Tuesday, June 23, 2009

RJS on WordStar cited in paper about accessibility for the blind

Stumbled on this quite by accident, and found it an interesting coincidence, given that my current novel, Wake, deals with a blind teenager trying to deal with computers: a January 2006 technical paper entitled "A Personal Information Management Approach for People With Low Vision or Blindness" by Silas S. Brown and Peter Robinson of University of Cambridge Computer Laboratory -- which quotes at length my 1990 essay entitled "WordStar: A Writer's Wordprocessor."

The paper appeared in the newsletter of the Association for Computing Machinery's Special Interest Group on Accessible Computing -- and, in another coincidence, the last page of the current Communications of the ACM is a piece by me about the science behind Wake.
Visit The Robert J. Sawyer Web Site
and WakeWatchWonder.com

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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


Friday, December 30, 2005

WordStar connections

To my absolute delight, I got an email this week from Seymour Rubenstein. He was the founder of software maker MicroPro International, and co-creator (with Robert Barnaby) of WordStar, the great old wordprocessing program (originally for the CP/M operating system, and later for MS-DOS).

To this day, I still use WordStar for DOS 7.0, Revision D (the last version, released 13 years ago this month); I find it much more efficient than Word. Seymour had run across this essay of mine about WordStar that's been up on my website for years, and he liked it! Woohoo!

If that wasn't enough for WordStar connections, I also just got an email from a librarian who used to work in tech support for MicroPro, asking me if I might be interested in doing a reading at his library in Indiana ...

^KS forever!