George R.R. Martin's series A Song of Ice and Fire may have inspired one of the most high-tech and expensive shows currently on television (HBO's Game of Thrones, for which Martin also occasionally writes) but the books have a rather primitive origin.
"I have a computer I browse the Internet with and I get my email on and I do my taxes on,” Martin told Conan last night. “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.”
An unconventional approach, perhaps -- "did you make this computer out of wood"?" Conan asks -- but Martin has his reasons.
"It does everything I want a word-processing program to do, and it doesn't do anything else," he said. "I don't want any help. I don't like some of these modern systems where you type a lowercase letter and it becomes a capital. I don't want a capital. If I had wanted a capital, I would have typed a capital. I know how to work the shift key."
Apparently spellcheck can be a headache when writing about a made-up realm full of made-up places and people. "I hate spellcheck," Martin confirmed to Conan.
While he didn't go into the benefits of writing on a device not connected to the internet, it must boost his productivity, right? Think about it: How much time do you waste on the internet?
So to all the greedy fans pressuring Martin to write faster, thank his DOS machine. Without it, we'd probably be even further away from the release of The Winds of Winter.