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A shareware programmers editor originally released for DOS in 1985 by James Powers as Blackbeard version 3.6. Its main claim to fame was at the time was the support for multiple windows and the ability to act as a TSR and it came with a separate formatter for printing purposes that also gave the editor some rudimentary word processing function.

The editor had a few problem though that kept it from becoming a major success, the handling of large files was rudimentary which could make it extremely slow to work with larger files, it was also painfully slow on an XT class system and the author kept switching compilers meaning that each new version came with a new set of bugs, not necessarily related to the new code.

Captain Blackbird

In 1988 Mr Powers introduced a much improved DOS version under the name Captain Blackbird that was mostly rewritten from scratch, this version was also made available in a native OS/2 version that was called BlackBeard/2. The original Blackbeard program continued to be sold for a few years afterwards side by side with the Captain Blackbeard product.

OEM versions

While the editor became much less popular during the 90's than it had been in the 80's the programs author managed to get a number of OEM deals for the program so it might be more familiar to users as a bundled text editor.

  • Lahey shipped an OEM version of Captain Blackbeard with all of their DOS compiler products from ca. 1989 onwards.
  • Meridian Systems shipped it with their Meridian Open Ada compilers but renamed it ACE and removed any references to Blackbeard.
  • The LaTeX editing system LaCoD was also built on top of Blackbeard.


  • Latest OS/2 version is BlackBeard/2 1.20
  • Last shareware release of Captain Blackbeard for DOS is 3.0 while version 4.11 was for registered users only.
  • Last DOS version of Blackbeard is 7.46
  • Last Windows 32 bit version of Captain Blackbeard is 5.2


  • Discontinued shareware
  • Author: James K. Powers, Jim Dodgen (OS/2 version)