1.1 What’s New?
The FAQ is now back in Framemaker (version 7), but as a series of separate
file-oriented chapters. There’s much new information in here, the FAQ has
been completely reformatted, and much rewriting has been done. It is becoming
more of complete reference for pens, not just a place for newbies to visit. And,
more links to additional reference information has been added - some of these
new links are valuable to “newbies” and “pros” alike.
There are also other changes and additions which go beyond plain editing.
I hope that all of these changes make the document easier to read, and make the
information just that much more accurate.
If you find that there is something of timeless interest that is not in the FAQ,
please E-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org
and I will seriously consider putting it in. The FAQ should be a living, growing
document, and my intention it to see that it does indeed keep growing.
1.2 What’s missing?
There are, unfortunately, no pictures in this document... yet. Expect them in
the next version, to be released fairly soon. Meanwhile, pointers to sites with
pictures appear throughout this document. Feel free to go to those sites and check
out their information as well.
Unfortunately, the text version that is posted to the net will not contain these
1.3 What’s planned?
Briefly, future versions of the FAQ will contain sections on nib regrinding, pen
repairs (like, how to remove and replace nibs and feeds on some kinds of pens),
and other pen maintenance issues.
I think that “newbies” should have these answers at their fingertips
without having to buy anything other than the tools, and “pros” should
have a quick reference available to them to remind them of the simple stuff. So,
my goal will be simple: to answer questions. And, as always, I will point you,
the reader, to additional information.
1.4 Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt, and “True Beliefs”.
There is indeed a lot of FUD about fountain pens, especially on the internet.
There are lessons to be learned about what is rumor and what isn’t, what
works and what doesn’t, and whom to believe... and whom not to believe.
I’ll try to help, but you have to help too... by not being too naive.
A pen is a pen is a pen (with apologies to Gertrude Stein). It isn’t a life-and-death
thing. It’s just a pen. If someone tells you that it’s more valuable
than your car, don’t believe it. If someone tells you that ink X is better
than ink Y, don’t believe it - until you actually use the ink. If someone
tells you that pen A is better than pen B, remember that he/she found it a better
pen, and after trying it you may absolutely hate it.
Opinions expressed here are my own, or have been selected by me from articles
in several news groups or discussion groups. Send me E-mail at email@example.com
if you disagree and have a good reason to change my opinion. I’m flexible,
and have been known to change my mind.
The FAQ is only a set of guidelines, not an authoritative text!
1.5 Newbies, take note!
You, the new pen collector, may find that your question isn’t answered here,
or that the answer isn’t enough for you. It is up to you to take some initiative
to find the answers. Yes, there are experts and purists who can answer your questions,
but some of them get tired of answering the same questions over and over. That’s
why this FAQ exists, and that’s why there is a list of links later on in
this FAQ. They are there for you to use.
Just keep in mind that “anything worth doing is worth doing well”.
Take some time, be patient, look around on the net, in books, and in magazines,
and you’ll find the answers. Have patience - the purists had to start out
as newbies once, too!
And, this is the last time I’ll use the term “newbie”. From
now on, I’ll call you novices, which truly reflects who and what you are.
1.6 Purists, take note!
This FAQ is aimed specifically at novices, or others who are either new or are
returning to fountain pen use. There will be parts of this FAQ that you may take
exception to, especially when I give an abbreviated view of a subject, or when
I provide an overly simple answer to a question, or when my experiences are at
variances from your own. Have patience with these new fountain pen owners - they’ll
learn over time, just as you and I did, and will eventually come to their own
conclusions -- which will be as right and as correct as yours.
If you find that one of the answers I give just isn’t right enough for you,
send me E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll have a civilized, polite
discussion. Having an argument over a simple concept makes us look quite silly
-- and it also might “turn off” a potential collector!.
If you find that the FAQ answers your questions, then I’m very happy. If
you find it doesn’t, and you decide to ask your question “online”,
please ask it in a polite, non-intimidating, and non-accusatory manner.
By the same token, if you answer a question “online”, please answer
it in a polite, non-intimidating, and non-accusatory manner.
And, please, remember that we’re all fountain pen users - a very unusual
breed of person in 2003. Let’s treat each other with respect.