WordStar on FreeDOS

After last time I tried to ftp a file from my Linux host to FreeDOos. The connection worked, but I could not do the transfer. Somehow my C drive was full. 0 bytes free. So I looked again at How to Backup VM(s) on VirtualBox to see how to restore my snapshot. This worked, although I had to use the “clone” option to restore it under another name. After the restore dir c:\ showed plenty of free space. So I tried the ftp again. I ran cd c:\net\mtcp and then used ftp (the basic ancient ftp client) to get Ws4.zip from the host. I had used this program a lot back in the 1990s. This particular zip archive has the installation files for WordStar 4.0, which was released jn 1987 and which I used at home in the late 1980s and into the 90s.

This worked. I put the zip file in c:\ and ran unzip Ws4.zip. This put the contents in the directory C:\WS4, where WordStar 4 was intended to live. The basic WINSTALL program was not present, but the more elaborate WSCHANGE was present. Not very friendly by 21st century standards, but I able to work through it to get a basic installation complete and was able to start WordStar:

WordStart start menu

That done, I am unlikely to use WordStar again. I happily used it 30+ years ago, but LibreOffice is much more practical for getting work done in third decade of the 21st century. Actually trying to use old-time technology is often a good cure for nostalgia 🙂

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