Perfect Writer

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Perfect Writer is a word processor computer program published by Perfect Software for CP/M and by Thorn EMI Computer Software for IBM PC compatible computers. It was written in C and famous for its stability. It was an enhanced version of MINCE, which itself was a version of Emacs for microcomputer platforms. Emacs itself was too heavyweight to fit within the 64kb RAM limit of most microcomputers.[1] Like MINCE, it included a floppy disk based virtual memory system. In a 2002 column, PC Magazine's John C. Dvorak suggested Perfect Writer as an alternative to WordPerfect as "worst word processor of all time".[2]

Along with its companion spreadsheet (Perfect Calc), and database (Perfect Filer), Perfect Writer was bundled with early Kaypro II and Morrow computers and had a list price of USD$349. It supported up to 7 buffers, had a character transpose command, undo, footnotes, and indexing. Its capabilities were very close to that of the dedicated word processors of the day.[3] Perfect Writer's ability to cut and paste between documents open in multiple buffers was an advantage over WordStar.[4]

Perfect Writer supported a number of add-on programs, Perfect Speller and Perfect Thesaurus, also published by Perfect Software, along with third party software such as Plu*Perfect published by Plu*Perfect Systems. Plu*Perfect included "D", a dired-like file browser that was deemed "the best of all directory displayers" by Stewart Brand.[5]

Perfect Writer was originally published by Perfect Software. Later versions of the product were developed and maintained by Knowledge Engineering in Austin, Texas. The thesaurus was designed written and maintained by George O. Jenkins, Jr.

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References[edit]

  1. ^ "Full text of "Tandy/Radio Shack Book: Whole Earth Software Catalog (1984)(Point)"". archive.org. 
  2. ^ "The Worst Product Ever". 
  3. ^ "InfoWorld June 14, 1982". 
  4. ^ "The Official Book for the Commodore 128". Another reason that split windows are important is that you can cut and paste between two documents while both are on the screen. In WordStar, you have to save the text to be pasted in a file, quit the current document, reload the new document, and read in the file of text. 
  5. ^ "Full text of "Tandy/Radio Shack Book: Whole Earth Software Catalog (1984)(Point)"". archive.org.