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EasyWriter was a word processor first written for the Apple II series computer in 1979, the first word processor for that platform.[1] It was written by John Draper's Cap'n Software, which also produced a version of Forth, which EasyWriter was developed in.[2] Draper developed EasyWriter while serving nights in the Alameda County Jail under a work furlough program.[1][3]

It was later ported to the IBM PC and released when the PC was announced in 1981.[3][4] Despite being one of the new computer's launch titles many criticized EasyWriter 1.0, distributed by IBM, for being buggy and hard to use.[5] Its poor quality inspired others to quickly provide alternatives, such as Camilo Wilson's Volkswriter.[6] EasyWriter II was completely rewritten by Basic Software Group and distributed by Information Unlimited Software,[5] while IBM offered a free upgrade to version 1.10 to version 1.0 owners.[7]


In an early review of the IBM PC, BYTE stated that EasyWriter for it or the Apple II "didn't seem to be of the same caliber as, say, VisiCalc or the Peachtree business packages", citing the lack of ease of use and slow scrolling as flaws, and advised those who planned to use the IBM PC primarily for word processing to buy another computer until alternative software became available.[8] Andrew Fluegelman wrote in PC Magazine that although EasyWriter 1.0 appeared to be an easy-to-use word processor for casual users, it "contains a few very annoying inconveniences and some very serious traps". He cited several bugs, slow performance, and user-interface issues.[9] EasyWriter 1.10 resolved most of Fluegelman's complaints. He reported that it "performs smoothly, will handle most any routine writing and printing job, and is easy to learn and operate", and that if IBM had released 1.10 first EasyWriter would likely have become the standard PC word processor.[7]

BYTE criticized EasyWriter II for running as a booter instead of using DOS, requiring specially formatted disks for storage and a utility to convert to DOS-formatted disks, not being compatible with double-sided drives, and using a heavily modal editing interface.[5]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Chris Rhoads (January 13, 2007). "The Twilight Years of Cap'n Crunch". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved 2010-03-02. 
  2. ^ John Markoff and Paul Freiberger, IW Staff (Oct 11, 1982). "Visit with Cap'n Software, forthright Forth enthusiast". InfoWorld. pp. 31–32. 
  3. ^ a b John Markoff (January 29, 2001). "From Outlaw to Consultant". New York Times. Retrieved 2010-03-02. [dead link]
  4. ^ Byte. January 1982. p. 62. 
  5. ^ a b c Shuford, Richard S. (May 1983). "Word Tools for the IBM Personal Computer". BYTE. p. 176. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  6. ^ van Gelder, Lindsy (August 1983). "On The Road To Software Stardom". PC Magazine. p. 156. Retrieved 22 October 2013. 
  7. ^ a b Fluegelman, Andrew (August 1982). "EasyWriter Resurrected". PC Magazine. p. 180. Retrieved 21 October 2013. 
  8. ^ Williams, Gregg (January 1982). "A Closer Look at the IBM Personal Computer". BYTE. p. 36. Retrieved 19 October 2013. 
  9. ^ Fluegelman, Andrew (February–March 1982). "Not-so-Easywriter". PC Magazine. p. 35. Retrieved 20 October 2013. 

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