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Old 09 May 2017, 18:38   #1
scorf
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ressurecting Scribble files

Hello

Forgive any newbie errors but I have a 'holy grail' project that I'm trying to find/succeed

From 1989-92 I used an Amiga 500 to do all of my university work - and broadly used the Scribble word processor programme to do this. I still have my various discs of files and workbench etc but whilst I upgraded to a 1200 in about 93-94 for some reason or other I dont actually own an Amiga at the moment.

My elder brother does still have his Amiga 1200 somewhere and so my initial plan is to borrow this and load up the files and save them in a more generic format - ie ascii. The issue then is whether I could transfer these files to a modern platform (I use a Mac) and then read them into text editor or something like that.

its the transfer to a modern platform that is causing me some problems. Back in the day I did have a program called "Messy disc" or something like that which enabled me to write to PC 720k formatted discs. Theoretically I suppose this could work today and then I could read these discs via a USB A drive either into the Mac or into a windows 10 virtual machine. But I dont have messy disc and cant remember for the life of me how to use it even if I had - it was nearly 30 years ago...

On ebay I've seen people selling 1200s with compact flash hard drives and some sort of transfer mechanism to enable software downloaded on a PC to transfer data to this CF HD. Would this work in reverse? My brothers 1200 does have a CF hard drive IIRC. But I'm not sure what I would need to enable this to be read by a Mac or virtual PC.

I do have physical print outs of some of my work and I've tried scanning and OCR'ing the text but this is a less satisfying solution and is very time consuming. My inner nerd would prefer to access the original files.

I'm open to suggestions and comments. Ideally I'd like to avoid having to buy an Amiga as 250 or thereabouts for a recapped 1200 seems a bit much to indulge this rather odd request - although the chance of playing Elite and Frontier again might be my downfall!

cheers!
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Old 09 May 2017, 18:58   #2
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First off, if you did get another Amiga you wouldn't regret it. Your wallet might though as all the new expansions that are coming out and already out expand a Amiga beyond anyone's dreams of what was possible 20 year ago.
As for your transfer problem, most newer Amiga word processors support the RTF document format and can be exchanged with Windows/Mac/Linux software without problems, I use it myself and you wouldn't know the difference.
To transfer between machines you have several options, if using a A1200 the easiest way is to get a PCMCIA compact flash transfer kit, you can get these on ebay, or a complete ready to go kit is available at Amigakit here: http://amigakit.leamancomputing.com/...roducts_id=440.
For other Amiga's like the A500/A2000 etc. your cheapest way is probably by getting a NULL modem cable and transferring between machines using the serial port.
The other option is, you could ask on here if someone is willing to do the task for you that already has all the required equipment. You will find no shortage of people willing to help.
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Old 09 May 2017, 19:10   #3
scorf
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thats really interesting - thanks!

As my brother has a 1200 I presumably just need to load the scribble files onto that and then save ascii versions onto the CF

Will the program you linked me to format the CF card in a manner that both a Mac and Amiga can read?

RTF sounds like a good format for transfer - presumably I'd need to find an Amiga WP program that can read Scribble and write RTF - any ideas on how I get one of these?

It sounds like this wont be half as difficult as I feared - cheers!!
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Old 09 May 2017, 19:24   #4
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The compact flash cards use the FAT file system so are interchangeable with anything, no problem there. If the Amiga has a hard drive that Workbench is installed on it just needs the FAT support installing, the included floppy from Amigakit will do this for you. Alternatively booting from the floppy gives you rudimentary support to read and write the cf card.
I'm not sure if Scribble can use RTF, I've never used it. Wordworth and Final Writer both can import and export quite a few formats including RTF, Protext, Word Perfect and others, I will have to go boot up my 1200 and look if they import Scribble files.
I will do that in a moment and look for you. Getting the software isn't a problem, adf files of them are widely available at numerous sources, the transfer kit I linked to previous can write adf files back to floppy disks.
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Old 09 May 2017, 19:32   #5
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I see I can get a 1200 for a reasonable price from Amiga kit - am also intrigued by the prospect of wifi - presumably it would be possible to move files around wirelessly?

If only we'd had wifi in the days of compunet on the 64!

I've just checked my floppies and I have my original workbench 3 discs plus some backups, along with lots of discs and backups of my scribble files - and (joy of joys) Defender of the Crown!
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Old 09 May 2017, 19:47   #6
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Just had a quick look but without Scribble been installed and having a file to work with I can't tell, I will have to try it later after installing Scribble.
That 1200 link on Amigakit is way out of date, if you look it says stock TBA: and it has been like that for a few years now.
Your best bet is try and buy the one from your brother if you plan on getting one, they are getting quite expensive to get off ebay and Amibay. The Amiga is making a bit of a comeback regards people wanting them.
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Old 09 May 2017, 19:50   #7
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cheers for the advice and assistance! Time to call my brother...
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Old 09 May 2017, 19:58   #8
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Go for it. Good luck!
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Old 09 May 2017, 20:49   #9
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i had a look at Scribble 3.02 - on the eab ftp - on it's supply disk are some example documents,
which looks like plain ascii files.
only the formatting will be odd a bit. so once transfered, open your old documents in a text editor.

there is no option to export to rtf or any other format within scribble 3.02
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Old 10 May 2017, 00:15   #10
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I still haven't looked yet but it's not surprising really. Scribble 2 was released in 1986 and Platinum Scribble 3.02 in 1989, before the RTF file format became common.
It's good news for him that Scribble files are in plain text format though, very easily exchanged with other programs, just load in to another word processor program and add formatting and text styles before saving back out as RTF.
Will make things real easy.
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Old 14 May 2017, 00:56   #11
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Quick update - I visited my brother today and got my hands on the amiga. When I got home I connected the RF lead (had nothing better) and switched on - fully expecting workbench to load from the hard disk. But nothing happened - just some impatient clicking from the internal floppy.

Turns out it wasnt "his" Amiga at all (with an inbuilt HDD) but actually mine!! I vaguely recall now him asking to borrow mine in the mid 90s...

Anyway - problem is that the Flash card I bought doesnt seem to work so have had to order a compatible one from the folks who sold me the PCMIA kit last week. So hopefully this will arrive in the week and I'll be away with my master plan.

From a quick look at my discs I found multiple copies of Scribble - but only one that seemed to load. The text files are ok though, and from the posts earlier in the thread it seems that I dont really need to worry about actually having a working version of scribble.

What I did find though was a program called Kindwords - which I was using in 1990-91 - and this successfully loaded up some of my text files and enabled me to resave them in ascii.

So quite promising so far - just need the working flash card now!
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Old 21 May 2017, 14:42   #12
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Well... it worked!!

I got my Amiga compatible CF card and a lead to connect to the scart on my TV.

I then transferred some files over - and bingo they showed up on the Mac. So after loading a file into text editor I cut and pasted the text into word. Quite a bit of formatting was needed but nothing that took too long.

With the kindwords files, I used the save to ascii option in the Amiga to convert all of my files which made editing etc in word a lot easier.

I've been thinking of ways to do this on and off for the last five years or so and its fantastic to have actually been able to do it - especially without having to incur the expense of buying an Amiga for what would have been (in actuality) a very quick job.
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Old 21 May 2017, 16:22   #13
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Great stuff. Glad you got it sorted.
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Old 21 May 2017, 16:27   #14
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You could try this:
Select Postscript as printer driver.
Open in Kindwords/Scribble.
Start CMD (in SYS:Tools).
Print out your file, then take the resulting file (I think it ends up in RAM and add .ps as file suffix.
Now you can open the files in Preview on Mac and save as PDF with formatting maintained.
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Old 21 May 2017, 17:06   #15
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Thanks - the thought did occur to me about saving as a postscript file - but the formatting is only really the occasional book title in italics and a limited number of superscripts for footnotes.
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