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This forum is part of our mission to promote the preservation of vintage computers through education and outreach. (In real life we also run events and have a museum.) We encourage you to join us, participate, share your knowledge, and enjoy.

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DUNE Screenplay written in MS-DOS

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    DUNE Screenplay written in MS-DOS

    Saw this interesting anecdote:

    https://www.vice.com/en/article/wxde...tten-in-ms-dos

    The Oscar winning screenwriter of ‘Dune’ writes in an MS-DOS program that can only hold 40 pages in memory.
    It's a program called "Movie Master".

    I thought it was curious to only handle 40 pages at a time. That seems like something you'd hear about an 8-Bit program, not something for a PC.

    Anyways, "vintage software in the real world" sighting and all that.

    #2
    Lots of stuff was written on 8-bitters. Years ago, I did a few disks with Gene Roddenberry's production notes that used a CP/M system (I'd have to check my notes to see which one, but I believe it was a Japanese system, perhaps Fujitsu).
    Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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      #3
      quote "George RR Martin has used the MS-DOS program WordStar to slowly write every single Game of Thrones book."

      Why slowly ? Just because he is using Wordstar doesn't mean he has to type slowly.

      Maybe "slowly print it out", or "slowly copy it to a few floppy disks", but slowly write ?
      Current fleet
      TRS80 Model 4 - BBC B - Tatung Einstein - PCW9512 - PET 3032 - C64 - ZX81 - Spectrum 48K - Amiga A500 - Apple II europlus - Apple iMAC G3. Sharp MZ-80K. - IBM 5160 XT - Multibus 286/10 - Micro PDP 11/73 - Rainbow PC100A - MicroVax II - MicroVAX 3100, 3300, VAX 4000 VLC & 4000 Model 96 - AlphaStation 225 Apricot PC - Apple Performa 6200 - Apple Mac IIcx - Osborne 1 - ACT Sirius 1

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        #4
        Actually, using Wordstar means that one never has to take one's hands from the keyboard to fumble with a mouse. I submit that it's probably faster than using a GUI-based wa-pro application for entering text.
        Reach me: vcfblackhole _at_ protonmail dot com.

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          #5
          Your probably right.

          I started on Word perfect 4 and apart from the 'equation editor', it was very quick and easy to use.

          I would imagine for a book or a screenplay with no fancy formatting, no graphics and no other crap, its much faster and wont suddenly decide your writing in French and start objecting to the spelling of every word.

          At least MSword doesn't leave an executable running after closing quite as often as it used to.
          Current fleet
          TRS80 Model 4 - BBC B - Tatung Einstein - PCW9512 - PET 3032 - C64 - ZX81 - Spectrum 48K - Amiga A500 - Apple II europlus - Apple iMAC G3. Sharp MZ-80K. - IBM 5160 XT - Multibus 286/10 - Micro PDP 11/73 - Rainbow PC100A - MicroVax II - MicroVAX 3100, 3300, VAX 4000 VLC & 4000 Model 96 - AlphaStation 225 Apricot PC - Apple Performa 6200 - Apple Mac IIcx - Osborne 1 - ACT Sirius 1

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            #6
            I can see writers using tools they are very familiar with AND won't let them get distracted with emails or a web browser.

            George RR Martin is always picked on for not finishing his games of thrones series, hence the writing slowly bit.
            What I collect: 68K/Early PPC Mac, DOS/Win 3.1 era machines, Amiga/ST, C64/128
            Nubus/ISA/VLB/MCA/EISA cards of all types
            Boxed apps and games for the above systems
            Analog video capture cards/software and complete systems

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              #7
              Screenplays have a rather strange standard format. Another element to some screenplay writing tools is character name tracking to keep from having different characters with the same name from popping up. I remember long discussions of the best screenwriting tool in certain forums which had a high proliferation of those intending to write for TV and film.

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                #8
                Originally posted by Chuck(G)
                Actually, using Wordstar means that one never has to take one's hands from the keyboard to fumble with a mouse. I submit that it's probably faster than using a GUI-based wa-pro application for entering text.
                My current writing project has been done entirely in Markdown on a basic text editor. It is hands-down easier than having to futz around with MS Word or equivalents; I can just focus on the words and worry about the presentation later. Doing it on a computer old enough that it can't handle much in the way of modern distractions helps, too.
                Computers: Amiga 1200, DEC VAXStation 4000/60, DEC MicroPDP-11/73
                Synthesizers: Roland JX-10/SH-09/MT-32/D-50, Yamaha DX7-II/V50/TX7/TG33/FB-01, Korg MS-20 Mini/ARP Odyssey/DW-8000/X5DR, Ensoniq SQ-80, E-mu Proteus/2, Moog Satellite, Oberheim SEM
                "'Legacy code' often differs from its suggested alternative by actually working and scaling." - Bjarne Stroustrup

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                  #9
                  Not that I am a writer with anything like the credibility of George RR Martin, or indeed anyone else we're likely to know using old systems or software, but I use a TRS-80 Model 4P, Tandy 102, and QuickPad Pro as my primary writing tools. The lack of distractions and the simplicity of software is a great help.

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                    #10
                    Originally posted by Unknown_K View Post
                    I can see writers using tools they are very familiar with AND won't let them get distracted with emails or a web browser.
                    Several modern tools have something akin to "dedicated, full screen" mode which takes over the display to help limit distractions.

                    It's kind of funny. I guess on something like my iMac, it would have to be a reasonably sized window, in the center of the screen, because the drive-in-theater size of this thing would make working in the upper right hand corner, well, a pain in the neck.


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                      #11
                      If it ain't broke don't fix it.

                      There are quite a few authors still using WordPerfect for DOS for the same reasons. It's familiar and no internet distractions.

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