Currently Being ModeratedJul 7, 2012 10:39 PM (in response to ben713)
I would first just try opening them with Word or Excel or whatever you have.
What computer are you using now?
Here are older links I have.
[http://www.frederikseiffert.de/filetype/] - "FileType is an application to change the file types (type- and creator-codes) of files. You can save the file types you frequently use in a database so you don't have to remember them. It's very easy to use."
[In Mac OS and Mac OS X, what are file types and creators?|http://kb.iu.edu/data/aemh.html]
What do you need/want from those files? Sometimes you can open almost any file with a really good text editor (e.g. Text Wrangler). It may show you a lot of formatting coding but if you're trying to rescue text which is 99% of the work you put into it then it is worth it.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 8, 2012 10:12 AM (in response to ben713)
I have a lot of software that coverts various types of files to various other types of files - but my secret weapon is MacLinkPlus Deluxe. It's not available any more, but you might find it for sale somewhere:
You might also price out professional services, i.e. http://retrofloppy.com .
Currently Being ModeratedJul 8, 2012 5:53 PM (in response to Limnos)
I’m currently using Win 7, but have access to an older (Y2K) iMac (OSX). I’ve tried opening the files with the current (or recent) versions of Word & XL on both computers, but one which I suspect is a word processing doc opens but is virtually unusable in that state, and the other (probably a spreadsheet) won’t open at all. The creation dates of the files are almost as important as the information they contain (it’s complicated), so if I can find the appropriate version of the program that created them it would be helpful. But having said that, if I’m not successful at some point, I’ll just decide it’s not worth it, and use what I can salvage. I’ll try the sites y’all have suggested, and see where it takes me. Thanks.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 9, 2012 5:17 AM (in response to ben713)
We have files from our LCII that have been caried forward to a G3, G4, G5. and then an Intel PowerBook. The one constant has been to open files with Text Edit on the G5, view the document to check for content. Then save the file as a text file with the letters bu for back up. Then open the file with Word 2004. Word will not open the file cleanly unless it has been automatically dressed up by TextEdit. Different software will view the same file in different ways. The key is to make a backup of the file, then play with "Save As" using different types of software.
Each generation of software will only look back so far. Testing different software and routines will help you arrive at one that works. Back in 1990, we used to open files in Word to view and make line return additions or deletions, then open the file in Works to preview and save, then open them in Filemaker to use the data. Each software title had a feature that was used to automatically get the data to the next stage without a lot of manipulation or data entry.
Where in the world are you? Name a large city near you and maybe a user group can be found. User groups can help you find old-timers who still have older machines that will bridge from one generation to the next. For example, we have an Apple IIc with a uni-drive. Pro-Dos files can be moved from a 5.25 floppy to a 3.5. That can be put into an SE all the way up to a G3 Platinum. From a G3 you can go anywhere.
A combination of hardware options and software generations will allow you to still read files from 1980.
Currently Being ModeratedJul 9, 2012 7:58 AM (in response to ben713)
Get an older version of CanOpener. I used it for years and it will open anything.
CanOpener 4.0 can extract text, pictures, and sounds contained in files you can't open because you don't have the appropriate application or the file is corrupted or damaged. Just drop a file onto CanOpener and the file appears (or is played, if it's a sound file) along with the file's directory and resource information. You can save text and sounds to use in other programs, and you can convert images into one of 22 different formats. New in version 4.0 are filters for cleaning up files and finding text, a Web link, and a separate utility for filtering files in batches.
Check these links for a download.
Or check with the makers about getting a version that will work for you.