George R. R. Martin Still Uses DOS And WordStar 4.0 To Write Game Of Thrones Novels


When most writers choose to write a novel, poem, short story or blog post, they usually go to their internet-enabled PCs and open up Microsoft Word (a program which, according to Wikipedia, “is the most widely used word processing software according to a user tracking system built into the software, which is not built into LibreOffice, AbiWord, KWord, and LyX.” And with many useful features like AutoCorrect and spell checking, it isn’t hard to see how the currently cloud-enabled word processor gets its notability. However, for some writers (like Game of Thrones author George R. R. Martin,) old school programs are better than the ones we use today.


In an interview with Conan on his television show Team Coco, Martin tells Conan that he uses MS-DOS (which, in case you didn’t know, came before Windows,) and a currently defunct word processor called WordStar 4.0 (a.k.a the predecessor to Corel’s slowly abandoned WordPerfect suite.) He then explains that he has another, more modern PC which he uses to check e-Mails and browse the web on, while his sidelined and offline DOS PC is strictly used for writing the bestselling novels which he is famous for.  When he was asked why he uses such defunct tools, he simply said that he was happy with what he had and that DOS isn’t as vulnerable as Windows or Linux (he also appreciated that the program "does what [he wants] it to do.") In addition to a virus-free environment, George states that AutoCorrect was simply too annoying to bear (and I know exactly how he feels about that.)


In reality, it’s a pretty good idea to have that type of setup, as most PCs today are vulnerable to potent viruses such as CryptoLocker lurking around on the internet today. Plus, there are no annoyances, like a dancing paper clip or automatic random bulleting, meaning that you could be more productive in front of a computer instead of fiddling with settings. What I would like to know, however, is why he doesn’t use a program like Notepad or WordPad, but instead uses WordStar 4.0 on a computer which has no USB ports.


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