Old fashioned technology

As I’ve written elsewhere in this blog, I have a weakness but also a love/hate relationship with technology. For a few years I tried to keep up with the latest iThingies so that I could make covers for them. These have been among my most popular items, and I must have made 50 or more iPad cases over the past few years. However, it is a losing battle to keep up with Apple, because my cases tend to take close to half of the effective life-time of the latest gadgets to make.

Notebook cover with “Sol LeWitt” design.

I use technology in my work, and for the past 3-4 years I’ve been in search of the perfect app for note taking. (Don’t bother telling me about your favorite, because I have probably tried them all…) Some are pretty good, but they never feel quite right. I also regularly¬†forget my stylus and sometimes am reduced to writing with a finger, which not only is very sloppy but also looks quite silly in a serious meeting. Some people have asked for a modification to the cases to include a stylus, but I’ve been fairly stubborn about resisting that, because I’ve never figured out how to do it without adding bulk to an otherwise pretty thin and comfortable case.

Detail of front with hand stitching

I’ve been yearning for pencil or pen and paper again. There is something about the tactile feeling of writing or drawing on paper that can’t be duplicated with the fanciest technology. I love carrying my drawing pencils and sketch pad into museums, and it just wouldn’t be the same drawing on an iPad…

I’m also getting tired of reading books on screens. It is nice to get the NYTimes and big clunky text books for the iPad, but nothing beats holding a real book. I’m reading Patti Smith’s latest book now, and it would just not feel quite right as an eBook.

As I write this post, I’m listening to a vinyl record (Iron and Wine) on my nice stereo. I listen to the same music on my iPad with my noise canceling headphones on airplanes, but it just isn’t the same. There is a richness and clarity that comes through with records. Even the pops and little scratches that accumulate over time add to the experience, a bit like crumpled pages in a well-read book.

I get sick of looking at screens, and I think that I need a break with some old technology. At least my leather covers for paper notebooks will last for several replacements!

Author: edisonleatherworks

I'm a biochemistry professor and leatherworker who likes bicycles, travel, art, education, and music. Walking is my favorite form of transportation, and I regularly practice Tai Chi.

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