When will we stop using pen and paper? The lunacy of Legacy Writing Implements!

We have a lovely new building with a Gym in the basement - why on Earth do such places require me to find a legacy writing implement to sign up for a trial!

I know that the question kind of answers itself in some respects as it's typically the requirement to "sign" the agreement that takes us back to old fashioned annotation. Of course it's perfectly possible to digitally sign documents and transactions but it's generally easier for many organisations to keep to the tried and tested form.

I presume that UK legislation is easier to adhere to with legacy writing implements too - blinkin' frustrating.

I am lucky that I don't have something more serious to rant about!

Comments (7)

  1. Anonymous says:

    Richard> Very observant of you. It’s not my copy – I work at a hot desk – the copy of Computing was left behind by whomever sat there before me

  2. Anonymous says:

    John> I enjoyed watching the Utube video you linked to – thanks

    Reminds me of the story about NASA spending millions of $ on developing a ball point pen that would work in zero gravity & the Soviets using a pencil instead!

  3. Anonymous says:

    You are all absolutely right of course – I agree that it’s unlikely pen & paper will ever be entirely phased out. HOWEVER I work for a leading tech firm and would expect that we could get this right!

  4. nik says:

    There’s a good summary of the signature issues under UK law at http://www.out-law.com/page-443, and a recent update in their Spring 2006 edition http://www.out-law.com/PDF/out-law_spring06%20lores.pdf

    Height of daftness in this is our QA system. The documents are all electronic; printed copies are considered uncontrolled. But we still have to sign a sheet of paper, that has no connection to the electronic document, to “authorise” the documents for use…

  5. Richard Tubb says:

    Steve – Interesting that you still read the printed version of “Computing” as opposed to having the Digital on-line PDF Version arrived in your inbox too. 😉

  6. John A Thomson says:

    That’s all good and well, but I’ve got proof that even Bill Gates is looking to book and pen technology!


    In simple economic terms, it could be pretty expensive for most organisations to implement a digital signature infrastructure that would meet the standards of the law. Why go to all that complexity when it takes seconds to write something in pen and ink that will stand up in a court of law! Most people also like to have something in paper when it is a legally binded contract.

  7. Kevster says:


    As regards ‘Legacy’ 🙂 pen and paper and the pipedream of a truely paperless office, I remember what a very wise old guy told me…..  “A paperless office is like a paperless toilet”

    I am sure still in our lifetime it will not be phased out

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