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George R.R. Martin Uses Wordstar 4.0, Thank You Very Much

In his recent Conan appearance, Game of Thrones author George R.R. Marin reveals his secret for avoiding computer viruses…

About John DeNardo (13012 Articles)
John DeNardo is the Managing Editor at SF Signal and a columnist at Kirkus Reviews. He also likes bagels. So there.

6 Comments on George R.R. Martin Uses Wordstar 4.0, Thank You Very Much

  1. Hurrah! Another WordStar hold-out! I sometimes feel we’re like those Japanese soldiers in South Pacific jungles who refused to believe the war was over. Except we’re not crazy; th real nuts are the masses who’ve surrendered to MS Word.

    When I got my first computer in 1984 — a used Superbrain QD II with a CP/M operating system — it came with WordStar 3.something. I spent a week learning all the keyboard controls and discovered the joy of word processing. My next computer was a 386 XT, DOS O/S, and I upgraded to WordStar 4.

    By then, WordPerfect was all the rage, but adapting to it would have meant learning a whole new set of controls and, more important, unlearning all the WordStar combos. And it would have been all in vain, because soon after came Windows and Word, and writers entered into a new universe where the gnomes at Microsoft arbitrarily reworked each new version of the word processor fro the ground up, while jamming it full of the useless crap George complains of. I sometimes believe that the nerd wizards at MS must have got to thinking about all those apocryphal monkets with typewriters churning out Shakespeare’s complete works and decided to build a word processing program that would exactly suit their needs — and afflict the rest of us with those constant nudges and unneeded non-corrections.

    I stayed with DOS as long as I could, upgrading to the final WordStar iteration, WS7. When I got my first Windows system, my genius son found me a DOS emulator that lets me run WordStar as usual. WordStar’s converter lets me transpose the final texts to rtf files so I can email them into the Word universe.

    George is absolutely right. WS does everything a writer needs — more efficiently that with Word 7 — and it doesn’t hit you with all that other sleeve-tugging nonsense that drives you crazy.

    BTW, George and I aren’t the only WS hold-outs. Robert J. Sawyer writes everything in WordStar, too.

    • Matt,

      You’re using a computer that is orders of magnitude more powerful that the old Superbrain, and you’re using it to run a DOS emulator. To run Wordstar. The geek in me is both horrified and impressed!

      Now, if you’d said you were using the emulator to run Win 3.1, then we’d have words.


  2. And the sales of Wordstar for DOS go through the roof…

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