I read WordTsar Is Reviving the ’80s WordPerfect Writing Experience with considerable interest, but following it up with a look at WordTsar and WordTsar: Wordstar for the 21st Century quickly showed that the first author was not present during the word processor wars of the 1980s. WordStar lost to WordPerfect in that conflict, but still has some diehard fans, the most famous being George R.R. Martin, who still uses it on a DOS machiue. I have been able to run WordStar on FreeDOS, with FreeDOS running on a virtual machine. This was WordStar 4.0, which is now “abandonware,” i.e. free, but without any official support.
WordTsar runs as a native Linux GUI application, so you do not have the hassle of getting files in and out of a virtual machine. It is also available for Windows. On Linux it is distributed as an AppImage file, so you can use it on any Linux distribution. What I downloaded was release 0.3 build 372 pre-Alpha. As such it is not ready for prime time. I wanted to use it to write this post, but the HTML links were hopelessly garbled:
I was able to open a WordStar file I had written in 1989:
If you are actually interested in the “WordPerfect Writing Experience,” WordPerfect is still around, for a price.
See also WordStar Reborn.