word processor history -- interesting article (Evan Koblentz)
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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