Friday, November 19, 2010

Hey Writers

Ever wish you had a really simple old-school text interface tool that you could use to write a chunk of text without any distraction? Trying to recreate that late-eighties mood for your latest writing project, but you can't fine a copy of WordStar anywhere?

Check THIS out.

I love this stuff. Brought to me by Life Hacker, a link I'm sure most of you visit, and especially Jason and Gordon have probably shared it on more than one occasion. I know Jason was into using the term Life Hacking for what it is he does and teaches for a while. Thoughts on what to call magic had reminded me of that, and a google search later turned up pages of useful interesting tips and tricks. Love it.


  1. XyWrite is what I used in the 80s (after the jump from the IBM selectric typewriter; you know, the one with the spinning type ball). I still used XyWrite on a Zenith laptop with a double floppy drive (woohoo! Smell me!)well into the nineties, because the keyboard was so nice and it really was great not to have distractions when I was writing. Ah! the geeky old-time goodness.

  2. I use a clone of UNIX so for typing I invariably use good old vi. Steep initial learning curve, trememdous text editing power soon after. It's the best. Vim, a more complicated version of vi, is on Macs and is available for Windows. Viva UNIX!


  3. WTF is up with stupid html tagging showing up on my blog? Have I forgotten how to hyperlink? Stupid email blogging. Curse you firewall firmware upgrade that blocked Blogger at work!!!

  4. Writing and programming often occur simultaneously in my line of work, so I stick to yet another old-school text editor: Emacs. (To forestall the inevitable religious skirmish: I used to use Emacs in Vi compatibility mode, so there ;-P .)

    It's worth picking one fully functional text editor (I define "fully functional" as "can be operated entirely without using the mouse") and sticking to it long enough to learn all the keyboard shortcuts. An editor that has been around since the 1970s has been ported to pretty much any operating system you might use, so you'll have no learning curve if you have to change operating systems.


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