Monday, January 22, 2018

Erasable pens for editing papers

I recently discovered the Pilot Frixion pens and I like them a lot. (I am not getting any advertisement money from them I swear :-)

The pens have erasable ink, so they are great for marking your comments/edits on a paper while reading. They erase via heat. Each pen comes with a plastic nub, and if you apply friction to the page with the plastic nub at the top, and it erases the writing --mostly clean. A word of caution though, this means if you leave your writing in a hot car, you will find it erased, which you can remedy by putting it in a freezer. I am not kidding.

So, don't use it for writing you want to keep permanently, but it is great for writing comments and marking on a paper when you are reading.

I print the research paper I am reading and I do a lot of marking on paper. If I use a regular pen, I cross over some of my guesswork, nonsensical questions, or misinformed comments, and it messes up the paper. But using Frixion pens, I erase and modify my comments without creating a mess. Well, at least, less of a mess.

I am still not an online shopping junkie. Although these pens are available on Amazon, I still like to buy them from a store. I was happy to see that Walmart has the 3 colors (black, red, blue) for $5. I use the red pen for question,  blue pen for important comments, and black pen for all the other comments and doodling.

MAD questions

I once prematurely advocated going back to the fountain pen.

I still switch between the two. Mostly I live in Emacs happily. But I print and edit with erasable pens when I need to edit. And I switch to a fountain pen (a cheap Pilot Metropolitan pen combined with a refillable ink-pump --- again not advertising), when I am badly stuck and I need to think on paper, or when I want to break monotony. I sign things with that fountain pen, and the pen surprises the students even my colleagues. Fountain pens are now considered antique.

I wonder if it would be possible to combine the perfect pen on paper feel with all the ease/convenience of text wrangling in Emacs within the next 10 years. I feel that would be the ultimate productivity product for me.  

No I don't think MS surface* is there yet; it is still lacking in both fronts: writing-feel and editing-convenience. I was hoping Apple with get there, but after Steve Jobs passed away, I am not counting on it anymore.


xcom 2 cheats said...

this has been around in my country for a long, long time. probably 4-5 years now. i don't use them for writing or highlighting because most of the ink that my school's printer uses to print worksheets or exam scripts smudge when i erase the pen ink with the eraser provided. but other than that it's super fun to use haha i used to use them for doodling on a free space in my worksheets and then i would erase them off afterwards. it was super popular in 2012-2013 because the pen just came out at that time and it was so mind blowing to me and my classmates (we were 9-10).
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Anonymous said...

This is interesting!