by Mark H. Anbinder, News Editor -- firstname.lastname@example.org
Apple provides a brushed aluminum replacement stylus to MessagePad purchasers who register, but it's no more attractive a writing instrument than the original; it's just a different color. For those accustomed to the look or heft of a classier writing instrument, a new company called WriteWare offers an alternative.
WriteWare's $8.95 "S.N.A.P." stylus (the acronym stands for "stylus, not a pen") is a low-resistance plastic stylus insert for most cartridge ink pens. The inserts are currently available for Cross, Montblanc, Parker, and Sheaffer pens, and more models are expected later. The stylus-equipped pen can now be used on an Apple MessagePad, a Sharp Expert Pad, a Casio or Tandy Zoomer, or any other pen-based unit that uses touch-sensitive screen technology. (The EO uses an active stylus, not a passive touch-screen, so S.N.A.P. won't work on EO.)
S.N.A.P.-equipped pens don't fit into the holder provided on Newton and Zoomer PDAs, but WriteWare points out that their stylus can be kept in a pocket without fear of ink leaks! According to David B. Alford, one of WriteWare's partners, he decided to create this product after both of the styluses included with his Sharp Expert Pad broke off near the tip. Apparently Japanese writing is generally done at a 90-degree angle to the writing surface, and the styluses were designed with that in mind. American writers, who tend to hold a pen at a 60 to 70 degree angle, put unplanned-for stress on the tip.
WriteWare is working on establishing relationships with dealers, but in the meantime you can purchase S.N.A.P. stylus inserts directly, for $8.95 plus $2.50 shipping and handling, and California state sales tax for customers within California. Send your order, along with a certified check, money order, or personal check to:
1428 Sunshade Lane
San Jose, CA 95122 USA
Personal check orders will be held until the check clears. WriteWare also accepts U.S. currency, but we don't recommend mailing cash.