word processor history -- interesting article (Evan Koblentz)

Swift Griggs swiftgriggs at gmail.com
Thu Jul 7 16:20:01 CDT 2016

On Thu, 7 Jul 2016, Chuck Guzis wrote:
> To this day, I still use "joe" as my all-around text editor under Linux 
> and BSD.  It uses mostly WS key conventions.

Same here. I love Joe. I got used to WS keystrokes from Borland compiler 
suites. Incidentally, George R.R. Martin (author of the Song of Ice and 
Fire ... known to the masses as Game of Thrones) also *still* uses 
Wordstar 4.0 on a DOS machine. That feeds the same narrative that I'm 
pretty sold on, which is this (from Thulsa Doom): What is steel compared 
to the hand that wields it ? It's not the tool, it's the person. Better 
tools can (sometimes) give you better results, but usually it's just a 
matter of convenience. The individual doing the writing still has to want 
to write and be motivated to do it. The mechanics are, in general, not 
usually a showstopper (but please, $DEITY, don't make me use 'ed').

What is the riddle of steel?

The effect of bloatware:

I see it with guitar. I have a $150 Fender acoustic that I play (badly) 
most of the time. I notice complete armatures in my guitar classes that 
come on day one with Martin guitars clad with figured Mahogany. They can't 
even tune the things! I'm NOT saying I'm Jimmy Hendrix, but UGH. It's the 
kiss of death, too. Those people ALWAYS drop out.

I noticed that everyone used to love to pirate Photoshop and Maya but then 
they couldn't figure out how to use it! Yet, I've seen others get amazing 
results with only freely available Povray and open source GIMP.

I've seen how people buy $80-130k sportscars but can't drive a stick (they 
buy automatics) or know enough to take a high speed turn on the inside. 
They'd crash their bicycle if they had a chance.

I've been to shoots where guys will have $8k AR15's with Nightforce optics 
and tricked out to the max, and I end up far outscoring them at <400yds 
with my cheap crappy Olympic Arms el-cheepo AR. A big wallet is no 
substitute for growing up redneck in Texas. Even firing a BB gun is 
practice putting rounds downrange. Those country club folks often have the 
lowest scores of anyone competing (except for the retirees who actually 

I see it with woodworkers who buy $5k in Veritas and Lee Nielson tools and 
then never use them or have any work-piece they themselves have made. They 
have beautiful garages, though! 

I see it with oil paints where folks buy super-expensive paints and they 
don't even use them, or make modern art splat-paintings with them. Why not 
buy the cheap paints that cost 1/3rd as much for something so useless. The 
masters made their own paints out of things like egg-whites and natural 
pigments. Yet, their art is worth more than anything painted with Bob Ross 
paints (not to bust on Bob, who was very cool).

There is no substitute for hard work. IMHO, that's why word processors and 
office suites don't much matter. Find one you like, and call it good. To 
misquote some Buddhist dude, "The finger that points at the moon is not the 


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