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'Game of Thrones' author still writes on a DOS machine

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 14 May 2014 14:48 User comments (20)

'Game of Thrones' author still writes on a DOS machine George R.R. Martin, author of the hit 'Game of Thrones' series, still writes his books on a DOS machine using WordStar 4.0 as his processing system.
The author made the revelation on Conan's late night talk show.

"I actually have two computers," Martin said during the interview. "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. I use WordStar 4.0 as my word processing system."

WordStar was first released in the 1970s but had been mostly discontinued by the mid-1990s.

"I actually like it, it does everything I want a word processing program to do and it doesn't do anything else," Martin added. "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."

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20 user comments

114.5.2014 15:34

Man I know how he feels. Just as I get use to learning a program another version is released. And, if you don't keep up with this stuff, you'll be like all the others out there still using Windows XP. It's like convert or die a slow death. All these new versions should simply keep an option to mimic the last version you was comfortable with using, not forcing you to learn new UI's.

214.5.2014 19:37

Quote:
And then I have my writing computer, which is a DOS machine, not connected to the Internet. I use WordStar 4.0 as my word processing system."
I understand he uses a machine for word processing not a machine filled with millions of features that can restart the machine or just be annoying at times,also no auto edits which is actually good if you know how to write/type.
I can actually see what he uses it,seems simple,easy to use and serves its purpose.


custom built gaming pc from early 2010,ps2 with 15 games all original,ps3 500gbs with 5 games all original,yamaha amp and 5.1channel surround sound speakers,46inch sony lcd smart tv.

314.5.2014 19:48

Originally posted by xboxdvl2:
Quote:
And then I have my writing computer, which is a DOS machine, not connected to the Internet. I use WordStar 4.0 as my word processing system."

I can actually see what he uses it,seems simple,easy to use and serves its purpose.

His use of an old machine is not anything special. Plenty of writers don't use computers at all since a typewriter can get the job done just as well. I think a typewriter would be even better considering you have a hard copy of your work and a power outage or disc failure won't lose it.

415.5.2014 8:47

Quote:
His use of an old machine is not anything special. Plenty of writers don't use computers at all since a typewriter can get the job done just as well. I think a typewriter would be even better considering you have a hard copy of your work and a power outage or disc failure won't lose it
That's the beauty of 3.5" floppy discs and the fact he's only going to need to back up bytes of data considering the program he's using. It wouldn't surprise me if he has a serial zip drive either; like from IO Mega.

That said, using a type-writer is good for on the fly printing, but then if you make a mistake, it's not as easily corrected. At least with him using Word Star, if a plot point didn't ad up he can go back and remove it, edit it, add to it or move it.

515.5.2014 22:21

This is why I use notepad to write most everything...the closest thing to a special feature it has is the ability to search and replace text. And I can certainly understand him wanting a standalone system given the popularity of his show. But still gotta wonder what he means by DOS machine...is he actually using an old 386 with a 40MB hard drive and 5.25" floppy drive that might die at any moment, and keeping his backups on disks that were not even reliable when they were discontinued 15+ years ago? Or does he have a more modern PC that someone formatted to replace Windows 7 with DOS?



615.5.2014 23:32

anything that can use dos so most likely 486 or below. can also be 3.5" 1.4meg floppy drives as dos 5 & 6 were able to use them.

716.5.2014 9:40

It's called A Song of Ice and Fire. edited by ddp The TV show based off the series is called Game of Thrones, but the novels that he writes are the A Song of Ice and Fire series >.<

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 May 2014 @ 17:05

816.5.2014 9:56

So how does he deliver his script to the producer (or whoever scripts get delivered to)? Surely he would have to somehow deliver it electronically and not printed only...

916.5.2014 13:39

That explains all of the misspelled words in his books.

1016.5.2014 13:55

Originally posted by ddp:
anything that can use dos so most likely 486 or below. can also be 3.5" 1.4meg floppy drives as dos 5 & 6 were able to use them.
Just about anything can use DOS; it is still being made (just not MSDOS).


1116.5.2014 14:20

DosBox FTW.

Don't forget freedos, and a million other active DOSes too.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 May 2014 @ 14:21

1216.5.2014 17:08

KillerBug, do you know how many partitions you would have to make on a win7 computer for dos to use?

1316.5.2014 20:54

Originally posted by ddp:
KillerBug, do you know how many partitions you would have to make on a win7 computer for dos to use?
Assuming a 2TB drive and MSDOS 7.1, you would need one partition...unless you kept windows 7; then you would need two.


1416.5.2014 20:55

I use word 2013 and follow up with pro writing aid, I need help to turn my gibberish into legible gibberish. Mind you I am a couple drafts away from that currently...still working on it and writing in general.


Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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1516.5.2014 21:07

according to this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_DOS_operating_systems it is more than 1 as msdos 7.1 maxes out at 124.5gb for fat32

1617.5.2014 5:08

Originally posted by ddp:
according to this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_DOS_operating_systems it is more than 1 as msdos 7.1 maxes out at 124.5gb for fat32
I'm sorry ddp I'm trying to see your argument here? You are limited by fat32 for partition size but that is it, you still only require one partition. If your argument is well you have so much wasted space unless you partition the whole drive then that is also true, but there is nothing saying you can't run Fat32 partitions alongside NTFS or any other file structure that supports larger disk spaces. DOS may not recognise the other structures but just because you have disk space you dont have to use it all, or use it all under one file structure.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 May 2014 @ 5:18

1717.5.2014 9:28

Originally posted by Sannas:
Originally posted by ddp:
according to this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_DOS_operating_systems it is more than 1 as msdos 7.1 maxes out at 124.5gb for fat32
I'm sorry ddp I'm trying to see your argument here? You are limited by fat32 for partition size but that is it, you still only require one partition. If your argument is well you have so much wasted space unless you partition the whole drive then that is also true, but there is nothing saying you can't run Fat32 partitions alongside NTFS or any other file structure that supports larger disk spaces. DOS may not recognise the other structures but just because you have disk space you dont have to use it all, or use it all under one file structure.

Whats the point of having it if you can not use it.

Didnt someone make a driver or something to use NTSF for dos?


edit, looks like they did
http://www.freewarefiles.com/NTFSDOS-re...gram_11100.html
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 May 2014 @ 9:30

Copyright infringement is nothing more than civil disobedience to a bad set of laws. Lets renegotiate them.

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Check out my crappy creations
http://zippydsmlee.deviantart.com/

1817.5.2014 11:56

Sannas, the writer in the news article is using an old computer so will most likely be using fat16 not fat32 dos so doubt if he is using a drive above 4gigs. i've played with dos since the early 90's & largest drive i partitioned using fat32 was a 320gig. i still have my 1st harddrive which is a rhodime 105meg scsi half height 5.25" drive but i don't use it anymore as not big enough storage capacity.

1917.5.2014 12:35

Originally posted by ddp:
according to this link http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Comparison_of_DOS_operating_systems it is more than 1 as msdos 7.1 maxes out at 124.5gb for fat32
That limit has to do with Fat32X; not Fat32. There are numerous tools allowing for use of newer drives with the original Fat32 under DOS. I know this works for a fact, as I had a 320GB maxtor installed on my old DOS rig running just one partition...under DOS 6.20

Originally posted by ddp:
Sannas, the writer in the news article is using an old computer
That assumption was my question to begin with...is he actually using an older PC on the verge of complete failure and/or massive data loss...or is he using something newer that just has DOS installed on it. If I was working for one of the companies he writes for, I'd build him a brand new system with redundant hard drives and a burner and then install DOS on it for him. Cheap insurance when dealing with an author that is writing your biggest products.


2017.5.2014 12:45

i think it is an old computer tho it can be a p4 with a floppy drive installed internally.

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