As a professor and a coordinator for an academic unit in a state university, I often have to produce documents that must exist in different formats. For example, my class syllabus in available online in PDF format but I also need to print it out and pass to students in the first class. Other examples include student handbook, program information sheets, and many other documents. They all need to look good on-screen as PDF files and in print.
As someone who cares a lot about typography, I am in constant search of good text fonts. Because the documents I produced tend to be very text heavy, I want a good-looking text font that can perform well in small font size. For my purpose, I need the font to meet the following criteria:
The font must look formal and authoritative. Because the documents I produce are official university documents, I need them to look official and authoritative. Therefore, anything that looks fun and funny are out.
I want a font that does not look boring. If the first criterion is the only criterion, I can just use pre-installed Windows PC fonts such as Times New Roman, Arial, or Cambria. Many people have done that and I have no objection on their choice. From my point of view, however, all those pre-installed fonts are overused and boring. I want a font that has some flare and more details but not outrageous. For example, even though I like Berkeley Oldstyle a lot, it to me has too much flare and decorations for a text font.
I want a font that is not too expensive. I have a limited budget, so free would be my preference. If I have to buy the font, I want something that is not too expensive.
I have tried many different fonts and eventually I settled with two fonts: Adobe Minion and Calluna.
Adobe Minion is a good-looking font and it looks very format and authoritative. The only problem is that it does not look very unique. It is true that in a quick glance most people would probably mistaken Adobe Minion for Times New Roman. However, I find Minion better looking than Times New Roman. The good thing about Minion is that its size is almost identical to Times New Roman, so you can replace Times New Roman with minimum changes to the overall layout.
Calluna is my new favorite text font. Its regular font is free to download. Calluna has a larger x-height thus make it easier to read in small font size compared to other popular text fonts such as Garamond. However, Calluna’s x-height is not too large as fonts aimed for screen reading. Many screen-reading-friendly fonts tend to look awkward in print because the x-height is too large. Calluna hits a very nice balance between screen reading friendly and looking good on paper. Calluna also has more details and flares that makes it look more distinguishable than fonts such as Minion and Times New Roman.
If you are looking for a text font and you have never tried Calluna, you should definitely give it a try.
I don’t usually drink coffee, but when I do, I drink caffè latte.
My coffee journey started 5 months ago. I was not a coffee drinker but I was surrounded by coffee addicts–My mom had been a heavy coffee drinker before she had cancer, my best friend in college often posts his latte arts on his Facebook page, and one of my colleagues brews at least 3-4 cups of coffee everyday.
In a typical day in December 2015, I was chatting with my college best friend on Facebook and I asked him about his latte arts and espresso machine. He complained to me about the cost of imported espresso machine in Taiwan. He said he had contemplated about asking me to buy an espresso machine in the U.S. and ship it back to Taiwan for him. Even with international shipping, it would still be cheaper than buying it in Taiwan, he claimed.
During our conversation, my wife was on my side and she saw everything. Without any drama, she said very casually that it would be great it we can have latte or cappuccino at home. My wife doesn’t drink coffee often, but once in a while she would buy a Starbucks’ caramel macchiato. Hearing my wife, and given my general interest in anything mechanical, of course I had to investigate the possibility of buying an espresso machine.
I did pretty intensive research online on espresso machines and I found them cost from less than $100 to several thousand dollars. Moreover, to brew good espresso drink, you also need a good coffee grinder, which can cost more than the espresso machine. So, how much should I spend on my first espresso machine? The general consensus online seems to suggest at least $400 or above. My friend recommended Rancilio Silvia Espresso Machine and he uses a Breville BES920XL Dual Boiler Espresso Machine. The Rancilio Silvia costs about $700 and Breville BES920XL is more than $1,200. There is no way my wife would allow me to spend that kind of money on an espresso machine, at least not the first one.
Since we bought the espresso machine last December, we have been drinking espresso about once to twice per week. Because it takes about 30-40 minutes to prepare an espresso drink and clean up, I can’t do it during weekday morning when everybody is rushing for school and work. For coffee beans, we bought it from a local roaster Combs Coffee and we have been very satisfied with the quality of the beans. If you live in Denton and its surrounding area, the owner of the Combs Coffee, James, will deliver your coffee to your door.
After using De’Longhi ECP3420 for the last 8 months, I have to say that I am a little disappointed. Yes, if your budget is limited to about $100 for espresso machine, De’Longhi ECP3420 is probably as good as any other machines you can find in this price range. However, all espresso machines in this price range suffer the problem of unstable pressure. De’Longhi ECP3420 can provide adequate pressure at the beginning of the brewing process. However, once the brewing starts, De’Longhi ECP3420 will quickly lose its pressure which leads to inconsistent espresso. Yes, it is drinkable, but I would like to do better.
Larry Fine把鋼琴品牌做了一個分類。其中最高級的他稱為Performance-Grade，這是音樂廳或是專業的鋼琴演奏家用的等級。次等的是Intermediate-Grade；再次等的是所謂的Consumer-Grade，這是一般家庭用的鋼琴等級。在Consumer-Grade裡面還細分成三級，從低到高分別是Economy, Mid-Range,和Upper Level。Performance-Grade和Intermediate-Grade都不是我能買的起的，所以直接跳過。而Consumer-Grade裡面最低等級的琴包括：Wm. Knabe (Baltimore), Pramberger (Legacy), Samick, Altenberg, Brodmann (CE), Cline, Cristofori/Lyrica, Everett, A. Geyer, Hallet, Davis & Co., Hardman, Peck, Pearl River, Ritmüller (Classic), Story & Clark (Heritage), Wyman。這些琴我也不打算買，因此當我把他們從我的表上剔除之後剩下的琴只有：