Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 64 / SEPTEMBER 1985 / PAGE 63


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.
    Companion's 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.
    Companion works 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 parameter.

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