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Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!

Penny S. 30 Nov 08 - 06:51 PM
Bert 30 Nov 08 - 07:12 PM
Nick 30 Nov 08 - 07:13 PM
Nick 30 Nov 08 - 07:16 PM
Rapparee 30 Nov 08 - 07:21 PM
Amos 30 Nov 08 - 08:17 PM
JohnInKansas 30 Nov 08 - 08:20 PM
Rapparee 30 Nov 08 - 08:27 PM
Penny S. 01 Dec 08 - 05:18 PM
JohnInKansas 01 Dec 08 - 06:39 PM
Bat Goddess 02 Dec 08 - 06:57 PM
GUEST,Mainframe Dinosaur 03 Dec 08 - 06:01 AM
Penny S. 09 Dec 08 - 07:44 AM
Penny S. 09 Dec 08 - 07:45 AM
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Subject: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Penny S.
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 06:51 PM

I once used to use MS Works for writing stuff. I have a copy of version 9 on my little ASUS EeePC, but it won't open my files. Even files I opened last year on my other laptop which is being repaired. Star Office won't open them, either. I can recover the content by using Notepad, and Cut and Paste into the Office software, and then reformatting it all again. I've downloaded a converter from MS, but it does sweet FA.

I am cursing the name of Gates.

Anyone any idea of where I can get a converter that does not involve installing virtual systems somewhere, or anything fiddly?

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Bert
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 07:12 PM

Open Office sometimes works.

I have got into the habit of saving all my files in html format now.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Nick
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 07:13 PM

I have a copy of MS Works Word Processor version 7 - if it was just a matter of opening and saving them as something else - and if they are not sensitive - I'd happily convert them for you if you want as long as there aren't too many.

PM if it's of any use to you


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Nick
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 07:16 PM

There are also a number of online converters like - Zamzar - I've occasionally used them to convert some odd things


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 07:21 PM

I have WordPerfect X4 (14) and it would probably read them -- it'll read danged near anything. I, too, would be happy to convert them if you'd like.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Amos
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 08:17 PM

There is a robust family of document format convertors called MacLink, which we have on our systems here. If you care to send me a file and see if it works, I'll be glad to try it for you and run the batch into your desired target format. PM if so.

The product is produced by DataViz and they make a PC version called Conversions Plus which you can read about here.



A


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 08:20 PM

Word in Office 20071 can save documents as Wks 6-9 or as Wks7, so it might be assumed that they also have the import filter built in to import them. (I'm not sure why 6 through 9 is one filter but 7 is another?)

The "cowsplat" that replaces "File" in Word 2007 includes an "Open Document" choice that allows you to click "Files of Type" (or something like that) and choose "Works 6 thru 9" as an option.

There were some older Works versions that might still be unreadable, but I've avoided using Works so haven't been familiar with all the possibilities. You may be able to tell what version made your documents by right clicking the file in Windows Explorer and looking at "Properties," but often the critical blanks aren't filled in.

Most earlier Office/Word versions had available "conversion packages" that included input/output filters for converting to and from "recent" prior versions. At Office Converter Pack you can take a look at what Microsoft offered for Word 2003. There is no mention of "Works" filters, but they may have been installed as defaults and didn't need to be included in the "packs."

There's also a button at the top of the page where you can check for Office Updates. You'll likely need to click something to choose "Optional Updates" in order to get much of a choice of things other than security patches. The "default" fixmeup only gets "critical" patches.

1 I'm not sure I'd consider this sufficient reason to get Office 2007. They've mucked it up so much that it's almost unusable. I was forced to it only when my older (usable) version was disabled by "security patches." Word 2003 is the oldest still being checked – sometimes – for compatibility with new patchworks, I believe.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Rapparee
Date: 30 Nov 08 - 08:27 PM

Yes, I bought Office 2007 for the Library, but I find it almost unusable. Fortunately, WP X4 works very well and I can save (and open) files in almost any format you can think of -- including Word Star 5.0, Ami Pro, and other eldritch formats.


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Penny S.
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 05:18 PM

Thank you very much for the offers, but the files are many, and some are large. I did read about Zamzar on one of the sites I found discussing the issue, but I am a little chary of sending these particular files out. For a variety of reasons. They aren't just song words.

I'll see what my old laptop does when I get it back. And in future make sure I open and save everything every time I get new versions of software. It happens with PagePlus as well, but in that case, most of the old files are unimportant, and anyway, I still have an old version I can install if need be.

Why would anyone buy new stuff if it won't open their archives - they've had the same problem at the school I used to teach at.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: JohnInKansas
Date: 01 Dec 08 - 06:39 PM

Believe it or not, Penny, I recently pulled some old stuff out of ancient archives and found a MICROSOFT WORD document that wouldn't open in MICROSOFT WORD - as a Word document. It would open in Notepad, or could be imported into Word as a "text" file.

I didn't mess with it enough to figure out what Word version it came from, as it really was ancient history but it could have been from Word 3.5? (DOS) or one of the first couple of "Word for Windows" versions. It was in a bunch of ZIP disk archives of "stuff from floppies" that got re-archived as "stuff from ZIPs" and then burned to CDs about 6 years back.

And I'll note that a disturbing percentage of CDs burned a couple of years back now show exceedingly poor "recovery rates." My oldest archive data CDs come back pretty good, but as soon as they started pushing the speeds up they seem to have become much less "durable."

Some burns verified at creation three years ago now are almost entirely "unreadable." My current burner doesn't allow setting the "speed limit" below 16x, and I've been getting a lot more burn failures (at the time of the burn) than when the fastest available was 10x and I could set back to 2x.

The errors I'm finding wouldn't matter much , perhaps, for music (or video) but for data archives they're pretty much fatal.

John


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Bat Goddess
Date: 02 Dec 08 - 06:57 PM

There's also a nifty little data recovery program called CanOpener, available for both Mac & PC.

Opens old file, foreign files, damaged files...text and graphics files ...and lets you save them to something you've got.

Available at http://www.abbottsys.com/

Linn


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: GUEST,Mainframe Dinosaur
Date: 03 Dec 08 - 06:01 AM

If its really valuable then there is an excellent long term storage medium available which has no compatibility problems although it is rather bulky.

PAPER!


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Penny S.
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 07:44 AM

I can open the files in Notepad and copy across to OpenOffice Writer. I then have to laboriously reformat everything - font, paragraph layout, italics, footnotes (still there but at the end, and numbering replaced by asterisks) etc. Mind you, it doesn't do any harm to reread, which I was going to do anyway - the reason I tried to open in the first place.

I do have paper versions, but they are out of date. And CD, flash drive and SD card.

Penny


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Subject: RE: Tech: Ancient wps files not readable - Help!
From: Penny S.
Date: 09 Dec 08 - 07:45 AM

And two external hard drives. Thought I was safe!

Penny


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