ChiWriter is a scientific word processor that was sold by Horstmann Software Design Corporation between 1986 and 1996.
Unfortunately, as of July 1, 1996. ChiWriter is no longer sold or supported.
I am putting together this FAQ and can help put ChiWriter users in touch with each other. Beyond that, I am unfortunately unable to offer personal support.
Please note: If you use the Greek/Hebrew/Arabic version of ChiWriter, you should contact the Gramcord Institute at 360/576-3000 for information. This document pertains only to the scientific version of ChiWriter.
Personally, I continue to use ChiWriter for those documents that I do not need to send to others in electronic form, and that need not be of camera-ready quality. This includes letters, exams, preprints, etc. Otherwise, I use HTML or Word.
If your work doesn't include many equations, Microsoft Word is powerful and ubiquitous, an important consideration if you need to exchange files with others. The equation editor is awful, though, which precludes using Word for highly mathematical content.
If you plan to publish your work on the Web, consider an HTML editor such as HoTMetaL from SoftQuad. Once HTML supports mathematics, I believe this will be the predominant method of publishing scientific work in the near future.
If you don't mind the TeX codes, and you work in an environment where TeX is well-supported, TeX is an option. However, TeX seems on its way out, so you may want to consider minimizing your investment in it. There are three reasons why I believe TeX has a limited future.
Reasonable people can disagree on this, and if you do, please don't send me flame mail.
You have two options. Generate ASCII or generate PostScript. To generate ASCII, export to ASCII and have your other word processor read the ASCII file. You lose all fonts and equations.
Alternatively, you can generate PostScript. See the next topic.
First, install the PostScript printer driver and fonts from the original distribution disks.
In ChiWriter 4, do the following.
In ChiWriter 3, do the following.
CD \CHIWRITE\DOC (or whereever your document is stored)
COPY \CHIWRITE\PSCRIPT\INIT.PS+\CHIWRITE\PSCRIPT\*.PSF+(yourdoc).BIN (yourdoc).PS
No. ChiWriter only works with the DeskJet, DeskJet Plus and DeskJet 500 models. All other DeskJet models (such as the 540) are incompatible with the older DeskJet printers and do not work with ChiWriter.
In a word, we ran out of money. A team of four programmers was working on the Windows version, when the Windows 3.0 popularity made DOS programs hard to sell. When sales dropped, we had to lay off the programmers one by one. At the same time, Microsoft Word became more powerful and set a minimum standard for what a word processor would need to deliver. The "suite wars" that put a word processor on many computers for free didn't help. Eventually, we just had to throw in the towel.
I supported ChiWriter for about three years after it ceased to generate revenue. At this point, support is no longer feasible. If new people started using it, I would have to personally support everyone who sends me questions, or at least personally remove all questions from my email and voice mail.
I am not aware of any. If you want to start one, let me know and I put your contact information on this page. I recently made an Alta Vista search for "ChiWriter" and was amazed how many people put up fonts and other information, even for ancient versions of ChiWriter. For example, Joop van der Eijnde has some useful information about ChiWriter.
I teach at San Jose State University, work with a company that provides Internet commerce solutions for software publishers, and write books on C++ and Java. The book "Core Java" by Gary Cornell and myself has been one of the best-selling Java books.