. 

Either way, I'm quite happy with these for now, but I'll be keeping eyes out for other pens that might be worth adding into the collection. 

Thursday, 24 August 2023

Something new added to the collection.

I've been collecting pens for many years now, mostly Lamy Safari and All-Star pens since I have a bit of a fondness for those specific pens after purchasing my first one many many years ago.

Today I grabbed something a little bit different. A Twsbi Eco. 

As much as I do like the Lamy pens I've been having a bit of a urge to try something different, and while there are a lot of options I tend to prefer things that are a little more chunky since my hands are north of meat hooks in a lot of respects. 

So far the pen is handling well, we will see how well it breaks in as I get more time in with it, but so far feels good. 

Saturday, 19 August 2023

Thoughts on what hardware is "best'.

One thing that I'm asked from time to time when people are looking to purchase something is what piece of technology/equipment is "best.

Unfortunately the answer for that is not always clear. 

Sometimes there are cases where a specific piece of hardware is built much better than another, however even in a case where there is a huge difference in the quality of one device over another that would not make the more expensive product the best one for the person who's using it. 

Cameras are a good example of this. Regardless of how good the technology is a camera phone is always going to have shortcomings that a DSLR or other camera with a larger sensor and better quality lens would be able to overcome. However, most people are not wanting to be running around with a massive digital camera in their bag everywhere they go. As far as cameras go the best camera is the one that you have in your hand and will actually use.

That makes the cellphone cameras that most people are running around with in their pocket the best camera out there since it's the one that they will actually use.

As far as computers go you should be looking at what you need the computer to do and how you are going to be using it before you make a decision on what you are going to purchase. In  a lot of cases the software that you need to run is going to dictate a lot about what you are looking to purchase. If your software requires CUDA cores or some other hardware specific piece of technology purchasing a computer without that requirement is going to ensure that you have a bad time.

The biggest constraint that a lot of us are going to run into is our budget.  Not everybody has an unlimited budget, if we did this entire post would be moot as you would just go out and pick up the fastest of everything that was available. This is however the real world and not all of us have 10k to drop on a system.

The other thing that I would get most people to think about is if you need to be looking at a laptop, or if you are looking at a desktop system.

While I personally prefer a desktop system for my personal device work almost requires that I have a laptop to work from since I need to be mobile fairly often. For personal stuff that's not as much of a concern. Sticking with a desktop system is generally going to be a better value for performance and far easier to repair in the event that something goes wrong with the device. 

Afterall, if you break the display in some laptops you may as well go get a new one for what it's going to cost to replace the laptop display. My desktop display goes wrong I just go pick something up from the store to replace it, possibly something better than what was in place.

At the end of the day the decision about what hardware is best is going to boil down to your satisfaction with the device you wind up with. Everybody is going to have their own opinion but as long as you are happy with whatever device you wind up working on, and you fell that the price you paid was fair that's all that matters in the end doesn't it? 

Friday, 18 August 2023

Ok so that didn't last long.

 Well the macOS machine was sent back earlier this week.

Nothing wrong with the machine as such but after setting things up and working with it for a while I just didn't get the same feeling that I have had with other machines that I have put in place. In the end the killer for the deal was that I kept having to go back to the desktop machine a lot for anything that I was trying to do. 

I'll bee keeping eyes open to see if there's something else that catches my eyes, but given what I can build good desktop machines for I don't know how much value there is in getting a laptop that's just going to restrict what I can do and that can't be upgraded over time. 

Saturday, 12 August 2023

Gasp! I bought a MAC. Should I feel dirty?

 Well for the first time in my life I've actually gone out and purchased a laptop for myself. 

I've had work related hardware for most of my working career so I've never really had a huge reason to have a laptop that I personally own. However in the last little while it's started to become less convenient to not have access to some of my personal information while away from my desk. 

I know, I could toss it on the work machine but I really don't like mixing work and personal stuff together.


After a lot of thinking things through I wound up picking up a M2 MacBook Air for a personal device. 

The primary driver for this was the integration of Apple's different products, the way that devices can hand off tasks between the Phone, Laptop, and even Watch is so very slick.  One good example of this is that if I need directions I can start looking them up on the laptop in Apple Maps, and then when I jump in the car those locations are going to be ready and waiting for me in the car.

I'm sure that this can be done on the Windows side of things but it takes a lot more legwork to get there and I'm finding that my patience for fiddling around with things isn't where I'm wanting to invest my time. Apple's stuff so far is just working right out of the box.

From a hardware standpoint the build quality of the Apple's devices is generally good - I've had a number of Macbooks over the years through work and while they aren't perfect they are as well built as any of the comparable offerings from other Vendors. I'm also really looking forward to playing around with the M2 chip in this thing. We have a number of M1 and M2 devices in the office and they are consistently punching harder than they should based on the configuration of the device. 

Either way, time to play with this thing.