Keeping up with the Jones'

Francis Nugent Dixon effendi at
Tue Aug 7 07:07:05 EDT 2007


It is August in Paris, and the city has emptied somewhat. The whole 
family, and most of my friends are on holiday. I am (nearly !) alone in 
Paris, to finally find the time to modernize my folder structure, 
scratch my obsolete files, backup my precious data one more time, and 
finish "Converting" ...........
"Keeping up with the Jones'" is an old saying, but in computing, it is 
even more true. Maybe we should have a variant "Keeping up with your 
System" !  Things have been moving so fast in the Mac world over the 
past few years. I have spent the last few years on my Macs, trying to 
move into the 21st century.

I used Hypercard for 15 years, WriteNow (Word Processor) for 10 years 
(nice program, bad decision !), MacDraw for more years than I can 
remember, and so on ......... !. One day, I woke up to find myself in 
deep ****. Mac OS Version 9 (Classic) was crumbling to dust under my 
feet, and I had to move forward. I had literally thousands of data 
files which would soon become unusable. I cling desperately to 
"Classic", but I feel it slipping from my grasp .....

I took stock of what was on the market, and realized that I had to make 
some judicious decisions.

I moved to Microsoft Word. I hate the program, but it will still be 
around when we land on Mars in 2050 ! I spent months converting my text 
files to Word (10 files a day - EVERY day !)
I moved from Hypercard to Revolution nearly three years ago - one of 
the best decisions I have ever made. Having literally hundreds of HC 
stacks, and using HC every day, was part of my life. I have spent 
nearly 2 years converting and improving my best stacks, and writing 
stacks I couldn't have done with HC !
And more important, Revolution is not only useful, it's FUN !
I bought a little program called VINC, a batch converter program for 
converting files of various formats.
I bought EazyDraw, which solved my problem of the myriad MacDraw files 
I have on disk, including enormous Family Tree diagrams. I have 
converted the most important MacDraw files, but I know now that I can 
read MacDraw files into the future.
I (finally) paid for GraphicConverter, the best value for money that I 
EVER found in a shareware program. I REALLY felt bad about using that 
program every day, and not shelling out a lousy $19.95 to Mr. Lemke.

I hope you understand that I don't get a kick-back from any of the 
software authors for the utilities I mention here !

I run a Mac G4 (Sigh - I still have some files tied to OS 9 Classic !), 
side by side with a beautiful G5 Intel Core Duo. Thankfully, Apple did 
the right thing in 10.4 by modifying TextEdit so that you can do basic 
updates to Word (.doc and .rtf) files. Good decision, 'cos I can't 
afford to shell out the money for an OS 10.4 version of Microsoft 
Office. VINC comes in handy here to do batch conversions.

Strangely enough, my biggest problem was sloppy file naming conventions 
for more than ten years. I got into a nasty habit (when I thought I was 
being so clever !) of giving my data files such names as 
"2001/06/25-Letter". Now that slashes are verboten (especially if you 
try to copy the files), I had to write a Revolution stack to rename all 
the files on my computer that had forbidden characters. The future is 
beginning to look better. I use my G5 more and more, and my G4 less and 
less - which is the whole object of the game.

However, August looks like a very heavy month. I hope I get time to 
finish my conversions before "THEY" all come home.
I am on the last lap ........... and I think that I've finally made it 
to the 21st century !

If you had conversion problems such as mine, and you found your own 
solutions, maybe some of us would like to know about them 
............... !


"Nothing should ever be done for the first time !"

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