Friday, December 21, 2007

WordStar: an oldie but a goodie!

I still write with WordStar for DOS, and I note that today marks the 15th anniversary of the file-stamp date on the last version ever released: WordStar for DOS 7.0 Revision D was finalized December 21, 1992.

I've customized the hell out of WordStar over the years, and love it. It's fast, rock-solid, wonderfully optimized for use by touch typists, feature-rich, and much better at text manipulation than Word or WordPerfect in my humble opinion. And, since it can save files in RTF, which every Windows wordprocessor can read, I can't think of any reason to switch.

Sure, someday new Windows computers will stop coming with any DOS support, but (a) there will be an endless supply of old ones on eBay, and (b) Linux or other platforms will always have decent DOS emulators, I'm sure.

Anyway, time to put WordStar to work -- as I myself go back to work on the homestrecth form Wake, the 18th novel I've written with WordStar.

The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site



At December 30, 2007 10:33 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...


I've just gotten my first glimpse of Wake (I believe)! Thanks Rob!

I can't wait for Wake to come out, so this little glimpse (the screenshot on this post) really wets my appetite!

;-) Louis.

At December 30, 2007 10:39 PM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hee hee hee. I was wondering when someone was going to notice that, Louis! Yes, indeed, that's the opening of my new novel Wake ...


At December 31, 2007 4:32 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Again, Woohoo!

Thanks Rob! That was a treat!

Happy New Year to you and yours!

;-) Louis.

At February 16, 2009 7:27 AM , Blogger Roel said...

Strange conservatism...

At February 16, 2009 9:44 AM , Blogger RobertJSawyer said...

Hi, Roel. Well, it's conserving hundreds of hours of work I've spent over the years devising complex macros that do things in WordStar, etc. But, most of all, it's letting me work my way; I have a highly customized, highly stable, fast-loading tool that 100% of my livelihood depends on, and it's better for creative writing than Microsoft Word, in my view (you'd be surprised how many writers use Word Perfect for DOS still, for the same reason). See my essay on WordStar's strengths for creative composition here. Among other things, WordStar was designed for touch typists, and never requires me to use a mouse; I can produce copy much more quickly with it than I can with Word -- and time does equal money in the freelance-writing game. :)


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