Fwd: is there any word processing software for the pdp11?

Noel Chiappa jnc at mercury.lcs.mit.edu
Mon Dec 1 09:57:28 CST 2014

    > From: Jacob Ritorto

    > I just got my Diablo 630 running and would like to couple it to one of
    > my pdp11s and an appropriate terminal to do more "inspired" writing and
    > correspondence. .. I sometimes get bored typing on these relatively
    > snazzy computers we have these days and wish to go back to the way
    > things were.

Ah, got it. I don't know if (on the Unix path) nroff is any good for you; with
a good macro package (pretty much essential; raw roff/troff is kind of like
raw TEX), it's pretty easy to use.

The thing is that 'back in the day', the whole 'WYSIWYG' editing model didn't
exist until Bravo on the Alto. (At least, not that I know of - if anyone does
know of such, I would love to hear of it.) Except for plain ASCII files, of
course... So I'm not sure that if you're looking for 'text mode WYSIWYG',
you'll be able to find much.

    > From: Warner Losh

    > There was also a TECO version available for the PDP-11's running RSTS/E
    > (and likely others) 

There was a 'visual TECO' running on the V6 Unix at MIT; that's what we used
before the EMACS came along. I don't know the background of it, if it shares
any history with the one you mentioned.

>From the (slim) manual I have for it, it seems to have had both TECO mode
(the usual TECO command interface, the stuff that looks like line noise), and
a visual mode, just like primitive EMACS. (Probably only supported VT52's,
though.) The latter mode had some built-in command keys, and there were also
macro packages to extend it (again, just like primitive EMACS, although those
for the PDP-11 Unix TECO were not as sophisticated).

That's all almost certainly on the tape too, if anyone cares! :-)


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