When I last described my pen journey, it was off to a slow start. But eventually I finished a couple of Computer Science degrees at Texas A&M. Hey, the computers were slower back then, It took a while. I took a job with what was then a fairly small software company, around 200 employees. In the 80’s a start up was what you hoped your car did every morning. Where I worked was but big enough to have a supply cabinet in the mail room. I got the basics: pens, pencils, a cup to put them in and some notebooks. Time has slowly blurred my memory of the details, so I can’t say what I used to write with exactly but this was pre-gel pen years – just ball points and sometimes felt tips.
I went through a phase off using pencils. I settled on wood case pencils. Whenever I tried mechanical pencils the lead would always break. I now know this is because my writing is far from upright and puts a lot of pressure on the lead. Also these were low end mechanical pencils.
I do know that during these years I got in the habit of liking a matching set of pens – all the colors I could find – typically black, blue, red and occasionally green. And highlighters too – all the colors I could find. Highlighting a print out of some tricky code or the log from running it was one of my normal debugging techniques.
As a small company each secretary made their own decision about what pens to buy. So the choices would slowly change. I would take a chance on most anything that showed up. Sometimes it was an improvement, other times a dud. The ever changing choices also meant if there was something I liked I would stash a few before they vanished like last years reality stars.
So far I had not opened my wallet to acquire pens myself, but this was about to change. The next part of my journey involves a new discovery – roller balls.