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WhosIt.There's picture
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Joined: 2014 Aug 23
Old disks and drives on new Macs

The old Mac mantra "It just works" rings true again. Smile

I was looking for some old files from about 20 years ago, so I decided to check the old Zip disks.

I dug out the old internal Zip drive which I had kept from my dead beige G3 Mini-tower, plugged it into an external USB hard drive enclosure (leaving the top off so I still could put disks into the drive), and plugged it into my new-ish 2014 Mac Mini running MacOS X High Sierra 10.13 ... and every worked perfectly fine. I was able to read the old Zip disks and copy off the files few files.

Now to install PageMaker in an emulator to access those old documents - obtaining the old fonts they use could be an problem, assuming I still have all the other linked photos, etc.

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cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

You know, in the infancy of TrueType, I remember that those fonts were automatically recognized by System 7. I guess over time, the TrueType (TTF) spec evolved. Even so, wouldn't it make sense for way to regain backward compatibility?

I mean a font should still have the same basic data, so it would mean using a program or even an online converter to strip the new-format font of its new elements; kind of like removing pdf features from a pdf 1.7 document down to a pdf 1.3. I'm able to view and print all of the pdf files I create in my 68k Mac environment, so if he old can be read by the new, I'd imagine that we're not too far off as far as file formats.

But I just noticed that you're referring to old docs with referenced fonts; I assume embedded fonts should work fine.

rbshep's picture
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Joined: 2020 Mar 5

What would be really neat is a tool to reconstruct as much of a font as is possible from a PDF, though the less-frequently used symbols would be lost. Or another tool that combines several incomplete font fragments into a combined font.

cbone's picture
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Joined: 2011 Sep 17

Wow! Not that's a really novel idea, rbshep!

You know? There's a bunch of really smart folks in our global bunch Smile

On the font reconstruction, than and now, most people would simply search the font itself or the latest proximate substitute.

adespoton's picture
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Joined: 2015 Feb 15

I've got quite an extensive archive of Mac-formatted TrueType fonts, if someone's looking for a particular referenced font.

The original TrueType spec supported two formats: Apple (split data and resource forks) and Flattened (Windows-style .ttf files). Eventually (Mac OS 8.x?) the Apple format was dropped, and fonts were only created/supported in the flattened format where the data and resource parts were stored inline in a single data file. Support for the Apple-style TrueType font format was continued through Mac OS 9 but was not included in OS X, where OpenType fonts and font containers had replaced TrueType and Adobe font containers.

The result is that old documents that embedded Apple-style fonts stored data in the resource fork, and that fork is not preserved if it leaves an HFS volume, and is not read if it leaves the Classic Mac OS environment (the fonts are flagged as damaged).

Anyway, I don't think embedded fonts will be an issue, and if someone's got a missing bitmap or truetype font referenced in their document... Adobe keeps a table of equivalents, and many of us old typesetters can probably find the original font in our collections.