4.0539 Word Processors: FootMice and Language Support (2/52)

Elaine Brennan & Allen Renear (EDITORS@BROWNVM.BITNET)
Thu, 27 Sep 90 18:16:18 EDT

Humanist Discussion Group, Vol. 4, No. 0539. Thursday, 27 Sep 1990.

(1) Date: 26 September 90, 21:57:57 CDT (29 lines)
From: Bill Ball <C476721 at UMCVMB>
Subject: Word Perfect & foot mice

(2) Date: Wed, 26 Sep 90 16:16:00 EST (23 lines)
From: Michael_Kessler.Hum@mailgate.sfsu.edu
Subject: Foreign Language Word Processor

(1) --------------------------------------------------------------------
Date: 26 September 90, 21:57:57 CDT
From: Bill Ball C476721 at UMCVMB
Subject: Word Perfect & foot mice

Why is word Perfect so popular? Because its so popular. Its growing
dominance means all kinds of support groups & newsletters for those who
can't R.T.F.M. (three words of which are 'Read' 'The' 'Manual'). It
means vast third-party vendor support -- printer cartridges, VGA
drivers, etc. It means the program itself does all kinds of nifty stuff
that may not be the academic writer's most needed functions, but they
sure are great on the rare occasion one can use them (page layout &
graphics (by the way: I highly recommend taking a look at Draw
Perfect), tables of contents, file searching, and others). A big market
share means big resources to develop a big powerful program. It does
run on PCs, Macs, and under UNIX--again very handy at times. Oh yes, it
does do footnotes and endnotes.

On a more serious note: The biggest complaint about using a mouse with
a computer is that one has to take one's hands of the keyboard to use it,
right? Well it seems to me that we have a couple of other appendages
doing nothing but hogging space in front of the heater vent. Why not
foot mice? Brief experimentation (that dissertation is not writing
itself, is it?) shows that it could be done, although it would work out
better if one foot moved the mouse and the other clicked the buttons
(and you need to set the sensitivity down). It shouldn't be any harder
than driving a clutch. Secretaries have been using foot pedals for
dictation machines for decades. Anybody know a good patent lawyer? :)

((( Bill Ball c476721@UMCVMB ) Dept. Pol. Sci. ) U. Mo.-Columbia )

(2) --------------------------------------------------------------33----
Date: Wed, 26 Sep 90 16:16:00 EST
From: Michael_Kessler.Hum@mailgate.sfsu.edu
Subject: Foreign Language Word Processor

A comment on CJones' recommendation of a word processor in European
languages. I have been using PCWrite for quite some time. I converted
to it when I switched from a Cromemco to the PC. At the time, it was
the easiest word processor to adapt to extended ASCII characters (it is
easily adapatable to print Portuguese vowels, although the screen
representation is arbitrary). It's shareware. Use it for free; if you
like it, pay for it. Its cost is similar to educational costs of MSWord
or WordPerfect ($129 for full support). However, PCWrite Lite is
cheaper and fits on a single diskette ($79). That is a big advantage
for students who may need to have their word processor with them in
various places (home, lab, libraries). According to Quicksoft, "the
disks for PC-Write Lite with Cyrillic are available for $19. Most
foreign spell checkers also cost $19 except the Russian version, which
is $29." I have not used any of them. PC-Write's English spell checker
is not overwhelming. "You will be able to print Cyrillic characters
won Epson and IBM graphics printers and compatibles; and there will be a
downloadable soft font for Hewlett-Packard compatible laser printers."
Quotes come for a letter I received from PC-Write when I could not
believe the cost of the Russian dictionary.