inessential by Brent Simmons

Green characters on black == bliss

Robert Daeley and I have about the same background when it comes to computers. Robert writes:

On my old Apple ][+ back in the day, there were a handful of programs I spent the vast majority of my time in, not counting my BASIC programming: Microsoft’s Flight Simulator, Decathlon, and a word processor—the name of which escapes me at the moment, but imagine a terminal window program, all keyboard-command driven (no mice, of course), with simple formatting tools. All geared toward one goal: writing text, saving it on floppy disks (that were floppy), and printing it on our dot-matrix. I wrote school papers, fiction, all kinds of stuff in that program. Loved it.

Were there challenges? Sure, of course. But here’s what it had that trumped everything else:

Green characters on a black background. And nothing else.


I had the same computer—and maybe even the same word processor whose name completely escapes me. The only difference was that I spent my time in Adventure and, later, Zork, rather than in Flight Simulator.

No mouse! Apple didn’t ship any computers with mice back then.

Like Robert, I have a soft spot in my heart for terminal-based editors, and probably always will.