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View Full Version : WANTED: THOUGHTLINE Outliner Software for MS-DOS or CP/M



CluelessInSeattle
June 9th, 2016, 11:30 AM
It's been three decades now, almost to the day, that I ordered a copy of a C/PM outlining program called "Thoughtline"

http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1986-06-15/news/8602120848_1_outline-wordstar-paragraph

In those days I was running CP/M on three Kaypro computers, that I had stacked up one on top of the other, so that I could be running three programs at once. It was my mechanical version of task-switching.

That outlining program was the most effective word processing tool I've ever used, and I got more writing done with it in a few months back in the 80s, than I have in the the three decades since. One of the things I especially liked about it was that it used the WordStar cursor movement command set, which I had already learned, because WordStar came bundled with my first Kaypro 2X.

Somewhere along the line I picked up a PC running MS-DOS and then eventually switched over to Windows. Sadly I ended up selling my Kaypros at a yard sale, and regretfully got rid of all my CP/M software.

I'm now in my seventies, with a failing heart and I'm showing signs of Parkinson's onset (it runs in my family), so I probably don't have all that many years left to me. I still have a laptop and a PC on which I run MS-DOS 6.21, and it would make me so happy if I could find a copy of the DOS version of Thoughtline so I could pick-up where I left off on my writing projects decades ago. (Or even the CP/M version that I could run in an emulator under Windows).

I'd be grateful to anyone who could help me figure out how to track down a copy of this long lost little masterpiece of software engineering.

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"

krebizfan
June 9th, 2016, 12:04 PM
Ebay has a copy listed for $100. Maybe you can negotiate a more reasonable price.

CluelessInSeattle
June 10th, 2016, 09:19 AM
Wow! That was fast! I've been trying to track down a copy of Thoughtline for years, but it never occurred to me to look on eBay. Duh!

Yeah, that $99 price tag is pretty stiff; it's a tenth of my monthly income. But life is short and I've been wanting that program for so long now that I decided to forego haggling and just click the "Buy Now" button. After all, a hundred bucks is only ten bucks in 1950 dollars. ;)

Thanks a million, kerbizfan! You made my day!

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"

CluelessInSeattle
June 15th, 2016, 06:59 AM
The Thoughtline floppy from the eBay seller only took a couple of days to arrive. (But the mailman nearly dropped the ball, but that's another story).

I dug around in my spare room to try to find my old 286 PC that had a 5.25" floppy drive, but it was nowhere to be found. I must've recycled it when I was forced to move last year due to the sky rocketing rents in Seattle. I guess I figured I wouldn't be needing it because an old acquaintance has for months now been building me a PC with a 5.25" floppy drive for running my MS-DOS software. So I checked in with him via his BBS to see if I could stop by to pick it up. He posted back that the C: drive had gotten scrambled and it would be a while before it would be ready.

So, here I am, with a 5.25" floppy of a program I've been looking for for years, but now I have nothing to run it on.

Argh!

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"

krebizfan
June 15th, 2016, 07:10 AM
Could you check if your acquaintance could simply copy the 5.25" disks over to 3.5" disks just to get the software installed? Or at least ensure the 5.25" disks work while you still have time to complain to Ebay?

CluelessInSeattle
June 15th, 2016, 10:48 AM
Yeah, that's my main worry; making sure that the 30-year-old floppy is still readable.

I've checked around town for someone who could copy the floppy for me but so far haven't found anyone who has an up and running system with a 5.25" floppy drive. So I think I'll spring for the used floppy at the computer recycling shop back in my old neighborhood. And then try to find a way to install it in one of my pre-historic PCs.

Maybe I should start a new thread in a hardware forum?

I just started a new thread in the vintage hardware forum with the subject: Need to Copy a 5.25" Floppy (http://www.vcfed.org/forum/showthread.php?52895-Need-to-Copy-a-5-25-quot-Floppy&p=416380#post416380)

Will in Seattle
a.k.a. "Clueless"