Roger B. Crampton
Requirements: TI-99/4A with 32K RAM
expansion card or box, Extended BASIC, a disk drive, and a printer.
Until I saw Companion, I
considered replacing my TI-99/4A with a much more expensive computer
for my serious word processing needs. I had tried several other word
processors and found them either too slow, too cumbersome, or lacking
essential features. But Companion,
an inexpenstve program written entirely in machine language, solves all
of those problems.
editing features are superb-you have instantaneous fullscreen editing
capability. And the editing comes naturally, because all normal
features of the TI keyboard retain their functions. For example,
pressing Function 2 (Insert) works the same way with Companion as it does when you're
entering a program in console or Extended BASIC. There are no surprises
or tricky key sequences with Companion.
Everything is logical and works
in much the same manner as screen editing in BASIC. A delightful
exception is the up- and down-arrow keys-they really move the cursor up
and down, the way you wish they did in BASIC.
Of course, Companion
has all of the usual word processing features. You can center
headings, set tabs, automatically indent new paragraphs, search for
text strings, and move or copy blocks of text. And you don't have to
memorize a complex series of keystrokes to do simple things. For
instance, pressing CTRL-P automatically generates a linefeed, a
carriage return, and indents five spaces for the next paragraph.
The manual is well-written, succinct, and most
important, understandable. At 142 pages, it may seem intimidating at
first, but there is a good reason for its length. Companion has so many features
that it takes that many pages to describe them.
flexibly with different kinds of printers. It lets you send control
characters so you can switch to compressed or expanded fonts, or any
other fonts allowed by your printer. A little judicious study of your
printer manual, along with the Companion manual, should enable you to
produce a brief list of control characters to adjust nearly any printer
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