George R. R. Martin writes with a DOS word processor

The "Game of Thrones" author confesses on a chat show that he writes his best-selling books using WordStar 4.0 on a DOS machine. So don't distract him!

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Author George R.R. Martin reveals on "Conan" that he would rather type his epic stories in the realm of DOS. Video screengrab by Bonnie Burton/CNET

The next time someone makes fun of you for never updating Microsoft Word or for still typing on an old iMac, consider yourself on the cutting edge compared to George R.R. Martin.

The "Game of Thrones" author confessed to late-night talk-show host Conan O'Brien that he prefers to write his popular books on a DOS word processor instead of the latest laptop.

"I actually have two computers," Martin told Conan. "I have a computer I browse the Internet with and I get my email on, and I do my taxes on. And then I have my writing computer, which is a DOS machine, not connected to the Internet. I use WordStar 4.0 as my word processing system."

For readers too young to remember WordStar, it was released in the late '70s from MicroPro. Its text-only display, mail merge and its WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) editor made WordStar popular throughout the '80s for usage on word processors.

"I actually like it, it does everything I want a word processing program to do and it doesn't do anything else," Martin said. "I don't want any help. I hate some of these modern systems where you type a lower case letter and it becomes a capital letter. I don't want a capital. If I wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key."

Martin previously revealed his reliance on the ancient software in a blog post back in 2011, and clearly his work process hasn't changed a jot.

While we all wait impatiently for the next installment of his "A Song of Ice and Fire" book series, at least we can all rest assured that Martin doesn't have to worry about being attacked by a computer virus or besieged by hackers hoping to get a glimpse at his next epic tome.

 

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