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DigiBarn Manuals:
The Electric Pencil Word Processor Operator's Manual (1977)

This is a version of the operator's manual of The Electric Pencil Word Processor written (software and manual) by Michael Shrayer in 1976. Electric Pencil was a popular character-oriented word processor program used on a variety of machines including the Altair 8800, the Processor Technology Sol-20 and the NorthStar Horizon. This copy of Electric Pencil was purchased by Bill Goldberg at the Byte Shop of Diablo Valley, California in September 1978. Thanks Bill for the donation of this manual.

From this story at About.com:

Altair programmer Michael Shrayer decided to write the manuals for computer programs on the same computers the programs ran on. He wrote the somewhat popular and the actual first PC word processing program, the Electric Pencil in 1976. Some other early word processor programs were Apple Write I, Samna III, Word, WordPerfect and Scripsit.

From DigiBarn co-founder Al Lundell:

I first saw electric pencil on a Sol-20, in 1977, bought by Dr. James L. Goddard, former commissioner of the FDA, and my mentor at the time. He was an early adopter of microcomputers, and he wanted to replace his electric IBM typewriter with EP. From what I remember, it kind of worked, but when he got real money for the projects we were doing, he bought a dedicated word processor computer from DEC..

Another early word processor was called Easy Writer, by John Draper, written while he was in jail for his Blue Box pranks.. It was published by Information Unlimited Software, and they threw great parties! Easy Writer ran on the Apple II computer, and in 1981 John wrote a version that ran on the first IBM PC.

See Jim Battle's complete PDF version of this operator's manual here.

Title sticker on binder
(dont mind the scribbles from the
"real" pencil)
Title page
Table of contents
Hardware requirements
EP commands
Block commands
Registered to Bill Goldberg
Source of EP.. patch locations

Know anything about Electric Pencil? Contact us!

See Also:

Solfest! Our page of resources of
Processor Technology and the Sol-20 at the Digibarn & around the web

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