[rescue] text processing history - was Re: Wanted: VT1xx power switch

Laurence Brevard brevard at 1or0.com
Sun May 21 10:58:37 CDT 2017

At 09:31 AM 5/21/2017, Mouse wrote:

  > These were a multi-window text editor, a spell checker, and a
  > formatting program that closely resembled NROFF (which I was using
  > the time on a VAX 11/780 under VMS).

  Sure that was nroff?  I suspect it was more likely RUNOFF....

You're right.

Apologies for my lax use of case in the names. I'm sure I haVE sOMe donE
WronG belOW.

I realize now I was thinking of nroff / troff which I had to use for
system documentation a few years after that. I'm pretty sure that was
initially on BSD 4.x running on a VAX 11 /750 moving to some early SUN 3
equipment shortly thereafter.

Hey! It was 35 years ago.

Some searching shows what I used prior to that was in fact RUNOFF which
processed DSR - DIGITAL Standard Runoff - files.


BTW... to prepare the files (as well as work on code) I used INed as a
"quarter-plane) editor on a Televideo terminal and then RUNOFF to format
and drive a...

... daisy-wheel printer.


Note that EDIX (on MS-DOS) resembled INed in that it could split the
screen horizontally and/or vertically for up to four file buffers open at

Once we started using troff at my next job, my files were initially all
edited with Zmacs on a Symbolics LISP Machine.

Zmacs was part of the ZWEI text-processing package - "ZWEI Was Eine
Initially." And Eine was "Eine Is Not Emacs". Gotta love those MIT folks,
right? :-)

I still have the printed version of the documentation generated with
RUNOFF for our digital simulator project. It even has ASCII art

Danged if I know what ever happened to the source file.

And... for the record I am not now nor have I ever been a TeX / LaTeX
user. ;-)

We went from troff to Framemaker on Sun 4 for subsequent projects.

I still have access to Framemaker <something> on Windows and one of my
partners with a heavy "tech pubs" background uses the newest version to
this day.

Laurence Brevard
Cedar Park, TX

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