Wednesday, March 24, 1999

I hear Orson Scott Card is thinking of casting Jake Lloyd as Ender in his upcoming adaptation of Ender’s Game. In a way, this may not be a great idea: audiences will identify so strongly with Jake as Anakin (look at what happened to Mark Hammill). OTOH, Harrison Ford was able to break out of that mold, and actually so was Hammill after playing in the Wing Commander series. All Jake needs is a good role in another popular film, and heck him just being in another film will make it popular.

The SFC got in its ratings awhile back; for the last fiscal quarter of 1998, the SFC had a higher concentration of 18–49 year olds than any of the six major networks. Impressive.

I’ve been thinking lately about creating a really good word processor, after re-reading Robert J. Sawyer’s article on WordStar. The way I currently see it, you need a word processor that’s:

  • Extensible — users don’t want to have to repay for a new version. Let them download a module that gives them the extra functionality they want.
  • Keyboard-intensive — don’t make users use the mouse if they don’t want to. This is a word processor, after all; users are using the keyboard or else they aren’t getting much done.
  • More intelligent with finger-mappings — one of Sawyer’s favorite features in WordStar is the fact that often-used commands are mapped to stronger fingers, namely keys used by the middle and index finger.
  • Capable of rapid movement and cuts-and-pastes — think about using a document. You can shuffle back and forth between pages quickly, add in text wherever you want to, add comments to the margins, etc. Why isn’t this sort of rapid movement easy in word processors?

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