Thursday, January 18, 2007

Is My Search For A Text Editor Finally Over?

I may have finally found the text editor for writing. Ironically, it looks a lot like what I used to use back in the days of 5 1/4 floppies.

is a 100kb Java notepad. It's sole purpose is to envelop your screen, so that you can focus on writing. (HT: Lifehacker)

(One cool thing about Java, unlike most other software, is that it is platform independent. In non-techie, that means it runs irrespective of your operating system. So Windows users, Mac users, and even Linux guys can use it.)

There are commands, such as Ctrl-N for a new file, Ctrl-O to open (or create) a file, Ctrl-S to save it, the typical Windows cut and paste commands, and Escape exits the program.

Nothing fancy--just enough to get you started on the task of writing. Oh, and you can customize the colours (I've set mine to the good old days of the amber monochrome!).

Of course, the real irony is that this program is basically a throwback to the DOS days. Sitting here and typing this reminds me of all those hours in the early 90's spent in front of monochrome monitors, on computers with RAM-only memory, and those keyboards with the very satisfying keystroke action--you know, the ones with the ke-chung ke-chung, that the faster you typed and harder you banged on them the more they seemed to work. Now those things were made for typing lots of code. (I won't get started on EdLine--I still get shivers just thinking about it).

So Microsoft has spent billions of dollars developing Windows software, and most of us have spent more buying it, only to have someone come along and provide what amounts to a DOS emulator, so that we can limit our focus on just one thing. (As an aside, I've often wondered if Windows software has contributed to the ADD population...)

Here's the kicker: I loved DOS. Still do. There are things you can do with the command line that take so much extra effort in Windows. I even tried going back to it a year ago when a laptop I inherited flipped out, but I couldn't get used to not having the simplest of Windows conventions, things like word wrap, ctrl-del to delete a word (which is not available on JDark, either), and mouse controls. I guess I've just gotten spoiled.

Still, there's something to be said for shutting out distractions, and being alone--just you and the words. If that's what you've been missing, then I encourage you to give JDarkRoom a try.

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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I still do DOS as much as I can.