FSpaceRPG article

Status: Official

Lately I’ve been looking at my old Atari programs with a view to resurrect them in their Atari form and package them onto an HD image file and ship with an emulator. The idea is to make them available. Either they can be used under the emulator, or for diehard users still with Ataris out there, they might want to use them.

In an age when our handheld devices are seeing emulators appear on them I’m sure the trusty Atari ST series will be there.

So I’m testing the compiled programs, looking at the code saved and trying to see if I have the programming tools still around to put executables back together of the others.

You may think I’m mad, but it’s something of a retro challenge, and also prepares the way for porting some of these to the modern world. I worked with both Andrew and Aaron on some Java equivalents early this century, of which two feature on the website.

Anyway the Atari thing got me looking around for old programs I used to use that companies may be giving away now.

As a side thing I went looking for my old trusty DTP application - Pagestream last used as 2.2 on the Atari Falcon to do the 1995 rulebook, Fed Times, the 1st Meshan Saga and other bits. I have a 3.2SE for the Mac that didn’t like 2.2 files. But lo and behold, the v5 demo for Mac OS X actually opens 2.2 files.

I don’t have a lot of the old Pagestream materials left, having had to redo the rulebook and other material in Pagemaker and later InDesign from scratch because of a lack of export options.

But I did have several sector maps I made of the Meshan Sector. And they have all opened!

After 14 years I’ve got access to old files again.

A completely different trend to the slow disappearance of support of old Word, Excel and Powerpoint file formats.

So this is a great win. And I managed to save them all out as PDF files, open those up in Illustrator and save them to modern file formats our workflow uses.

While not relevant to FSpace anymore, it’s an interesting finding and has given me a spark of joy in the discovery. I think I wiped all the content on my old floppy disks, so it doesn’t help FSpace. But it has transformed 7 very old maps across for Meshan. I admit they are crude, but it does mean they are back from the dead - having for the last 14 years make do with scans of printouts.

Categories: Development

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