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Utahwestie's picture
Joined: 2018 Jun 1
Newbie Needs Help with old vector graphics files

Hello all,
As stated , I'm new around here and VERY new to mac computers. I'm glad I have found this site and am hoping that someone here would be able to help me. I have a bunch of drawings (CAD) that my wife's grandfather had done in the late 90's early 2000's. The old mac that these were made/drawn on is now lost to the computer gods. We have purchased an older G4 desk top with the hopes of saving these files, updating them to a more modern format and maybe being able to extend his enjoyment from them all.
They were created on a program that appears to be a VERY early version of GIBBS Cam.

Is there a place that I could upload a file, to have some of you help me find a program that will be able to open/view and save these CAD drawing??

I'm very new to mac's and would also need help with the downloading/setup options if I were to be told a program that can do as I'm seeking.

Thank you in advance.

Edit: Renamed title to receive more attention


Maximum R.I.S.C.'s picture
Joined: 2017 Oct 18

You'll almost certainly have to be able to boot into OS 8.6-9 and install the oldest compatible version of the CAD programs here (there are a few. You might get lucky on a mainstream version, but sometimes 2nd string actually has better compatibility).

If that doesn't work, you can try MiniVMac or one of the Pre-OS 8 emulators, but however you do it, you need to "leap-frog" it forward to a newer version via Save-As steps. Even the Newest CAD programs here will be old by Modern Standards, so would be good if you can stay in the PPC era at least with OS 8.6-9.

Also, another GREAT resource is There are some very high-level people there (mostly in retro-Mac Music Editing), and you might get lucky and find just the person.

As a last ditch effort, talking to a senior CAD instructor at a local college would be a good bet, as departments often have a lot of older gear laying around. You might be able to get a student to help for a project-credit.

24bit's picture
Joined: 2010 Nov 19

Is your G4 up and running already?
Can you boot into Mac OS9?
For uploading some files for testing, feel free to create a page named "Test Files" or something akin.
Best create an empty image with DiskCopy 6 and move your CAD files onto that img.
DiskCopy is here, in case you are missing a copy:


If your G4 is running OSX, you may create an empty image with DiskUtility and compress with the onboard zipper.

To upload the new img it should be wrapped (and compressed) into a zip or sit file on the Mac.
Best use Stuffit 3 to 5 for MacOS 9 and earlier to create the img.sit:
I was not into CAD, but lets hope someone stored GibbsCAM 5 and earlier locally and is willing to share the oldies.

Other than that, it may be worth a shot trying to open old files with ManyCAM or AutoCAD on a Windows rig.
But you may have thought of that already.

Edit - One more thing.
Where are the vector files right now? On a Mac floppy or another Mac HFS volume?
If the files were stored "naked" on WINDOS files systems, it may be troublesome to read them.
I recall some MacDraw vector files becoming unrecoverable as they were on a NTFS USB drive accidentally.
No go, even as I knew what kind of files they were and trying with the original MacDraw.