October 26th, 2005


Time Travel

Went to retrieve the old History of Customs Computer Systems. I originally wrote it as an essay for an unit entitled MBA642 Information Technology and the Organisation. The intention was to keep it up to date. It had been updated since then, but not (according to Sandy) for nearly ten years.

Couldn't read it. It was in a format that Sandy couldn't fathom.

Then I remember. I used to write everything in MacWrite format. Later I upgraded to MacWrite II. So all the MBA documents are in that (now totally obselete) format. During the Old Thesis I switched to MS Word because, sadly, MacWrite II kept losing my footnotes.

Sandy doesn't have MacWrite II, but it is available on disk. So all I have to do is restore it and run it. Right? Wrong. Sandy cannot run it. I don't think it ever worked on a PowerPC. Damn, I say. If only I had an ancient computer that could read this.

Wait a minute. I do have an ancient computer! I still have Julie, an old MacIntosh SE. Yes, a compact Mac! And yes, incredibly, it still works, although it is nearly twenty years old and hasn't been powered up for months. It doesn't even have a keyboard or mouse so it has to share with Sandy - but Mac keyboards and mice were hot swappable even then. It didn't have MacWrite II either, only the original MacWrite but when I copied it over from Sandy, lo, it did run and could read the old files and convert them into text format!

At this point, I'm quitting while I'm ahead. Buy lottery ticket tomorrow. Also convert all the documents while I still can.