SpeedScript

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SpeedScript
Speedscript 3.2 for Commodore 64.png
SpeedScript 3.2 running on a Commodore 64
Original author(s) Charles Brannon
Developer(s) Compute! Publishing
Initial release January 1984; 31 years ago (1984-01)[1]
Stable release 3.2 / May 1987; 27 years ago (1987-05)[2]
Development status Abandonware
Written in 6502 assembly language[1] (65xx),
Turbo Pascal[3] (DOS)
Platform VIC-20, Commodore 64, Commodore 128, Apple II, Atari 8-bit family, DOS
Type Word processor

SpeedScript is a type-in word processor for various 8-bit home computers of the 1980s. Approximately 5 KB in length, it provided many of the same features as commercial word processing packages of the early 8-bit era, such as PaperClip and Bank Street Writer.

Versions[edit]

In April 1983 Compute! staff writer Charles Brannon published in the magazine Scriptor, a word processor written in BASIC and assembly language, as a type-in program for the Atari 8-bit family.[4] In January 1984 version 1.0 of his new word processor SpeedScript appeared in Compute!'s Gazette for the Commodore 64 and VIC-20.[1] 1.1 appeared in Compute!'s Second Book of Commodore 64,[citation needed] 2.0 on Gazette Disk in May 1984,[citation needed] and 3.0 in Compute! in March and April 1985.[5][6] Corrections that updated 3.0 to 3.1 appeared in May 1985,[7] and the full version appeared in SpeedScript: The Word Processor for the Commodore 64 and VIC-20.[8] A 3.2 update appeared in the December 1985 Compute![9] and January 1986 Compute! Disk[2] and again later in the May 1987 Compute!'s Gazette issue with three additional utilities.[10]

SpeedScript was later ported to the Atari and the Apple II family in Compute! in May[11] and June 1985.[12][2] SpeedScript was written entirely in assembly language, and Compute! Publications later released book/disk combinations that contained the complete commented source code (as well as the machine language in MLX format) for each platform.[8][13][14]

A version of SpeedScript for MS-DOS was created in 1988 by Randy Thompson and published in book form by Compute! Books.[3] This version was written in Turbo Pascal with portions written in assembly language, and added incremental new features to the word processor such as additional printer commands, full cursor-control (to take advantage of the PC's Home, End, PgUp, and PgDn keys), and a native 80-column mode.

80-column updates[edit]

The original versions of SpeedScript were designed for the 40-column Commodore 64 and the 22-column VIC-20. When the Commodore 128 was released, featuring an 80-column display, many users requested an updated version of SpeedScript to take advantage of this new capability. In June 1986, Compute!'s Gazette published SpeedScript-80, a short patch for SpeedScript 3.0 or higher, which enabled the use of the VDC's new 80-column capabilities on a Commodore 128 running in 64 mode.[15] However, this did not take advantage of the C128's expanded memory, and a few minor commands were eliminated due to the alterations to the existing code. SpeedScript-80 was enhanced soon after with SpeedScript-80 Revisited, by Bob Kodadek.[citation needed]

SpeedScript 128

A native version for the C128 called SpeedScript 128, also written by Kodadek, was finally released in October 1987. This version eliminated the problems of the patch and took full advantage of the C128's 80-column screen, its expanded memory and the enhanced keyboard.[16] A later update appeared in September 1989, adding full text justification, tab setting, and online help.[17]

In December 1987, Compute!'s Gazette published Instant 80, a utility for the C64 version of SpeedScript that allowed 80-column document previewing (though not editing) on a standard C64. This was done by using half-width characters on a high-resolution graphics screen.[18]

Utilities[edit]

Although SpeedScript did not include a built-in spell checker, additional utilities were soon published. In December 1985, SpeedCheck was published in Compute!'s Gazette.[19] This external utility accepted SpeedScript files (as well as those from compatible word processors, such as PaperClip) and spell-checked them against a user-defined dictionary. An enhanced 80-column version for the C128, SpeedCheck 128, was published in September 1988.[20]

Another utility, ScriptSave, was developed to provide automatic saving functionality to the Commodore 64 version of SpeedScript 3.0.[21] This program would set up a timer program to save documents to disk, before loading and running SpeedScript itself.

Several additional utilities were published in the May 1987 issue of Compute!'s Gazette along with SpeedScript 3.2. ScriptRead[22] was developed to identify and preview SpeedScript documents on a disk, with the ability to scratch any files no longer needed. SpeedSearch[23] provided full-text search of all SpeedScript documents on a disk, returning a count of how many times the searched word or phrase was used in each document. Date and Time Stamper[24] introduces a program to the disk drive that adds time stamps to files on disk, then executes SpeedScript.

Reception[edit]

In a review of four word processors, The Transactor in May 1986 praised SpeedScript as "extremely sophisticated", citing its large text buffer, logical cursor navigation, and undo command. While criticizing it for lacking right justification, the magazine concluded that SpeedScript was not only "an easy winner" among budget-priced word processors, but also "a serious contender even when compared with the higher priced programs".[25]

SpeedScript was sufficiently popular to receive coverage in some reference works, such as the "Wordprocessing Reference Guide" of Karl Hildon's popular Inner Space Anthology.[26]

Gallery[edit]

SpeedScript 3.0 for the Commodore VIC-20 
SpeedScript 3.0 for the Atari 400/800/XL/XE 

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Brannon, Charles (January 1984). "SpeedScript Word Processor For Commodore 64 And VIC-20". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (Greensboro, North Carolina: COMPUTE! Publications) (7): 38–59. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  2. ^ a b c Mitchener, Leo (June 1986). "SpeedScript's Lineage". COMPUTE! (Letters to the Editor) (73): 11. ISSN 0194-357X. Retrieved 8 November 2013. 
  3. ^ a b Thompson, Randy (1989). PC SpeedScript. Radnor, Pennsylvania: COMPUTE! Books. ISBN 0-87455-166-8. 
  4. ^ Brannon, Charles (April 1983). "Scriptor: An Atari Word Processor". COMPUTE! (35): 56–70. ISSN 0194-357X. Retrieved 30 October 2013. 
  5. ^ Brannon, Charles (March 1985). "SpeedScript 3.0: All Machine Language Word Processor For Commodore 64". COMPUTE! (58): 123–133. ISSN 0194-357X. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  6. ^ Brannon, Charles (April 1985). "SpeedScript 3.0: All Machine Language Word Processor For Expanded VIC-20". COMPUTE! (59): 100–106. ISSN 0194-357X. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Capute!". COMPUTE! (Column) (60): 99. May 1985. ISSN 0194-357X. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  8. ^ a b Brannon, Charles (1985). SpeedScript, the Word Processor for the Commodore 64 and VIC-20. Greensboro, North Carolina: COMPUTE! Publications. ISBN 0-94238-694-9. 
  9. ^ Brannon, Charles (December 1985). "SpeedScript 3.0 Revisited". COMPUTE! (67): 90–91. ISSN 0194-357X. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  10. ^ Brannon, Charles (May 1987). "SpeedScript 3.2 For The Commodore 64". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (47): 54–71. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  11. ^ Brannon, Charles (May 1985). "SpeedScript 3.0: All Machine Language Word Processor For Atari". COMPUTE! (60): 103–111. ISSN 0194-357X. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Brannon, Charles; Martin, Kevin (June 1985). "SpeedScript 3.0: All Machine Language Word Processor For Apple". COMPUTE! (61): 116–123. ISSN 0194-357X. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  13. ^ Brannon, Charles (1985). SpeedScript, the Word Processor for Atari Computers. Greensboro, North Carolina: COMPUTE! Publications. ISBN 0-87455-003-3. 
  14. ^ Brannon, Charles; Martin, Kevin (1985). Speedscript, the Word Processor for Apple Personal Computers. Greensboro, North Carolina: COMPUTE! Publications. ISBN 0-87455-000-9. 
  15. ^ Heimarck, Todd (June 1986). "SpeedScript-80 For The 128". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (36): 77–78. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  16. ^ Kodadek, Robert (October 1987). "SpeedScript 128". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (52): 22–52. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  17. ^ Gruber, Michael (September 1989). "SpeedScript 128 Plus". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (75): 38–44. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 4 March 2015. 
  18. ^ Mackinnon, Glen (December 1987). "Instant 80: True 80-Column Preview For SpeedScript". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (54): 76. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  19. ^ Cowper, Ottis T. (December 1985). "SpeedCheck: An Expandable Spelling Checker For The Commodore 64 And 128". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (30): 64–70. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  20. ^ Smith, Larry D (September 1988). "SpeedCheck 128: A Spelling Checker For SpeedScript 128". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (63): 60–61. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  21. ^ Lambert, J. Blake (May 1985). "ScriptSave: Automatic Disk Saves For Commodore 64 SpeedScript 3.0". COMPUTE! (60): 84–85. ISSN 0194-357X. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  22. ^ Childress, Buck (May 1987). "ScriptRead". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (47): 77. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  23. ^ St. Clair, Tony (May 1987). "SpeedSearch". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (47): 75. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  24. ^ Kodadek, Bob (May 1987). "SpeedScript Date and Time Stamper". COMPUTE!'s Gazette (47): 76. ISSN 0737-3716. Retrieved 18 February 2015. 
  25. ^ Bose, Ranjan (May 1986). "A Comparison of Four Word Processors". The Transactor 6 (6): 72–74. ISSN 0827-2530. Retrieved 1 March 2015. 
  26. ^ Hildon, Karl J. H. (March 1985). The Complete Commodore Inner Space Anthology. Milton, Ontario: Transactor Publishing. pp. 17–19. ISBN 0-9692086-0-X. Retrieved 1 March 2015.