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Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS 522

Posted by Soulskill
from the change-is-scary dept.
Hugh Pickens DOT Com writes: "Ryan Reed reports that when most Game of Thrones fans imagine George R.R. Martin writing his epic fantasy novels, they probably picture the author working on a futuristic desktop (or possibly carving his words onto massive stones like the Ten Commandments). But the truth is that Martin works on an outdated DOS machine using '80s word processor WordStar 4.0, as he revealed during an interview on Conan. 'I actually like it,' says Martin. 'It does everything I want a word processing program to do, and it doesn't do anything else. I don't want any help. I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lower case letter and it becomes a capital letter. I don't want a capital. If I wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key.' 'I actually have two computers,' Martin continued. 'I have a computer I browse the Internet with and I get my email on, and I do my taxes on. And then I have my writing computer, which is a DOS machine, not connected to the Internet.'"
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Game of Thrones Author George R R Martin Writes with WordStar on DOS

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  • by Qbertino (265505) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:49PM (#47003191)

    'It does everything I want a word processing program to do, and it doesn't do anything else. I don't want any help. I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lower case letter and it becomes a capital letter. I don't want a capital. If I wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key.'

    Amen, brother, Amen!

    • by AaronLS (1804210) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:59PM (#47003325)

      Hallelujah! Trying to select text and it grabs the whole word, or worse, some programs grab the whole word plus a space. Why do I want trailing spaces with everything I paste?

      As a developer thinking about how I can "help" the user, I always favor the perspective that the user knows what they want.

      Some developers make the "they can disable this feature" excuse. The frustrating thing is every time you get a new desktop/phone/upgrade/update you find yourself disabling the same options again and again. Only a small handful of products remember these kinds of settings across devices/installs.

      • by i kan reed (749298) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:05PM (#47003415) Homepage Journal

        This is because, as a developer, you're a user who understands and knows what you want. Microsoft is writing software for the kind of people who'd type google into the google search bar to get to google.

        • by master5o1 (1068594) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:17PM (#47003525) Homepage

          Type 'Google' into Bing bar to get Google to search for 'Hotmail' to look at their email and then forward it to their grandchildren.

          • by Zephyn (415698)

            At least they're no longer printing it all out and sending it through the USPS. Progress is being made.

          • by Zibodiz (2160038) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @07:32PM (#47004789)
            Forward it to their grandchildren? Try forwarding it to themselves. I have a lady I support who has literally about 40,000 emails -- all of which are incredibly important -- and when she finds one she wants to keep (as opposed to the ones that sit unread in her inbox), she forwards it to herself so that it's her name in the 'from' field, so it's easier to tell which ones she's seen before and liked.
            When she finds a picture on the internet that she wants to keep, she downloads it to her hard drive, attaches it to an email, then sends it to herself. I kid you not. I've tried to explain how things should be done, but learned the hard way that it's not worth it. Instead we've just switched her to Thunderbird, since Outlook Express couldn't handle that many emails. Thunderbird is holding up under the strain quite nicely. Boy was it hard to get her used to it, though. Probably spent 20+ hours one the phone helping her find the 'forward' button and her address book.
            • by EuclideanSilence (1968630) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @11:16PM (#47006055)

              This should be a clue to everyone how important ease of use is. I know that skilled computer users love following 5 pages of directions linked between 8 different websites written by 4 different people to accomplish 1 simple task (looking at you Linux), but for most people, that's a pain in the ass.

              Name 1 way to back up her emails and pictures on a remote server that requires fewer mouse clicks than forwarding them herself with email. "I've tried to explain how things should be done" -- first rule of UI design, "don't make me think".

              • by Zibodiz (2160038) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @12:35AM (#47006327)
                Aboslutely. The other thing that should be taken from this is that things need to change less. Change for improvement is one thing, but change for the sake of change is simply not worth the hassle. When XP support ended, this customer was panicked, and felt that she couldn't stay on XP any longer (thanks, CNN), but she is so averse to change that I knew Windows 7 would not be a good change. I set her up with Lubuntu, customized everything to look as close to XP as possible, and still had tons of greif to deal with. In the end, though, it was a very smooth transition; everything she did in XP was possible in Lubuntu, icons were in the same places, programs worked the same. She fussed -- a lot -- about the fact that some of the fonts weren't identical (which would have been worse in Wn 7), and that the desktop icons were slightly larger than in XP, but otherwise things went well.
                I definitely appreciate how projects like Lubuntu have given us the ability to 'hold back time', as it were, for folks who simply cannot handle change. And as a bonus, I successfully converted someone to Linux. Man, I prefer supporting Linux boxes over Windows. So much easier to fix.
              • by HappyDrgn (142428) on Thursday May 15, 2014 @02:08AM (#47006657) Homepage

                "Name 1 way to back up her emails and pictures on a remote server that requires fewer mouse clicks than forwarding them herself with email."

                Dropbox - drag, drop, done. Single click.

            • by adolf (21054) <flodadolf@gmail.com> on Thursday May 15, 2014 @01:38AM (#47006561) Journal

              I email myself all the time.

              I keep backups of most of my data, of course, but email is the most easily-searched, most easily-accessed, and most redundant system I have...and it takes zero additional thought on my part for it to behave in this way.

              Additional redundancy is also simple: If something is Really Important to me, I can send it to myself at multiple independent email servers with ridiculous ease.

              I've been doing it this way since I discovered IMAP something close to 20 years ago.

              The fact that someone is using a tool in a way that you didn't intend should not be taken to indicate that such behavior is wrong, and if IMAP were totally unsuited it wouldn't handle multiple concurrent clients of different types, much less folders, much less generally-sane handling of attachments, much less [...].

              (Granted, this is for stuff that is not secret to me -- just important to me. I don't have many secrets, and any that I do have certainly aren't anywhere near the Internet or any other network.)

        • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:40PM (#47003771)

          So when a user who doesn't know what they want copies a temporary password from an email and pastes it in to a login form is supposed to know to remove the trailing space the Microsoft software so helpfully included?
          Or when you've gone to the pain of selecting only the word and not the trailing space, then select part of another word to paste over, it helpfully inserts a space that you must then delete.

          I'm so glad I don't know what I want.

        • by DRJlaw (946416) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:54PM (#47003943)

          This is because, as a developer, you're a user who understands and knows what you want. Microsoft is writing software for the kind of people who'd type google into the google search bar to get to google.

          I've done that, intentionally. Do you know why? Because between Microsoft deciding that anything that isn't at least a second level domain is a search request intended for bing and Time Warner deciding that anything that isn't immediately properly resolveable should be DNS redirected to their own god-awful search-like landing page, that can be the most reliable way to get to where I actually want to go.

          I usually have set my DNS to OpenDNS, but if I've rebuilt the machine or traveled and stayed somewhere that mysteriously breaks my manually-specified DNS server, I may have reverted the notebook to use whatever is automatically set by DHCP.

          I usually uncheck software's constant attempts to make [insert name here] my new default search agent, or to activate some added search suggestion do-hickey, but I'm not perfectly vigilant.

          Nevermind that this browser will automatically assume "www." and that browser will automatically assume ".com" and maybe, but not consisntently, if you type "google" you'll actually get to the Google front page.

          The kind of people who type google into the google search bar to get google are the kind of people who are not so technologically savvy that they can consistently prevent the ever-loving war to redirect any user typing something into what should be a URL entry field to some random "search engine" because user traffic = middleman $$$.

          THE UNIFIED SEARCH AND ADDRESS BAR IS TEH DEVIL.

          The Bing toolbar, Google toolbar, or what have you can be ugly clutter, but it can't be subtly screwed with by the other devils.

          And that is why you get people typing google into the google search bar to get to google.

          • by evilviper (135110)

            THE UNIFIED SEARCH AND ADDRESS BAR IS TEH DEVIL.

            Your problem is only that you don't know how to change the default search engine. I sympathize, but it's still not the devil.

            The unified address / search bar is mostly a great improvement. Telling clueless users which of the two text fields to type an address into was a nightmare. Typos in URLs were a nightmare. Wasted screen space was a negative, too.

            On mobile, Dolphin works great. It's extremely easy to change the search engine used when you type into t

        • by perpenso (1613749) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @06:09PM (#47004083)

          This is because, as a developer, you're a user who understands and knows what you want. Microsoft is writing software for the kind of people who'd type google into the google search bar to get to google.

          You know, typing a domain name into search is not a terrible thing to do. It is a valid strategy to avoid domain name typos that may land you on a malware site.

          • Absolutely. Especially when the domain is part of that lovely new "let's intentionally misspell or leave out a couple of letters or use some random third-world domain suffix as the last couple letters" breed of domains that makes it impossible to tell if you've typed it correctly by looking at it.

            First time you go to a new domain: get there through a search engine link. Much less chance of accidentally winding up at a site that's gonna do naughty things. Subsequent visits, you should have the right one in y

          • by devman (1163205)

            It does lead to hilarious results sometimes. I recall a ReadWriteWeb article that BREIFLY became the top search result for "facebook login" on google. The chaos was amazing.

            http://readwrite.com/2010/02/10/facebook_wants_to_be_your_one_true_login

            The comment section is riddled with people asking how to get to facebook, or why did facebook change their login, asking help with logging in on this "new" login page. It was epic. The comments are still up if you want to read them

            They had to put a notice near the to

        • by ultranova (717540)

          Microsoft is writing software for the kind of people who'd type google into the google search bar to get to google.

          No, Microsoft is writing software for an impressive "new features" list, so the management will buy the damn thing over and over again. Featuritis is the natural result of enough cycles of that.

      • by sribe (304414)

        Hallelujah! Trying to select text and it grabs the whole word, or worse, some programs grab the whole word plus a space. Why do I want trailing spaces with everything I paste?

        I'm not going to name names, but I recently saw something worse than that: copy a few words of text, paste, and it inserts A FUCKING LEADING LINE BREAK! Argh! If I wanted the text on the next line, then I would fucking put it there!!!

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by fizzer06 (1500649)
      Real DOS users edit with EDLIN. (ducks)
      • by Grog6 (85859)

        I never used EDLIN with DOS, only with CP/M. I really hated it. :)

        IBM's BASIC editor was the first WP program I used on DOS; I'm still using the PWB Editor that came with Macro Assembler 4. :)

        I still have a machine that can play Duke3d and Leisure Suit Larry, lol. :)

        To have to duck around here, you have to say "EMACS can't..." and follow that up with pretty much anything. :)

        • by AmiMoJo (196126) *

          Anyone remember Display Write from IBM? I had both Display Write and a "lite" version that I generally preferred. When the ribbon on my dot-matrix printer started to wear out after the third time round I just made all the text bold and turned on double printing.

      • by xevioso (598654)

        Ducks! Where? I love ducks.

      • pfff... Edlin is too bloated, I prefer to use COPY CON

  • by excelsior_gr (969383) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:51PM (#47003205)

    In one of his books, he also gives credit to the guy that keeps that outdated system running.

    • I hope he has 50 kaypros or whatever stored in nitrogen somewhere... that can't go on forever.

      • I hope he has 50 kaypros or whatever stored in nitrogen somewhere... that can't go on forever.

        I don't see why not. DOS runs fine on modern machines. At some point he may have to switch to emulation, but IA32 emulators should be around for a very very long time.

        • by mjwx (966435) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @09:07PM (#47005395)

          I hope he has 50 kaypros or whatever stored in nitrogen somewhere... that can't go on forever.

          I don't see why not. DOS runs fine on modern machines. At some point he may have to switch to emulation, but IA32 emulators should be around for a very very long time.

          I think you could keep a DOS computer running for the rest of G R.R. Martin's natural life... I think I could keep one running for the rest of my natural life and I'm in my 30's. Hardware was a lot less complex and a bit more over-engineered than it is today. Computers weren't low cost commodity items back then.

          However, I dont think emulation is the right way to replace a dos computer, virtualisation is better. You can install DOS in a VMWare VM easily, whilst emulation like DOSBOX is very good, its still has some issues, a VM will get around most, if not all issues you have with dosbox.

          But I'd bet the reason G R.R. Martin has 2 computers with one elusively for writing is more about a habit than an OS. I think he wants his writing computer to be free of distractions and separate from his general use/entertainment computer.

    • by Austerity Empowers (669817) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:21PM (#47003589)

      Poor guy has to dick with GRRM's autoexec.bat and config.sys every time he adds a new feast scene.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:52PM (#47003211)

    Why do people still pay money for software performing most basic tasks like Word 365? Nowadays, they have millions of alternatives.

  • And.... (Score:5, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:52PM (#47003221)

    ..it takes him 5 years to write a novel. Now we know why.

  • by jfengel (409917) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:54PM (#47003241) Homepage Journal

    You can't fit even the shortest of his books into 640K of RAM. AGoT clocks in at 298k words, which is going to take up considerably more than 640k.

    I suspect he's probably got each chapter in a separate file. And if I remember correctly the CP/M version of Wordstar had an overlay feature that was a kind of primitive virtual memory. So yeah, I believe it's possible, and there's a lot to be said for Just A Plain Glorified Typewriter. (I got to review the draft of a book by one of the Mac's original designers; it was done in double-spaced Courier with crude hand-drawn illustrations. The formatting was to be done by those who did formatting.)

    I'm increasingly using Google Docs for my work because I like the fact that it doesn't allow, and thus doesn't require, much formatting. Less time fiddling is more time working.

    • by Wdomburg (141264)

      Word processors and editors have supported paging parts of large documents to disk since the 1970s.

      • by blippo (158203)

        Maybe, but unless a 25 year old with a hat has reinvented that in a browser, it doesn't count.

    • by AK Marc (707885) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:08PM (#47003439)
      640k is enough if the processor loads in only part. I remember scrolling in documents of that age in DOS. It was painful. It'd have to read the parts of the document you tried to scroll to. There's no reason you need 640k of RAM to read a 2M file. You just can't have all of it in RAM at the same time. That's how it used to be. The idea of ramdriving every program by loading 100% of every program you are running and 100% of every file used by every one of those programs is silly, but it's the new norm. You don't read what you want, you read it all, even if you don't need it.

      Shit like that is one of the many reasons someone might like the "old" way. It was faster/better. He's writing, not doing a global search and replace (which would be painful on something like that),

      I have no idea of that's how wordstar did it, but I used some that did, I just don't remember which, as most didn't survive the transition to Windows, so they are gone. No need to indicate experience with Write when nobody has heard of it and will assume I made an error.
      • It can be faster to load more than what is immediately required.
        Especially these days when the latency of requests takes significantly longer than the data transfer.

        With reasonably modern RAM it still takes 10ns to select a column. That's the time it takes to transfer 160 bytes over a 64bit bus.
        If you only needed to read one byte and *may* need to read the next few a bit later one, moving them all to the CPU cache can make things much faster, instead of slowing down your memory bandwidth by 100x or so.

    • by sir-gold (949031) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:12PM (#47003489)

      Wordstar probably has it's own swap file. Most of the heavy-duty DOS word processors did.

      640k stopped being a real limitation with DOS 5.0 and the EMS/XMS standards. As long as the words and interface elements currently on the screen fit into 640k, you are fine. Also, if you are in a text-only mode (with a flashing square for a mouse cursor), there are memory hacks that can give you up to 720k of conventional ram, at the expense of losing all graphics ability.

    • by Arker (91948)
      Dos can access a lot more than 640k - the limit on real mode access is 1mb. The EMS interface can handle multiple megabytes of expanded memory, using a scrolling pageframe usually set to 64k. This memory would simply be mapped into a dedicated section of the first megabyte of address space and accessed just like any other memory, except that when the program was done with one 64k segment it would shift a pointer and keep reading the next segment through the same addressing window.

      With the 286 processor anot
      • by steveha (103154) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @09:13PM (#47005421) Homepage

        Dos can access a lot more than 640k - the limit on real mode access is 1mb.

        True! So, if DOS can access 1 MB, where does the 640K limit come from? Long story short, it's because IBM's BIOS sucked.

        Okay, longer story:

        Everyone was supposed to use the BIOS for basic operations including writing text to the screen. But the BIOS was poorly designed; the only way it had to write to the screen was to write one character at a time per call into the BIOS. And calling into the BIOS was kind of slow (remember we are talking about computers three orders of magnitude slower than current computers... 4.7 MHz processor).

        Since the BIOS was too slow, people didn't use it. Instead, they figured out the address of the screen buffer in the graphics card, and just wrote the desired text directly into the buffer. So much faster!

        But this meant that all the most popular software for DOS was not using the BIOS, and had a particular hardware dependency hard-coded. And the standard address for the frame buffer just happened to be 640K. (Well, there were two addresses, depending on whether the user had a mono or color card, but 640K was the lower of the two.) The address was chosen back in the days when RAM was really expensive, and computers might only have 64K or even less. So, nobody saw a problem coming... and besides, everyone was going to be using the BIOS, right? So you should be able to move the graphics card, change the BIOS, and all the software still would work. Whoops.

        With the benefit of hindsight, what should have happened was: a DOS program uses the BIOS to query the address of the frame buffer, so the graphics card can move around anywhere in memory. And the BIOS should have had a "write whole string" function from the beginning. (Much later versions of the BIOS had a "write whole string" function but I don't think any popular software ever used it, as it was not available in the giant installed base of old DOS computers.)

  • The Good Old Days! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by cogeek (2425448) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:54PM (#47003245)
    I still remember WordPerfect 5.1 running on DOS, once you had all the shortcut keys memorized, was lightning fast and did just what it was supposed to. I get so pissed off clicking on the little blue lightning bolt every 5 seconds to undo something Microsoft thought it was helping me "fix."
  • Also (Score:5, Funny)

    by sootman (158191) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:54PM (#47003249) Homepage Journal

    'I have a computer I browse the Internet with and I get my email on, and I do my taxes on. And then I have my writing computer, which is a DOS machine, not connected to the Internet.

    And for the ultimate in security, he also uses 8" floppies. [slashdot.org]

    • by Grog6 (85859)

      The computer beside me has a 5.25" floppy drive; I needed it to read some old disks from 1988. They still work fine. :)

      The 3.5" disk copies were trash...

  • by PolygamousRanchKid (1290638) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:54PM (#47003255)

    . . . but curiosity got the better of those eager NSA employee fans, who have bugged the computer to know what will happen before the rest of the world . . .

    • . . . but curiosity got the better of those eager NSA employee fans, who have bugged the computer to know what will happen before the rest of the world . . .

      So that explains the *Beep* *Boop* *Hiss* sound he hears every time he boots up his computer these days....

    • by viperidaenz (2515578) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @06:07PM (#47004069)

      All you need to do is intercept a shipment of a VGA cable

      RAGEMASTER: (see image above, right) A concealed $30 device that taps the video signal from a target's computer's VGA signal output so the NSA can see what is on a targeted desktop monitor. It is powered by a remote radar and responds by modulating the VGA red signal (which is also sent out most DVI ports) into the RF signal it re-radiates; this method of transmission is codenamed VAGRANT. RAGEMASTER is usually installed/concealed in the ferrite choke of the target cable

  • by santax (1541065) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:55PM (#47003273)
    For creative writing I use focuswriter, for the simple reason I can focus(!) better on the creative proces. All you see is your text. It's awesome. I can't do without internet, but I'm sure if I had the balls to disconnect my laptop I would become a whole lot more productive.
  • Not "obsolete" (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Scutter (18425) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:56PM (#47003285) Journal

    What does "obsolete" mean? If his writing instrument does what he needs it to do and he's happy using it, then more power to him. Who's to tell him he can't use it, or an IBM Selectric, or even a quill pen and vellum? Nothing is obsolete if it still works for your needs.

    • obsolete
      adjective
              1. no longer produced or used; out of date.
              "the disposal of old and obsolete machinery"
              synonyms: outdated, out of date, outmoded, old-fashioned, démodé, passé, out of fashion;

      I think you might have had a pedantism fail.

  • by steveha (103154) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @04:56PM (#47003289) Homepage

    If it's working for him, then this makes sense.

    What a non-story!

    P.S. I assume that no words or names in his fantasy world have any accents or any characters not in the basic ASCII set. DOS WordStar is notably lacking in support for extended characters of any sort. (In fact DOS WordStar uses the high bits of characters for its own purposes, so it cannot ever work with anything beyond 7-bit ASCII.)

    http://justsolve.archiveteam.org/wiki/WordStar [archiveteam.org]

  • for a big delay. Oh... I was Just about to print the book when my ancient computer died. Oh well, talk to me in 5 years.

    *giggles on his way to the bank*

  • That's how it's done. A person who doesn't worry about "support ending", or having the latest version, or what other people think about him using old tools. He has a perfectly fine tool in his hands, so he grabs it and starts working.
  • He (gasp) uses an OLD version of Windows because it (gasp) DOES the JOB? He must be some kind of criminal!

  • by Snufu (1049644) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:02PM (#47003363)

    "It looks like you're trying to write a newsletter about incestuous elves. Would you like assistance?"

  • I'd be one to use WordPerfect 5, because of its bare minimum UI in edit mode.

  • ...that he does his own taxes.

    Doesn't this Game of Thrones gig pay enough for him to hire an accountant?

  • by mbaGeek (1219224) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:15PM (#47003511) Homepage

    When asked for advice on "how to become a writer" - most professional writers will come back with some form of "write something, then write something else, then write some more." A big part of the writing process is figuring out when, where, and how you are able to write. i.e. The tools you use to write shouldn't get in the way of your writing (the second most popular tip is "when you aren't writing - read")

    if Mark Zuckerberg were to come out and say that he is using a Commodore 64 or TRS-80 to work on Facebook - that would be unusual...

    Mr. Martin's writing process has the benefit of being almost 100% secure (maybe Quentin Tarantino needs a downgrade [reddit.com])

  • by Tablizer (95088) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:17PM (#47003527) Homepage Journal

    Although one can turn off Microsoft Word's annoying "auto-guess" and "smart replace" features, I've found you have to do it in two different places, do it to each replacement character or sequence, and finding those two places is not intuitive.

    Ideally, Microsoft would make a single button for "turn off ALL auto-guess and auto-replacement features". But that's not the Microsoft way: they want you to become dependent on auto-guess such that you'll miss it on competitor products and come running back to Mother Microsoft.

    Their stupid "smart quotes" with the forward and backward lean are probably the biggest pet-peeve auto-shit feature of MS. If you paste such text into different products, it often renders them all wrong. MS's solution: "Only use MS products with MS text and everything will be just fine".

    MS's behavior often demonstrates the stupid side of capitalism: naive customer manipulation, standards-rigging, monopolies, long-term dependency, bait-and-switch, FUD PR, etc. (I'm not saying there are no upsides to capitalism, but MS sure does a bang-up job of reminding one about the down-sides; if they bother to look around.)

  • by gestalt_n_pepper (991155) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @05:37PM (#47003743)

    George Martin said it, but I feel like screaming this about a dozen times a day. Don't change my words, my punctuation, or my URL. Don't suggest sites I might want to visit, items I might find interesting, or settings more befitting someone my age. Don't give me the ability to change all things *trivial* (e.g. appearance) but nothing that matters. If you're going to help, help me fix real *problems* and not just appearances. ("Ohhh, Microsoft helped me fix my network problem!" - said No one, ever).

    In short, BUZZ OFF (And get off my lawn).

  • by dutchwhizzman (817898) on Wednesday May 14, 2014 @06:56PM (#47004523)
    We've been developing text editors since we invented computers. I "only" have about 25 professional years of experience with them, but everything since wordperfect 4.2 or so hasn't helped us one bit to be more productive or less error prone in our writing. Sure, having a spell checker is nice, but the red squiggly lines under the text I'm editing there are all under words that *I* know are correct but the program doesn't. Current editors often do things to text I don't want. How I can undo that or turn off is often a mystery. With WP you had the option to look at the raw text with the markup in it so you could at least hack out the offending markup. Try opening a modern editor and finding a way to just hack around in the markup; none of them have it. I hate having to spend over ten minutes just trying to find out how to turn off some feature that some dude put in because he felt it would be helpful to me. *I* am the one typing and it's *my* document. Stop it, it's not helping my productivity, even if it's not guessing wrong any significant way. Did professional text editors get more productive the last 20 years? I don't think so, yet software makers have been adding features and whatnot to editors the last 20 years. Evidently, it's totally useless to do so, except for software companies. Editors haven't gotten any better, text producers haven't gotten more productive so essentially, it's a waste of time and effort for anyone but the persons making and selling the software.

Real Users find the one combination of bizarre input values that shuts down the system for days.

Working...