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Amish Computing (forked from:Question: What software is absolutely essential to you)

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Posted by DaXiong
Aug 14, 2011 at 04:21 AM


Well, since this is a fork from my original post, guess I should speak up.

For the record, I started using computers pre-DOS, and have never used an Apple computer. The first I owned was a Zenith 248 that I went crazy and got the 10Mb hard drive and “crammed” 1 meg or RAM into. Those were the days.

Most of what I use an outliner for is writing, not as an organizer. I have a number of part-time interests that share one common element - communicating. I give talks, teach, write short articles, give presentations, etc. So for me, Inspiration is what I use the most (although I still have a lot in TreePad). I want to love Scrivener for Windows, but ...

The simple fact is, text files work. Maybe not elegantly, and definitely not “pretty” ... but functionally they’re small, fast and get the job done. Plus, as an added benefit, I’m not trapped into one program’s file format. I do not try and live all in one large text file that holds everything (that would be insane, even for me). I’ve toyed once or twice with markdown and other markup languages, but I keep coming back to a simple text file, using Notepad++ as my editor.

The only reason I have just given up on everything else and committed to txt files (well, txt and rtf files) 100% is the program ConnectedText. Yeah, CT keeps trying to seduce me. I’ve got a number of projects in it, and the more I use it, the more I see it has potential. It’s not quite as easy at the early stages of writing where creativity is needed, but its outliner is great, and as a writing environment its not bad.

I have the utmost respect for the regulars here - Steve’s comment about remembering DOS days made me think. Most of the truly great programs I’ve used were DOS (Ecco being the standout exception). Has Windows hurt applications by changing the user paradigm? Maybe that’s why I’ve gone back to text files.

The answers I got to the original question helped in this quest, and as for Amish Computing ... I’ve noticed the Amish focus on sustainable quality. Who wouldn’t want a program that was well coded, bug-free, and did what it claimed to do ... and then stuck around so we could use it?

Anyways, those are my thoughts ....