Rob Barnaby

General Information


WordStar International Incorporated

Programmer - Micro Pro Inc

Chief Programmer - IMSAI


Volunteer and Board Member - Habitat for Humanity Calaveras County

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WordStar History

Rob Barnaby worked on enhancements to the CP/M operating system, adding file buffering to allow files that were larger than the computer's memory to be edited, and other useful and much needed functions.
ED Begot NED Barnaby didn't like CP/M's line editor, ED, so he set to writing a replacement for it called NED, New EDitor. Unlike ED, which had been written PL/M (Programming Language for Microprocessors, a sub-set of PL/I, Programming Language One), Barnaby used assembler for NED. Once most of ED's functionality had been incorporated, Barnaby added a video mode that allowed 2-dimensional cursor movement. Rubinstein persuaded Barnaby to join the new MicroPro, and to write the editor and also a sorting program. Within a few months Barnaby had completed writing both programs in assembler. They were released as WordMaster (1976) and SuperSort (1977), both running on the CP/M operating system. -- Rob Barnaby in email to Mike Petrie 2 May 2000 As Rob Barnaby puts it: -- Rob Barnaby in email to Mike Petrie 3 May 2000 Barnaby had been working extremely long hours and was burnt out. He stopped direct work on the program, first acting as an advisor and then taking, in October 1979, long overdue holiday. After four months Rubinstein asked Barnaby to return, but he decided that he needed more time. In January 1980 Rubinstein again asked Barnaby to restart coding and promissed back pay and stock options for all the months he'd been away from work. Barnaby still wasn't ready to resume so Rubinstein gave him one more month to decide. Rubinstein wasn't impressed and told them that Barnaby had written the entire program in less than that time and that this was only a port to a new platform. Rubinstein called Barnaby to see if he'd be interested in doing the port. Barnaby demanded $100 per hour - he was hired again and completed the job within two weeks! after which he departed again. Barnaby wrote WordMaster from scratch and didn't use any of the code from NED. The case never got far enough to look at whether the two programs were based on the same code, a fact that both Rubinstein and Barnaby denied. Rob Barnaby

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MB Solutions

Micro Pro Int. founded by Rob Barnaby and Seymon Rubenstain, introduced Word Star

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DigiBarn Radio: Audio shows and Podcasts from the people who lived computing history and invented the present

Rob Barnaby on the history of WordStar, IMSAI, Micropro and more!(June 2008)

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