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UK - Mar 16, pm UTC Many science fiction article writers site sf myself, Roger MacBride Allen, Gerald Brandt, Jeffrey A. Clarke, David Gerrold, Terence M. Green, James Gunn, Matthew check this out Donald Kingsbury, Eric Kotani, Paul Levinson, Article writers site sf R. Martin, Vonda McIntyre, Kit Reed, Jennifer Visit web page, and Edo van Belkom—continue to use WordStar for DOS as our writing tool of choice.

Still, most of us have endured years of mindless criticism of our decision, usually from WordPerfect users, and especially from WordPerfect users who have check this out tried anything but that program. I've used WordStar, WordPerfect, Word, MultiMate, Sprint, XyWrite, and just about every other MS-DOS and Windows word-processing package, and WordStar is by far my favorite choice for creative composition at the keyboard.

That's the key point: aiding creative composition. To understand how WordStar does that better than other programs, let me start with a little history. WordStar was first released inbefore there was any standardization in computer keyboards. At that time, many keyboards lacked arrow keys for cursor movement and special function keys for article writers site sf commands.

Some even lacked such keys as TabInsertDeleteBackspaceand Enter. About all you could count on was having a standard QWERTY typewriter layout of alphanumeric keys and a Control key. When depressed simultaneously with an alphabetic key, it causes the keyboard to generate a specific command instruction, rather than the letter.

The control codes are named Ctrl-A through Ctrl-Z there are a article writers site sf punctuation keys that can generate control article writers site sf, too. Now, the first three of these are alphabetically mnemonic. Look at a typewriter keyboard. WordStar recognizes that the most-often-used functions should be the easiest to physically execute.

Again, looking at a typewriter keyboard makes the logic of this plain. These four keys are arranged buy masters essay online a article writers site sf under the left hand: Such positional, as opposed to alphabetic, mnemonics form a large part of the WordStar interface. Now, for many of these functions there are dedicated keys on IBM PC keyboards. WordStar allows you to use these, if you're so inclined.

But touch-typists find that using the WordStar Control -key commands is much more efficient, because they can be typed from the home row without hunting for special keys elsewhere on the keyboard. Because of this, many applications, including dBase, SuperCalc, SideKick, CompuServe's TAPCIS and OzCis, Genie's Aladdin, Xtree Pro, and even Microsoft's own editor included with MS-DOS 5.

Some keyboards have the Control key to the left of the letter A. This makes using WordStar commands very simple. Other keyboards instead have CapsLock next to the A and place the Control key below the left Shift key, making WordStar commands a bit of a stretch. Because of this, WordStar comes with a utility called SWITCH. COM to optionally swap the functions of the CapsLock and Control keys. One of the problems with other word-processing programs is article writers site sf many commands can only easily be issued through function and dedicated cursor keys, and the locations of these keys changes radically from keyboard to keyboard for instance, function keys are sometimes arrayed as two columns of article writers site sf on the left-hand side of the keyboard and sometimes as a continuous row across the article writers site sf of the keyboard; cursor keys are sometimes clustered in a diamond and sometimes laid out in an inverted-T shape; on laptop computers you may have to press a special Fn key in combination with the arrow article writers site sf to access PgUp and other functions, making using these programs an exercise in contortion.

The locations of the other keys are irrelevant, because you don't need them for WordStar. On the other hand, WordPerfect's interface forces touch typists to constantly move their hands from the home typing row, slowing them down. To issue a WordPerfect command, you must first press a function key, either separately, or simultaneously with a ControlShiftor Alt key.

Then, for many functions, you must select a sub-function. Now that your hands have moved to the bank of function keys, can you select your sub-function using them as well? Rather, you must next reposition your hands to the numeric keys and select your sub-function by number.

Finally, you must re-orient your hands on article writers site sf home row before continuing typing recent versions of WordPerfect attempt to smooth out this tortuous interface, but it's still difficult to use.

You must login or create an account to comment. Sign up or login to join the discussions! Stay logged in Having trouble? Sign up to comment and writers for uk dissertation hire conclusion esl. Even today, some authors still use DOS word processing software from the s.

UK - Mar 16, article writers site sf UTC. This essay was written in and updated in by Robert J. Sawyer, the sci-fi author writer behind such novels as Flashforward and more recently Quantum Night.

As recently asGeorge R. Martin, of A Song of Ice and Fire fame, used a DOS-based version of WordStar, and probably still does today. I'm not sure why they don't just use Emacs or something. Enjoy this walk down memory lane Your California Privacy Read article.


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