George R.R. Martin Uses WordStar 4.0 DOS To Kill Game of Thrones Characters

George R.R. Martin Uses WordStar 4.0 DOS To Kill Game of Thrones Characters

You know those huge novels that George R.R. Martin writes? He does it on a computer almost as medieval as the characters he is constantly murdering.

The massive tomes that author George R.R. Martin creates to tell the story of Westeros and the various families in Game of Thrones obviously takes a lot of time. But unlike many authors who prefer modern technology for spellcheck, grammar help, filing and email, Martin prefers things old-fashioned, like one step above a typewriter old-fashioned.

In talking to Conan O'Brien on Conan, Martin said he has a computer to do his taxes, browse the Internet and read email, but for writing he has a "secret weapon" to avoid computer viruses that could destroy all his work.

"It is a DOS machine, not connected to the Internet. You remember DOS, right?" he said. "I use WordStar 4.0 as my word processing system."

Martin explained that newer programs frustrate him. "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. I don't want a capital. If I had wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital." He also has issues with spellcheck, which of course led to a slightly different rant.

So the next time you pick up any of the Game of Thrones books, remember that any odd spellings or apparent stray capital letters you see are just the way George R.R. Martin wanted it.

Source: Team Coco

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So that's what he looks like.

Huh.

He looks like a lighthouse keeper. Or possibly a tugboat captain.

...

Please tell me I'm not the only one seeing this.

Zhukov:
So that's what he looks like.

Huh.

He looks like a lighthouse keeper. Or possibly a tugboat captain.

...

Please tell me I'm not the only one seeing this.

Well... I certainly can't un-see it now.

So, now it's a question of who'll kick the bucket first, the author or his computer?

Slightly insensitive comment aside, while it's a good idea to keep your work safe from viruses and whatnot it might not be the smartest idea to keep it all on antiquated hardware that might fail catastrophically in hundreds of ways.

Sealpower:
So, now it's a question of who'll kick the bucket first, the author or his computer?

As a reader of the books:

Tyrion

Sealpower:

Slightly insensitive comment aside, while it's a good idea to keep your work safe from viruses and whatnot it might not be the smartest idea to keep it all on antiquated hardware that might fail catastrophically in hundreds of ways.

That's what floppy disk backups are for =P

Seriously though, someone should probably have explained to him that you can turn all the spell-check and auto correct functions off...

Sealpower:
So, now it's a question of who'll kick the bucket first, the author or his computer?

Slightly insensitive comment aside, while it's a good idea to keep your work safe from viruses and whatnot it might not be the smartest idea to keep it all on antiquated hardware that might fail catastrophically in hundreds of ways.

Don't worry- he has it all backed up on floppy disks :D

EDIT: Damn, Ninja'd

Sight Unseen:

Sealpower:
So, now it's a question of who'll kick the bucket first, the author or his computer?

Slightly insensitive comment aside, while it's a good idea to keep your work safe from viruses and whatnot it might not be the smartest idea to keep it all on antiquated hardware that might fail catastrophically in hundreds of ways.

Don't worry- he has it all backed up on floppy disks :D

"Wiener wiener wiener wiener..." Damn you Sight Unseen!! lol cool name by the way.

As someone who once tried writing fantasy fiction I have to agree: the red squiggly lines under made-up names can become very, very annoying.

Johnny Novgorod:
As someone who once tried writing fantasy fiction I have to agree: the red squiggly lines under made-up names can become very, very annoying.

Right Click -> Add to Dictionary. Done! :D

Paradox SuXcess:

Sight Unseen:

Sealpower:
So, now it's a question of who'll kick the bucket first, the author or his computer?

Slightly insensitive comment aside, while it's a good idea to keep your work safe from viruses and whatnot it might not be the smartest idea to keep it all on antiquated hardware that might fail catastrophically in hundreds of ways.

Don't worry- he has it all backed up on floppy disks :D

"Wiener wiener wiener wiener..." Damn you Sight Unseen!! lol cool name by the way.

Thanks :D

here you are :D

ron1n:

That's what floppy disk backups are for =P

Y'know who else still uses floppies? 8-inch floppies from the 70's, at that? The US military, to launch nukes from their silos.

http://www.theverge.com/2014/4/28/5660614/nuclear-control-center-behind-the-scenes-video

image

Mock the floppy at your own discretion. =P

Zhukov:
So that's what he looks like.

Huh.

He looks like a lighthouse keeper. Or possibly a tugboat captain.

...

Please tell me I'm not the only one seeing this.

To be honest, I clicked this link to say the exact same thing!

He looks like he should be on one of those fishing shows, like trawler men. Always wearing that little hat and a big gruff beard.

THe last job I would have guessed for him, would have been author.

Sight Unseen:

Johnny Novgorod:
As someone who once tried writing fantasy fiction I have to agree: the red squiggly lines under made-up names can become very, very annoying.

Right Click -> Add to Dictionary. Done! :D

I used to do that but after a while I realized what if I didn't like the words I had made up? I ended up adding five variations for every word I coined, which just felt wrong :P

Zhukov:
So that's what he looks like.

Huh.

He looks like a lighthouse keeper. Or possibly a tugboat captain.

...

Please tell me I'm not the only one seeing this.

I thought there was a rumor going around that his retirement plan was to become a sailor. Makes sense.

Huh, weird. I actually do something similar to that when I'm writing, not quite as extreme as Mr Martin thankfully!

Wrote my first novel attempt on an old iMac I'd salvaged and brought back to life, on the principle that it was too old for me to distract myself with games or youtube. Worked out quite well.

A later one I fancied a challenge, and did a nano on one of these:
image

My fingers hurt for quite a while after that, but I did it.

Wonder if he's ever tried any of the software that's actually aimed at writers that's available for modern machines though? There's some great ones out there that minimise the interface as much as possible to encourage you to ignore errors and just keep on writing without distraction.

I can totally relate with that. I hate word processors like MS Word with a passion. I don't understand how office workers can stand to work with such frustrating software. Whenever I need a text document I use a plain old ASCII txt files. They don't constantly mess around with what I want to do or what I'm typing.

On the other hand, maybe somebody should have tought him LaTeX, but I guess he can pay people to do the formatting for him by now.

Zhukov:
(Snip).

I can imagine a man with a similar hat bundling sodden soldiers from the surf onto a Little Ship deck at the evacuation at Dunkirk, manning a troop-laden barge under bombardment across the Volga to Stalingrad, or maybe even leading a partisan band in an ambushing of an occupation convoy with Sten in hand...but yeah, I 'unno, the lighthouse one works pretty well, too. At least you're not the one over-thinking it. :/

That hat's had a lot of history under it.

Soviet Heavy:
I thought there was a rumor going around that his retirement plan was to become a sailor. Makes sense.

In a few short years, that man may be the next spokesman for Fisherman's Friend.

Yay, he is eccentric... that is what this is about. A mark of genius, no doubt.

Sealpower:
while it's a good idea to keep your work safe from viruses and whatnot it might not be the smartest idea to keep it all on antiquated hardware that might fail catastrophically in hundreds of ways.

In my experience with old computers is that if they are not dead by now they are probably going to run forever if they are looked after because after several decades of running anything that was going to break would have broken, consumable and wearable parts aside of course.

J Tyran:

In my experience with old computers is that if they are not dead by now they are probably going to run forever if they are looked after because after several decades of running anything that was going to break would have broken, consumable and wearable parts aside of course.

Fair enough, but still, nothing lasts forever. Mechanical hard drives will wear out with time or, like all mechanical systems (especially rotating ones) subjected to intermittent loads, suffer fatigue.

Spy on this one, NSA! :P

p.s.
..."A Song of Ice and Fire books"...
I'll let this mistake slide, because the show is very popular. But come on, man!

Zhukov:
So that's what he looks like.

Huh.

He looks like a lighthouse keeper. Or possibly a tugboat captain.

...

Please tell me I'm not the only one seeing this.

my first thought was train conductor but those work too i guess

Uh, guys? He's obviously Santa Claus. Come on.

The boat captain shtick is just a cover-up.

OT:
WHAT

That is pretty damn funny, although given his generation's expertise with word processing I'm not surprised he didn't bother to just turn all the annoying junk off in Word. Ah well, whatever suits him. In the end, it's just a piece of software.

That's actually kind of a good idea. A DOS computer is much less likely to distract a writer, in addition to the mentioned disconnect preventing viruses. And I can certainly understand how a fantasy writer creating names would find the interventions of spell-check frustrating. I hope he has a decent back-up system for his work, though.

As far as capital letters and mis-spellings go: proof-readers and editors are still supposed to do their jobs, right? And being created on Wordstar 4 doesn't preclude a document being spellchecked by a modern word processor before it goes to press.

Sealpower:

J Tyran:

In my experience with old computers is that if they are not dead by now they are probably going to run forever if they are looked after because after several decades of running anything that was going to break would have broken, consumable and wearable parts aside of course.

Fair enough, but still, nothing lasts forever. Mechanical hard drives will wear out with time or, like all mechanical systems (especially rotating ones) subjected to intermittent loads, suffer fatigue.

Yep thats why I added "consumable and wearable parts aside", old HDDs and FD drives do wear and die. If anyone is serious about keeping a vintage computer running you can replace old HDDs with compact flash cards and things, I did dabble with some vintage home computers[1] and you can mod them quite a bit.

[1] Amigas, I had a nostlagia trip and modded and collected a few.

I'm not really surprised. I mean I saw a hipster using a Typewriter in Starbucks the other day (With iPad and iPhone on the table next to it, no, really) and of all the authors I know of (not many to be honest), Martin seems the most likely to use... archaic methods to write his books.

I don't think it's weird at all, like he said it does what he needs it to do, not many of the bells and whistles you get with Office are actually useful for just writing a book.

So thats why he goes on a rampage of character killing when he gets frustrated by obsolete software hes running. spellchecks and autocorrections can be turned off in a few clicks if thats his problem, the benefits of modern word processing however is not easily replaced in a wordstar.

Zhukov:

He looks like a lighthouse keeper. Or possibly a tugboat captain.

lighthouse keeper is the first thing that sprang into my mind whne i saw him for the first time (couple years back). ah, the stereotypes....

Sealpower:
Slightly insensitive comment aside, while it's a good idea to keep your work safe from viruses and whatnot it might not be the smartest idea to keep it all on antiquated hardware that might fail catastrophically in hundreds of ways.

actually, old hard drives are safer than new ones in this case. the old drives were still using technology that had far larger magnetic clusters for writing data and less layering, sometimes even single layer. this means that if the machine fails, heck evne if the hard drive itself fails, its far easier and more reliable to recover the data since its easier to scan these drives.

Johnny Novgorod:
As someone who once tried writing fantasy fiction I have to agree: the red squiggly lines under made-up names can become very, very annoying.

rightclick->add to dictionary. youll never misspell your character names again. as somone with dyslexia - its awesome.

 

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