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posted by Woods on Thursday May 15 2014, @02:02PM   Printer-friendly
from the they-never-make-them-like-they-used-to dept.

Ryan Reed reports that when most Game of Thrones fans imagine George R.R. Martin writing his epic fantasy novels, they probably picture the author working on a futuristic desktop (or possibly carving his words onto massive stones like the Ten Commandments). But the truth is that Martin works on an outdated DOS machine using '80s word processor WordStar 4.0, as he revealed during an interview on Conan. 'I actually like it,' says Martin. 'It does everything I want a word processing program to do, and it doesn't do anything else. I don't want any help. I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lower case letter and it becomes a capital letter. I don't want a capital. If I wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key.' 'I actually have two computers,' Martin continued. 'I have a computer I browse the Internet with and I get my email on, and I do my taxes on. And then I have my writing computer, which is a DOS machine, not connected to the Internet.'

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  • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Thursday May 15 2014, @04:08PM

    by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Thursday May 15 2014, @04:08PM (#43800) Homepage

    My dad, a now-retired high school History and Government teacher, used typewriters for making tests and writing his novel all the way up to 2005, when he caved and finally bought a laptop. He had painstakingly re-typed hundreds of pages of typewritten manuscript into the MS Works pre-installed on his laptop while there were much faster and better options available.

    Of course, he didn't tell me all this until it was too late to save him the time and effort, and one of my first tasks for helping him out was to help convert all his .rtf files to .doc files using OpenOffice. He still uses OpenOffice, by the way.

  • (Score: 2) by etherscythe on Thursday May 15 2014, @04:30PM

    by etherscythe (937) on Thursday May 15 2014, @04:30PM (#43808) Journal

    .doc? That poor bastard. Why not something at least specifically open, like .odf? Unless there's absolutely no special formatting whatsoever, in which case, what's the point of converting?

    Personally, I've been writing my book in .rtf because it's simple and I know all my alpha readers can open it with no drama. I discovered the importance of not assuming everybody has Winrar, too.

    I've been toying with the idea of switching to TeX, but I'm not yet familiar with it enough to feel productive, and first priority has to be productivity. But then, I have funny ideas about advanced e-book formats, integrated audiobook versions, and indexed footnotes/wiki-style references, too.

    "Fake News: anything reported outside of my own personally chosen echo chamber"
    • (Score: 1) by Ethanol-fueled on Friday May 16 2014, @01:08AM

      by Ethanol-fueled (2792) on Friday May 16 2014, @01:08AM (#44052) Homepage

      In case you're curious, he wanted to be able to use them with all of Word's fancy features he heard about from other teachers, he had Word installed on his work computer, and I wasn't about to give him my righteous .odf schpiel* because that would have led to a million other questions I didn't feel like answering.

      That sounds like kind of a dick move, but you all know the weary feeling when you're removing malware or pressing the router reset button for the millionth time because dad or grandma won't put in the minimal effort to learn how to "fix their internet" themselves.

      * Which also makes sense to me because the only reasons I write formal documents is because they are resumes and class assignments which must be in .doc or .docx format. I compose my trolls and other personal musings in plaintext with Gedit or Notepad++