XyWrite V (based on
Nota Bene) is now a real possibility.
I've been in informal
discussions with Nota Bene's Steve Siebert
about our financing their development of a
32-bit version of XyWrite, based on the 32-bit
engine they developed for Nota Bene.
This, "XyWrite 5,"
would run on 64-bit systems, without any
virtualization (as in vDos) needed. What they
already have, for Nota Bene, is written in
Assembler (as XyWrite has always been) and is
adapted to sit on top of Windows. What Steve
is talking about doing is streamlining what
they have and getting it to work with the U2,
then adding whatever features we are willing
to pay for.
I have been using
VDosPlus for some months, and I am very, very
grateful to Wengier for developing it. This
new program would, however, have advantages:
1. Windows screen
fonts--all of them (yes, I mean fonts like
Arial and Georgia, not just monospaced fonts).
2. Windows undo.
Ctrl-z undo, of virtually unlimited depth.
3. Windows printer
drivers, so that you can print from XyWrite
just as you do from Notepad and Word.
4. Windows Clipboard.
5. Windows color
palette (I think).
6. Running without
virtualization (should be considerably
7. More memory for
programs and keyboard files, etc. As I
understand it, a reasonably priced XyWrite 5
won't give us megabytes of memory, but it can
definitely give us something like triple or
quadruple the program and module memory we now
So, what we need now
from the XyWrite collective is an indication
of how many people want which features and
would be willing to pay for it.
Running the U2 is a
given; there's no viable project without that.
And all the above Windows-based features are
already there, though they may need tweaking.
And having something a lot closer to the
XyWrite interface is a given. It won't have
the bells and whistles (and complexity) of the
word-processing part of Nota Bene.
So what else would
you like? For instance,
Ability to shell to
DOS or otherwise run external programs, as now
(I don't know if this is automatically
Ability to handle
files larger than 2 MB (this probably is
Then I need to find
out how many of us would be willing to put up
what kind of money. No commitments at this
exploratory stage, but what is the approximate
max you'd be comfortable in paying for each
thing? As an example, here's my own list
(don't let my large dollar amount scare you
off from making much smaller estimates):
1. Basic features
(listed above): $2000
2. Ability to shell
to DOS or otherwise run external programs
3. Ability to handle
files larger than 2 MB: additional $100
4. Portability: 0
Hopefully, there will
be enough people who are willing to put in,
say, $500 that this thing can be financed.
The ballpark figures
that Steve was playing with (and he is
forthright about not really knowing how much
paid-programmer time this project would take)
is $5000 -- $10,000.
Personally, I don't
mind paying $2000 even if some others are
paying only $100. But let's make $100 is the
The idea is to make
this profitable for NB, to make them eager to
do, and to do it well. So I proposed that they
would be able to sell the resulting product as
their own, and that our investment would not
begin to get repaid until they had made a good
Example: suppose it
costs $6000, which a pool of us put in. Those
in that pool get XyWrite 5 for no additional
charge. After that it's sold at whatever price
NB thinks is best. Then the first $6,000 of
proceeds goes 100% to NB. After that (if there
are any such sales--it's a long shot), the
proceeds of sales are split 50-50 between NB
and those in the pool, until we got our money
back. If we ever get all our investment back,
the proceeds of subsequent sales go 100% to
Frankly, it is
unlikely that we'd ever get our money back.
I'm viewing the money I'll put in as paying
for the product, XyWrite 5.
Again, this is just
to feel out the possibilities. Absolutely no
commitment at this early stage.
But the urgency
mentioned in the header is real: their
programmer has some free time NOW. (The
programmer is a guy named Sam, not Dave
Erickson, who's too expensive for us.) So
please reply immediately.