Ampad Engineer’s Computation Pad

Ampad Engineer's Computation Pad

The Ampad Engineer’s Computation Pad is a specialty pad of paper. Light green with green ruling, the front side of the page has only a margin. The back of the page has a 100 by 700 grid, with each square measuring 1/5″ x 1/5″. The inch lines (every fifth line) are slightly darker.

The idea is that graphs and drawings can be made with the benefit of the ruling, while appearing to be on a blank background.

It is a completely different approach to some of the same problems that Whitelines paper is also attempting to address.

As paper, it’s fairly thin and lightweight. It seemed very pencil friendly, and maybe just a tad less amicable towards a medium nib Lamy pen.

Ampad Engineer's Computation Pad

Choices are good. If writing with the intention of line rulings not reproducing was my sole objective, then I’d say the Whitelines paper is much better – using it is pleasant and effortless, while the ruling of the Engineer’s Pad can take some strain to discern. Whitelines also comes in many paper sizes and binding options. On the flip side, the Engineer’s Pad is much easier on the wallet, and each side having a different scheme could be useful.

4 Replies to “Ampad Engineer’s Computation Pad”

  1. Have you tried the Lee Valley scratchpads? By no means lightly ruled, they are a pleasing heavy grade paper. My only complaint is LV’s dogged attachment to non-metric units.

    Actually, I’m kinda missing *real* graph paper here; A4, with 1mm square in grey feint …

  2. No, have not tried Lee Valley scratchpads, nor their pencils, which are also apparently quite good.

    I did buy a pack of Hilroy 8.5″x11″ 1mm (green) graph paper at the same time. That is some *fine* ruling!

  3. I am an electrical engineer and carry either a computation pad or bound computation notebook everywhere with me much like a business person or lawyer would carry a legal pad. The grid is great for drawing timing diagrams, schematics, and block diagrams. However, the grid isn’t so heavy that you can’t also jot notes in a meeting on it. They aren’t cheap and they aren’t as easy to find as legal pads, but I couldn’t live without mine. Thank God my company supplies them. :)

  4. I used them in Electrical Engineering school at NCSU. Was very surprised when one Lab TA said it was _required_ for homework submissions. Though, graciously, he did accept the plain-paper one I was turning in at the time.

    They are OK, but like Blue said, expensive compared to ordinary notebook paper (even the graph paper kind). Seemed like some sort of deal between the professors and the student bookstore to me, to require them.

    But, in fairness, at the time I switched to using them for all my subjects.

    Now, I don’t use them at all even at my engineering job. But then, I’m about the only one there who I think still knows how to use a pencil rather than a computer. EE CAD is _still_ in the dark ages. They’ve polished the edges off the rough UNIX ports they were in the 1990s but wow are their interfaces bad. Civil CAD is light years ahead. So, pencil it is, as much as I can get away with.

    Now, I would not use most legal pads or looseleaf paper if I had the choice. Good printer paper (HPs 24lb is nice) is my favorite. Usually though I use moleskines or clairfontaine, maybe a higher end office-store notebook (Ampad docket?, red & black). But then, I write very little, so the cost isn’t too bad.

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