8 Replies Latest reply: Apr 6, 2007 8:23 AM by motc
motc Level 1 (5 points)
I've just installed an old application (Symantec GreatWorks, originally running on a Mac LC, then on a Performa, OS 7.5.3) to an iMac, OS 9.2.2. I created a lot of documents with this program and want to save, and be able to access them from time to time.

The application opens on the iMac, but when I double-click on a subsequent document icon, I get the message, "Some documents could not be opened. Try opening the documents from within the application". I click the OK button and then get the message, "The application has unexpectedly quit, because an error of type 2 occurred".

As the first message suggested, the documents open from within the application dialog box, but not when double-clicking on an icon. I tried increasing the program's memory without any luck.

Any idea why this would happen? Something to do with OS 9 (as opposed to OS 7?) Any workaround? Opening the documents from within the application is doable, but it's a pain to have to do it this way.

Thanks for any thoughts.

iMac G3, iBook G3, Mac OS 9.2.x, iMacG3: 400 MHz; 64 MB; 10 GB. iBookG3: 900 MHz; 640 MB; 40 GB
  • eww Level 9 (52,980 points)
    Hi, motc. Greatworks is so very old, and it sold so poorly even when it was current software (I remember being aware of it then, but never knew anyone who used it), that I doubt you will find many people here or anywhere else who can help you troubleshoot it. I know I can't.

    OS 9's File Manager was significantly changed from OS 8.x, never mind 7.x, and accounted for most of the few incompatibilities with older applications that cropped up after OS 9 was introduced. I suspect that may be what you're encountering. To check on GreatWorks' compatibility with OS 9's File Manager, download this little utility.

    You may just have to live with the inconvenience of opening your files from within GreatWorks, clumsy though it is, because it doesn't look as though you'll be able to translate GreatWorks files into any more widely readable file format unless GreatWorks itself can do so. MacLink Plus Deluxe, the leading file-translation utility for the Mac for at least 15 years, hasn't offered GreatWorks translation filters in its last five versions, and I'm not sure it ever did. So you'd better explore the capabilities of GreatWorks to export its files in formats that other applications can read, because your next new Mac isn't going to be able to run OS 9 at all. If you want those files available for the long haul, they'll have to be put into formats that OS X-native applications can read..
  • motc Level 1 (5 points)
    Thanks so much eww, for the information. You've given me a lot of food for thought.
    I discovered that Greatworks could export its Draw & Paint documents as PICT files which OSX Preview can view. And the Word Processing documents will export as Text files which OSX TextEdit can read and edit.

    I did try to download OS 9 Compatibility Checker but it wasn't working at the time.

    I guess this is what they mean by "vaporware". Files created with an older application will be available as long as the OS and the computer platform they were created on is available. It seems you really have to anticipate this to avoid losing your data...
  • Don Archibald Level 10 (101,340 points)
    Hi, motc -

    I guess this is what they mean by "vaporware".

    Not quite. The term "vaporware" is used to describe software that is promised, often heavily marketed and advertised, even hyped - but then never ships at all.

    Perhaps a term 'ancientware' could be used in this case - computer hardware and operating systems have progressed so far that it would have a (perhaps seriously) negative effect on their capabilities to make them compatible with very old software.

    For what it is worth, Apple has done a great job in avoiding such when compared to other platforms. I once counted up the different model series which could run OS 9.1 - it came to 47 distinct model series.
  • Michael Wasley Level 5 (6,805 points)

    I found similar problems with MacDraw (from OS6 days) could be alleviated somewhat in OS9 by reducing monitor to 256 or greyscale when it will run quite happily. However it will also only open files from within the application, but to be honest that is only a minor inconvenience.

  • eww Level 9 (52,980 points)
    Good thought, Michael. I ran into the same thing two or three years ago with some old app that I was still using then, and reducing the color depth was a helpful workaround that I had forgotten about since then.
  • motc Level 1 (5 points)
    Yeah, I guess I shouldn't complain. This particular application still works with OS 9, the only problem being opening the documents from their icons.

    Thank you all for the tips.
  • Michael Wasley Level 5 (6,805 points)

    A thought, which may help save some time depending on how scattered the documents are.

    Make an alias of each document, put the all the aliases in one folder, perhaps on the desktop. Opening an alias from the application might be easier than having to hunt for documents in different places.

  • motc Level 1 (5 points)
    Great thought - thanks!