WordStar Reborn

Wordstar was the word processor that helped sell the personal computer. At one time, it was ubiquitous, and many authors had a hard time giving it up. Some, like George R. R. Martin, apparently are still refusing to give it up. But most of us have moved on. Thanks to an open-source clone, WordTsar, you may not have to. This is a modern interpretation of our old friend.

Programmers that write were especially fond of WordStar since it had a non-document mode and was often the best text editor you had available for writing code. Being able to do your documentation without switching brain gears is useful, too. Touch typists love the efficiency of easy control of things without resorting to cursor keys or a mouse — the same thing vi and emacs fans enjoy but in a different way.

The software runs on multiple platforms and has some new features. Installation on Linux is easy because it is packaged in an AppImage file. Of course, you can also fire up your best CP/M machine, replica, or emulation and run the real WordStar, but — honestly — WordTsar seems more practical if you wanted to go back to using this kind of wordprocessor or editor for everyday use.

Of course, some word processors were actual hardware. If you want some cheap CP/M hardware, that’s easy enough, too.

Apple Gets CP/M

In case you wanted to run WordStar on your Mac, [Tom Harte] offers CP/M for OS/X, and it looks like it would be a lot of fun. Of course you might be happier running Zork or Turbo Pascal, and you can do that, too.

There are plenty of Z80 emulators that can run CP/M, but what we found most interesting about this one is that it is written in Objective C, a language with a deep history in the Mac and NeXT worlds.

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