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

Jerome H. Fine jhfinedp3k at compsys.to
Mon Dec 1 20:51:15 CST 2014

 >Noel Chiappa wrote:

>    > 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! :-)
Since the "Subject" specified "word processing software", I assumed that
would exclude TECO which I regard as a "text editor" (although Johnny
strongly disagrees since his concept is a "line editor" - if I remember

In any case, since TECO has been mentioned, I believe that KED (a
screen editor - KEYBOARD  EDITOR) which was produced by DEC
for the VT100 and other similar VDTs qualifies.  KED has been distributed
with all versions of RT-11 at least since V04.00 in 1980.

KED runs under both RT-11 and RSTS/E and will at least qualify as much
as TECO.  The DEC variants are limited to 24 lines by 80 columns along
with 24 lines by 132 columns if a VT100 is being used with the AVO
hardware.  MACROs are supported, so some extensive editing can be
accomplished.  Auxiliary input and output files are also supported.  But,
note that KED is a screen editor without the sort of things that a word
processor is likely to have.  What you see is what you get.

Ersatz-11, the PDP-11 emulator by John Wilson of Dbit, now supports
screens up to 255 lines by 255 columns, although in practice, no Windows
system can properly support those values.  On my Windows XP system,
the video card and monitor support up to about 50 lines by 200 columns.

As a enhancement to KED, I added code which runs under RT-11 and
RSTS/E which also supports up to 255 lines by 255 columns - BUT not
at the same time since the screen buffer MUST be large enough to hold
all of the characters on the screen.  Since the actual maximum useful screen
sizes are about 50 lines by 120 columns and 50 lines by 198 columns (for
a maximum screen buffer of 9900 characters), I use KED under RT-11
running under Ersatz-11.  With my current video card and monitor, I have
chosen to use FULL  SCREEN mode which is supported at 50 lines by
80 columns and 44 lines by 132 columns.  The extra 20 lines available when
I inspect a MACRO-11 output listing are extremely helpful.

Jerome Fine

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