This episode features the First XLEnt Word Processor, originally released in 1985 by XLEnt Software. It was written by David Castell. A follow up version (2.1) was released in 1986.
Box and Supplement Scans
The XLEnt software packages were not shipped in boxes. They were packaged in 6″ x 9″ vinyl folders which included the disk, manual, and registration card. An insert on the front is a copy of the front cover of the manual. First XLEnt Word Processor may or may not have been distributed in this packaging. I can not confirm either way.
Ad showcasing the Antic Award for Outstanding Product as featured in the May 1985 issue of Analog Magazine:
First XLEnt Word Processor won an Antic Award in January 1987.
Ad from August 1985 Analog Magazine:
Ad from November 1986 Analog Magazine:
First XLEnt Word Processor in Action
Trying to boot version 2.1 (XE release) on an XL or 800 computer results in this message:
The initial menu for selecting which segment of the program to run:
Microscreen Picture Formatter
I decided not to go into much detail here, rather focusing on the word processor. First select your printer type:
Printer Driver Construction utility
Here you enter the desired printer codes for the control key combinations. If your printer is not supported, here you can create the driver. You can also use this to custom map commands if you don’t like XLEnt’s mappings:
First XLEnt Word Processor
Version 1 initial editing screen:
Version 2.1 initial editing screen:
Editing in insert mode with a document:
Activating the menu:
The delete function asks how much you want to delete:
Using the search function. Note the menu icons are blanked out:
There are 3 way to check free memory. By character, by word,
Here is a neat trick. Editing with alternate fonts, of whatever you choose:
Directory. First select the drive (1 and 2 are supported), then view the results:
Loading a file. Select the type of load, the filename, and the drive:
Save File. Select how much of the file to save, enter (or accept) the filename, and specify the drive. If the file exists, you’re prompted to replace it (which can be very slow):
Format file. Select the drive and confirm:
Spool file. Enter the filename and drive, then it is scrolled on the screen:
DOS Errors are handled gracefully:
First you select the print options, the first page to print, whether to print the entire file or not, then choose screen printer or disk, and the type of paper:
Wait for it to complete:
Oh hey, it’s done!
When using print preview, it prints to virtual paper with a virtual printhead. The 80 column text is quite legible:
First XLEnt Word Processor uses DOS 2.5 compatible disks.
Files from version 1.0 (initial release):
Files from version 2.1 (XE release):
The manual can be found online at AtariMania (see link below).
- Atari Mania: http://www.atarimania.com/utility-atari-400-800-xl-xe-first-xlent-word-processor-_30491.html
- New (un-related) XlentSoftware: https://xlentsoftware.com/
- Antic Award January 1987: http://www.atarimagazines.com/v6n1/AnticAwards.html
- Extra Life 2017 – Ferg (Atari 2600 Game by Game Podcast) page: https://www.extra-life.org/index.cfm?fuseaction=donordrive.participant&participantid=273435