In “Game of Thrones,” messages are written with quills and delivered by raven. George R.R. Martin, the man who wrote the “A Song of Ice and Fire” books that the HBO show is based on, is not so old-fashioned. He does, however, rely on a piece of antiquated technology: a computer running DOS.
In days of yore, before Windows, there was something called DOS. It involved typing words into a command line. Martin explained on "Conan" on Tuesday night why he prefers typing using WordStar 4.0, which was like the Microsoft Word of the early-to-mid 1980s.
"It does everything I want a word processing program to do," he said, minus the distractions of the Internet and email. Not to mention spellcheck can become annoying when constantly typing names like "Daenerys Targaryen."
Martin is no Luddite. He has another computer that he uses to do things like blog. Back in 2007, when his fans were still waiting for him to finish "A Dance with Dragons," he complained about his emails getting deleted and why he chooses to use a DOS word processor.
"I do my writing on a completely different computer than the one I use for email and the internet, in part to guard against viruses, worms, and nightmares like this," he wrote. "I write with WordStar 4.0 on a pure DOS-based machine. Mock if you must ... but WordStar and DOS are both stable as rocks, and never give me the sort of headaches I get from Windows."
He added, "I won't even talk about Microsoft Word, about which I have nothing printable to say."
First published May 14 2014, 6:39 AM
Keith Wagstaff is a contributing writer at NBC News. He covers technology, reporting on Internet security, mobile technology and more. He joined NBC News from The Week, where he was a staff writer covering politics. Prior to his work at The Week, he was a technology writer at TIME.
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He lives in Brooklyn, N.Y.