Jet Word Processor

by Will Johnson

(fHdc) The Jet Word Processor was the only word processor for Pick and Pick-like systems in the 1980s.


Written 2011 by Will Johnson for Fast Forward Technologies
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        I am a Pick / Universe contract programmer, and also a hardware and software dealer.  In addition I offer placement services both to job seekers and to employers.  If you need anything related to your Pick system, don't hesitate to contact me at or my office at 831 477 7125.

        John E Treankler wrote the Jet Word Processor program which ran on Pick systems.  The first implementation was Wordmate on the Microdata, which used WP-IN, WP-OUT as its commands.  This was a full-screen word processor with the corresponding output processor.  WordMate 1.0 was released in 1982.  Probably next came UltiWord for the Ultimate Computer Corporation which was evidently released in 1984.
        Later he named it JET-IN, an output portion JET-OUT and a BASIC source code editor JET-EDIT.  When he sold the JET products (licensed) to Pick Systems, they were renamed Documentor and the verbs used were DOC-IN, DOC-OUT and DOC-EDIT.  There was also a set of programs put out by JET Systems called "The Works" which added other enhancements like mail merging I believe.   Jet Systems was incorporated in California in 1987 with an address in Canyon Country, CA. I myself used "The Works" in 1988 or 1989.  John sold it to Vmark in 1992.
        The core components of the system were written in Pick pseudo-assembler language and loaded into ABS frames.  John sold his licenses to Vmark (later renamed Ardent) which apparently rewrote JET in BASIC code.  According to John, Brian Shumsky did most or all of that rewrite.
        Prior to WordMate, UltiWord, JET-EDIT -  the only editor which could be used to either create documents or to edit BASIC source code in Pick, was the ED line editor.  JET introduced Pick programmers to the use of the arrow keys, pagination, and cut-and-paste of letters, words and even blocks of text.
        Brian tells me that the "pure BASIC port" actually included a bit of C code as well.  "VMark had some folks dedicated to support of the product.  Unfortunately, I don’t know what really happened to it after that – but I’m not surprised that somewhere amongst the mergers it got lost/thrown away.  As a consultant, I think I remember my main contact there being Tom Rauschenbach – he’s long gone from the company, but if you find _him_ he might be able to help you get further on this treasure hunt "

        I have in my hands an invoice from Ardent Software of Westboro, MA, that states "Update Jet for Universe" dated Feb 1999.  So JET existed and was still being shipped as of that year.  It's possible however it was only being shipped for Unix systems.  I just reloaded an old copy of Universe for Windows NT, and there is no JET included on that standard disk.  Likely the product was only shipped upon request under a different product code, or possibly as I said, only for Unix systems.  Perhaps by this time it was thought that there was no need for an embedded word processor on a Windows system.

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