Review: Parker Quink Black

Manufacturer: Parker | List Price: $10.49 | Buy from Amazon

Back in July, we went to Singapore to visit our family there. Since ink is rather cheaper there, we got a couple of bottles. I meant to do this review over a month ago, but I’ve been procrastinating a little. Finally though, in back to school spirit, here is a review of Parker Quink Black.

Parker Quink Black is generally considered to be a standard by which all other black inks are compared. This may be because it is over 75 years old. So without further ado:

The quasi-writing on the paper reads: ‘A good standard ink. Not exceptionally dark, but darker than Waterman Black. It behaves well and is quite safe. Dry time is adequate. It is professional, but unfortunately it is nothing special and will not be more than an everyday ink.’

List Price: $10.49 | Buy from Amazon

The paper used is Staples 20lb copy paper. The swabs (water and ink) were about 3 layers. The colour seems to be about right on my monitor, but, of course, all monitors are different. The ink is rather economical, even in more expensive economies, so I think it is a good buy.

Review: Lamy Blue Cartridge Ink

Manufacturer: Lamy | List Price: $5.50 | Buy from Amazon

When I bought my Lamy Safari five months ago, it came with a Lamy Blue Cartridge. I was saving it, but I finally decided that it was time to use it and write a review on it. When I first popped the cartridge, the ink flow was horrible. After writing for a couple days, it got its typical  dark blue. By then, it was almost a third gone. Besides that, its a great everyday ink. The scanner made the ink look purple, but it’s not. As the name suggests, the ink is blue in real life.

The paper used was Staples 20 lb copy paper. The cartridge made it impossible to swab the ink in the “Swab” section, but the water was smeared 3 (rather vigorous) times in the “Water” section. Thanks for reading!

(EDIT: The pen used was actually a Lamy Safari F, not a Lamy Safari M.)

List Price: $5.50 | Buy from Amazon

Review: Noodler’s Luxury Blue

Manufacturer: Noodler’s | List Price: $13.50 | Buy from Amazon

When we finally convinced our mum to get a fountain pen, she decided she needed a bulletproof ink for work. It’s not really a bad ink, but in terms of the colour you get I just don’t think it’s worth it. It is pretty good at withstanding the trial by Q-Tip though.

Believe it or not, the writing on the sheet is actually English! It says: ‘A business ink that looks professional and is bulletproof.  It dries quickly to a faded jeans colour and it’s flow is consistent. It gets a lower rating due to the nib-creep (it covers the whole nib) and its price: it costs 3 times a regular Noodler’s bottle.’ I was a little more cruel with the Q-Tip this time (compared with the Aurora Blue review). The swab is a little inconsistent but it should be about 2 or 3 layers of ink. The paper is 20 lb Staples copy paper.

List Price: $13.50 | Buy from Amazon

Info: Teeline and other Shorthand Systems

This is sort of a repost/elaboration on my earlier post on shorthand, but I wanted to make a post on Teeline in particular. I no longer write Teeline, having switched to Gregg for aesthetic and multilingual purposes, but Teeline is nevertheless a great shorthand system, easy to learn and fast enough (I got to around 80 wpm before I decided to switch).

Teeline is easy to read and write because, unlike other systems, the letters are all very distinct. There is also a symbol for every letter of the alphabet, so it can be written orthographically instead of phonetically. What really makes it fast is the fact that it removes all medial vowels, but this also means that readback should be done quickly or all meaning can be lost. To download a full pdf on the system, click here.

Though it depends on how long it takes you to finish the manual, you should be at about 30 or 40 wpm when you are done. To continue speedbuilding, you can download free dictation here (I’m not affiliated with them in any way).

If you don’t think Teeline’s your thing, you can read about Gregg and Pitman in an earlier post of mine. If you’ve already decided, but unsure where to find a manual, you can download a Pitman one here and a Gregg one here. I’m also learning Gregg, and you can find texts in my extremely beginner French Gregg here. (If you are thinking about learning French Gregg, it’s probably best you don’t try to copy my style though, at least not until I improve some more.)

Lastly, if you want to learn about shorthand in general, this is the highly informational site that inspired me to start shorthand in the first place. Thanks Marc for posting a link to this blog, by the way!

Files: Shorthand Manuals

OK, for people who want to learn shorthand online, sometimes looking for material can be a wild goose chase. When I first started learning Teeline, it seemed there wasn’t much online, and the courses that were online costs money. There are many free courses online, but a lot will only take you part-way through the theory. Manuals are nice because they follow a complete and strict course. I did manage to find a manual for Teeline online, along with some other shorthand systems so you can have the choice if you want to download them here. They should all be open source or public domain, but if you do own the rights to any of these manuals, contact us and I’ll gladly take the offending manual down.

Teeline Manual

Gregg Pre-Anniversary (1916) Manual

Gregg Anniversary (1929) Manual

Isaac Pitman (1852) Manual

Feel free to download any of them. This is a rather incomplete list, so if you find any better manuals (Handywrite, Speedwriting, Gregg Simplified, etc.) that can legally be put on here, let us know!