Technical report regarding fountain pens, printers, and scanners

I like to read and write technical reports of all kinds. I do a lot of writing using pen and paper. Over the years I’ve used gel pens of various kinds as well as Sheaffer italic script pens.

I like to write in italic script. You can write faster in italic script than in standard cursive handwriting. There’s less effort involved – the letters are formed in short strokes. That’s in contrast to cursive writing where the pen is held in contact with the paper, for much of the time that you’re writing. You can write very fast in italic script and still remain legible.

Fifty years ago when I was learning to write, I used to get accurate quotes of what people said at meetings, because I was adept at italic script. When a meeting was over, I could look at my notes and be able to read them. You can’t achieve that feat if you try to cover a meeting, with enormous amounts of direct quotes, with cursive handwriting.

I’m speaking of the days before wide use of cassette and later digital recorders.

Why schools started teaching children to do cursive writing instead of italic script is a topic that intrigues me. Like many things, there must be a history involved with how cursive writing, which in any view is markedly inferior to italic script, achieved prominence among educators.

Having gotten tired of the Sheaffer italic script fountain pen, because it makes for a scratchy writing experience, because the nib tends to cut into the paper, I’ve recently switched to using Pilot Metropolitan Collection fountain pens. The pen is a pleasure to write with. The ink flows smoothly; that’s what contributes to the immense pleasure and satisfaction of using such a fine writing instrument.

At first I tried using the cartridges that come with the Pilot pens but I prefer to not use cartridges. The Sheaffer pens also use cartridges which is one reason I switched to the Pilot pens as an alternative. Why use cartridges? They just fill up landfills. What a waste. Not for me!

I at first tried the option of the Pilot press plate converter, which you use with a bottle of ink. Then I tried the Pilot screw-type converter but soon got tired of that because I had to wear rubber gloves while loading ink, as otherwise my hands were ink-stained. So, now I’m back to using the press plate converter and that completes my technical report on fountain pens.

Printers and scanners

My first printer was a 1980s daisy-wheel printer connected to a 1980s IBM PC desktop. The printer sounded like an aircraft taking off meaning I soon switched to a dot-matrix printer. Some years later laser printers appeared on the scene.

In more recent years we’ve bought printers recommended by Consumer Reports, sometimes with mediocre results but more recently with better results.

We used an Epson colour inkjet printer for some time but the cost for inkjet cartridges was exorbitant (you had to keep on buying endless numbers of cartridges) and the amount of paper you could insert in the paper tray was minuscule.

We currently use a Brother HL-L2370DW black and white laser printer and an HP Color Laser Jet Pro M453-4 printer. The print quality is good and the toner cartridge costs are reasonable.

Years ago when I drove from Ontario to Quebec I had taken along a small scanner because I was going to scan some photos in connection with an interview. As it turned out, I forgot to take along a required cable and so stopped to buy a new scanner along the way. I bought a high-end scanner, an Epson V550 Photo Scanner. That’s the best scanner I have ever used.

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