George R.R. Martin Writes on a DOS-Based Word Processor From the 1980s

4.0 was the second WordStar version to work on DOS, but was a rewrite of 3.0, which had been directly ported to DOS from CP/M. Martin says that to this day it fulfills his every writing need.

I actually like it. It does everything I want a word processing program to do and it doesn’t do anything else.
George R.R. Martin Writes on a DOS-Based Word Processor From the 1980s —Slate [via Cal Newport: Should We Work Like Novelists?]
“Now, if you can’t find a book that is even remotely acceptable to you, then you have to write your own. That’s how books get written. (Well, actually, it’s how books get started; they get finished because your third child is on the way, and you have no money to pay the rent.)”
— Robert T. Morrison, The Lecture System in Teaching Science. From: Proceedings of the Chicago Conferences on Liberal Education, Number 1, Undergraduate Education in Chemistry and Physics (edited by Marian R. Rice). The College Center for Curricular Thought: The University of Chicago, (October 18-19, 1986). A Student’s Approach to the Second Law and Entropy
If you are the sort of person who appreciates nice paper, a decent pen, a well-crafted notebook, a solid pencil, writing and receiving handwritten correspondence, beautiful handwriting, or the clicky-clack of a dependable typewriter, you have come to the right place. The Cramped is a site dedicated to the pleasures of writing with analog tools (the name is purposefully ironic).

Hi is what we call a “full stack” writing and publishing platform. Just what is a writing stack? Capture. Write. Publish. is our summary of it, but really it breaks down into five parts:

  • Sudden inspiration!
  • Capture
  • Draft
  • Publish
  • Converse

Some platforms provide tools for parts of the stack.
Hi gives you tools for the full stack.
All the pancakes.

via Full stack writing (and publishing): Welcome to Hi – Tokyo, Japan — A Hi Moment

“This file is Good Code. It has sensible and consistent names for functions and variables. It’s concise. It doesn’t do anything obviously stupid. It has never had to live in the wild, or answer to a sales team. It does exactly one, mundane, specific thing, and it does it well. It was written by a single person, and never touched by another. It reads like poetry written by someone over thirty.”
“There is a short window at the beginning of one’s professional life, when it is comparatively easy to take big risks. Make the most of that time, before circumstances make you risk averse.”
“From an experience that was so dehumanizing and overwhelming—an experience that turns an entire human being with a complicated life history and destiny first into a cipher and then into a casualty—Saint-Exupéry wanted to rescue the person, not the statistic. The statistics could be any of those the men on the planets are obsessed with, the ‘counting’ fetish that might take in stars if one is an astronomer or profits for businessmen. The richest way to see “Le Petit Prince” is as an extended parable of the kinds and follies of abstraction—and the special intensity and poignance of the story is that Saint-Exupéry dramatizes the struggle against abstraction not as a philosophical subject but as a life-and-death story. The book moves from asteroid to desert, from fable and comedy to enigmatic tragedy, in order to make one recurrent point: You can’t love roses. You can only love a rose.”
“There is a deep desire that the writer’s life story be as exciting as the books themselves. I don’t know whether this comes out of a lack of imagination on the part of readers, our out of a yearning for the novels’ spell to continue past the final page. Probably some measure of both.”
“Advanced computer-assisted analysis of every surviving play of the period has allowed the authors to go “quite a lot further than previous scholars” in establishing Shakespeare’s involvement, he said, noting that it presents Shakespeare in a new light – as “reviser, rewriter and collaborator”.”
“What makes the WAS doubly frustrating is that you never know you’re in it until it’s too late. That’s because the WAS is so variable and adaptable, like the common cold. Just as it’s difficult to know at the onset of a cold whether or not you have one, and what form it’s going to take—a day’s discomfort or a week in bed—so does that first moment of the WAS leave you wondering: Is this a minute’s research or a monthlong audit, an hour’s labor or work without end?”
“Ms. Schenkar is convinced that if Highsmith had not become a writer, she would have been a murderer. “From age 8 she wanted to kill her stepfather,” she said, strolling north toward Grove Street, “She was born to murder. She had the mind of a criminal genius.””
“There is always a sheet of paper […] There is always a pen. There is always a way out.”
— H. L. Mencken, On the Contrary : The New Yorker
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