As a result of doing the unthinkable: slashing my technological overhead and going without my cell phone or a wireless internet connection on a recent four-day vacation. But I always have a notebook stashed away when I travel but for the first time in five years I couldn’t use it when I felt the urge to write.
Which brings me to the point of this short post: There is an immediate need and major opportunity for a small footprint stand-alone word processor that works on Wintel hardware.
Although i’[ve used Microsoft Word going back to the dark ages before Windows, that application has become too bloated for me.
So tooling down I-5 from the Sierra, my mind drifted back to previous word processing programs and why I liked them.Lets look back:
Wordstar-- whether you hated it or loved it (or dreamed of Control K commands in your sleep) this dinosaur blitzed along on computers equipped with only 64K of memory.
XyWrite-- another of my all time favs because it closely resembled the ATEX text composition software used in many newsrooms. and it ran very nicely from loppy disks on Dos omputers with 512K of memory.
Microsoft Write-- an inexpensive Mac word processor that was a gateway to Word.it ran very nicely on 128K Macintoshes. A Windows version of this program, was also available through the introduction of Windows NT
Microsoft WordPad-- included with Windows and incredibly versatile. Like Microsoft NotePad, WordPad can be used to open and edit many types of documents.
T/Maker’s Write Now-- an incredibly fast word processor that initially ran on 128K Macs but which in its basic version offered indexing and a feature that remembered where you were in a specific document and booted up to that place.I still mourn WriteNow. It had everything I needed and could save files as pure Ascii text.
So there I was, my ultrabook on a picnic table, battery powered lantern by its side, forgetting for a moment that I was technologically untethered.I wanted to writeup my notes about golf prospectors i had interviewed earlier that day but had no Internet of connecting to the Google mothership because I couldn’t tether my cell phone
My solution was right there in Windows, Wordpad
So, why would I buy and install a commercially developed small footprint word processor and how much would I be willing to pay for it?
I’d buy one if generated files that could be cut and pasted seamlessly into my blogging application, Typepad and if it didn’t require that I install a larger SSD on my ultrabook. And come to think about it,I would be willing to pay somewhere north of $75 to have a good word processor on my “every trip” notebook.
But to put a point on it, Apple had this figured out along time ago when it began bundling applications on its macintosh portables, all in one desktops and its Macbook Air.
So if you're in the Sierra this weekend and you see some dude banging on a portable by lanternlight, have no fear, I don’t bite, but I do laugh at myself.--Jim Forbes on 07/15/2014