Fountain Pens

Story of a programmer finding inspiration in the old, inky way of doing it.

How I became a writing tools fanatic

I like writing tools.

I've always fond it extremely fascinating how these little things empower us to build amazing stuff out of nothing: you take an empty page, you pick up your pencil, you use your brain, and, depending on how smart you can be, you might have just created something as valuable as... everything. Well, for sake of argumentation let's suppose you've just solved one of the Millennum Problems. You've won 1 million dollars.

You will ask: how could a pencil possibly help in winning all that money? Well, probably less then 1%, which makes your pen worth 10 000$.

Ok, I suppose you don't think (nor do I!) I'm going to win that 1 million dollar prize, anyway.
I'll make a new example: let's say someone makes 20 000€ every year in a job in front of his computer. If he buys a keyboard making him type 5% faster, he will now produce 500€ more... I hope you agree with me that spending quite some money on a good keyboard is not that a bad idea, after all.

On fountain pens

Ok, if you're born in the '90 like me, there's a good chance you don't even know how a fountain pen looks like (Like I did!).

Without further ado, this is a fountain pen:

A Stipula fountain pen lying on a written piece of paper

...And this is why I like them:

Writing is MUCH more comfortable

With typical pens, you have to press the pen down to get it to write. With a fountain pen you don't need to apply any pressure: the pen writes by itself. This way writing becomes much more comfortable and causes less problems to your wrist.

As a side note: when I started writing with fountain pens, I discovered I was handling the pen in a Very Wrong Way. It turned out I was using a technique I invented by myself in order to apply more pressure... when I was a child my dad tried to teach me how to hold a pen. No daddy, it's not my fault: this ballpoint pen sucks.

They last forever

A fountain pens is refillable with ink:

It feels old

We stand in front of our computers for most of the day. We barely write on paper nowadays. This makes me feel sad, detached from reality.

You know, I like the feeling of using something old. When I write, I go RETRO-style.

You get your hands dirty sometimes

I like to mess up with ink sometime. I'm such a child...

You understand how it works

Ballpoint pens have always looked to me as some kind of magic tool: I didn't know what was inside of them nor how they really worked. Fountain pens are much more understandable: you can open them and see all the pieces they're made of...and it really makes sense. Come on, you can even make your own ink using lemon juice (It should stop being invisible when you put it close to fire) or dirty water!

written by Matteo Nardi