Last Labor Day, while visiting Twin Rocks Trading Post, we discovered files with a corpus of Damian Jim’s early basket designs from 1995-1997. Thanks to the excellent filing system at the Trading Post we were able to take photographs of the old print-outs as neither Bluff nor Blanding have a copy shop. But we were certain that the print outs did not represent the entire design work, as in those early years Damian worked on a fair amount of rug and jewelry designs as well. After posing the question, Barry Simpson dug up a CD ROM with old files, which were drawn in MacDraw Pro and Symantec Greatworks. To be able to open these files we borrowed a 2003 Power Mac G4 with an older OS operating system.
Once we were back in Phoenix, the search for retro fit software began, since copies of MacDraw Pro and Greatworks were not available. The first software package that we bought, “Canopener” could not open any of the files, which lead us to Eazy Draw 7.1.1. which comes with a retro fit option for MacDraw and Claris Draw files. Software in hand we discovered that the OS version on the 2003 PowerMac was still too advanced. After more research we bought an old Mac Mini from eBay with a OSX Leopard version.
I felt like a time traveler through the Mac Universe, barely remembering how to navigate an older Mac OS software and a mouse without scroll function. It was very nostalgic, let me tell you.
With the software and hardware finally in place we were able to open the old files, converting them from MacDraw Pro in EazyDraw Retro to “tiffs” and “png’s”. BUT and this was a hard pill to swallow – we are only able to retrieve the designs in black and white.
Some of them still don’t open (Greatworks files), but so far I was able to add about 150 new designs to the database and the ones that we are unable to open do exist in copied print outs. So there is hope that we will get a complete picture of this humongous corpus after all!
Now the database is a whole different chapter in itself: originally we used Bento, however this software is no longer supported by the manufacturer and newer OS software causes it to crash. So after much debate, we decided to buy a full fledged FileMaker version migrating all 1600 records over seamlessly except for the embedded photos. Re-integrating those will be my task during those long hot Phoenix summer nights when one can’t set a foot outside of the house anyways, whereas Damian will re-color selected designs. I see a “Fringe” binge watching session ahead of us.