Monday, May 27, 2013


So, I'm doing some spring cleaning and I found this old box of disks. Remember this size of disks?
And in this box are several disks containing old books I wrote that exist NO WHERE ELSE.
But they are completely inaccessible.
They are saved on disks no computer can open. Not only this size of disk but I wrote them using a Lotus Word Processing Program which was on my very first computer. A computer so old it didn't even have capacity to go online. When it died, the books died with them. The top book is Charlie Chambers ... a book about a child angel who goes to Cherub Academy to learn angel skills. It was my Christian response to Harry Potter.
I liked that book.
I'm sure it would need massive revisions. (I've gotten better!).
But there is no way to get it off this disk.
Add to that, the second title Angels Unaware is, I believe, a very rudimentary version of Calico Canyon when Charlie, the little trouble making boy who's adopted at the beginning is an angel who comes to help Grant Cooper with all his adopted children.
And to me, especially bad, Cowboy Preacher? I've got no idea what that is. What book that might be...
The dilemma? I should probably just toss them out, right? RIGHT?
I can't get them off the disk, so why save them. If I ever decide to revision Charlie Chambers, I'll just rewrite it.
As for Cowboy Preacher? Well, who knows what that might be. But if I forgot it, then it's probably not all that memorable.
It makes me sort of sad though.


Lesley Ann McDaniel said...

Mary, there has to be someone who has the technology to access these stories. How frustrating!

Mary Connealy said...

You'd think there would be someone but I have no idea who and I've asked around. And that was a long time ago and there was already back then no one who had Lotus.

Mary Curry said...

Mary, I empathize. I have a similar box of disks for a story that I love. It would require lots of revisions, but I hate the idea of losing all those words. Stupid me trashed the only printed copy in a fit of frustration/housecleaning about ten years ago.
I haven't the heart to ditch these, because maybe, someday.

Okay, probably never, but if I still have them there's a smidgeon of hope.

lizzie starr said...

well, something ate my first comment. Another grand technology snafu. :)

3 1/2 inch disks, right? There are external disk readers you can get for your computer--or find someone with one (my household has one--thanks to the bro and all my complaints about not being able to read MY docs stored on disks. What a nice guy!)

And I think you can get a free software download to read lotus documents.

I know just enough about this stuff to be dangerous, you know. :)

Mary Cline said...

Please keep them. Words are valuable and your words are especially valuable to many of us. I agree, there has to be somebody somewhere who can retrieve them. Or try what Lizzie said.

Mary Connealy said...

Lizzie, I had no idea that I could possible find software downloads and find whatever that external disk thing is. Like at ??? Best Buy maybe?

lizzie starr said...

Best Buy, Amazon, probably any good office store.
I just googled Lotus document viewer.
good luck!

Vince said...

Hi Mary:

3 ½” disks are not that old. They are only one generation behind. I have a computer that still has such a drive and I also have an external 3 1/2” drive with a USB connection to my new computer. It should not be hard to find someone who can transfer that to a CD.

I would check used computer stores and computer repair places. They might do a transfer for free.

Now about Lotus. I believe that the Lotus word processor was bought from WordPerfect at that time. I think Corel might have bought Lotus and WordPerfect to create an office suite to compete with Microsoft Office. That is a popular format. You might also have those files saved in plain text or ascii. If not there should be many programs that can convert what you have to at least rich text. This is no big deal. But save those disks and keep them away from magnets.

We have Computer Geeks at Office Depot in Tulsa that work much cheaper than BestBuy. But a local fix-it guy probably has all those conversion programs on one utility disk.

The good news is that it should not be hard to get those files saved in a form on a CD that you can use in the computer you now have. Now if they were on 9” floppies, then I’d be worried.


MJ @ Creative Madness Mama said...

I still have a computer with a floppy drive. I don't know about the Lotus program.... but we might be able to find something about it. I can ask my Enginerd brother...

MJ @ Creative Madness Mama said...

Hey Mary, I just talked to my brother and he said it should definitely be able to be retrieved. It might be fully readable, and it might only have some characters, but usually going forward in technology it should be okay. I do have a disc drive and word processing programs that should be able to read it (Word for PC, Word for Mac, WordPerfect, Pages, etc).


Mary Connealy said...

I'm so glad I asked about this. I will definitely NOT throw them away. I'm going to phone a computer guy I know in a town nearby and see what he says.
I've also got an old laptop with a nearly dead battery that only operates when it's plugged in, which caused me to buy a new one. I might try downloading Lotus on that...on the theory that if it explodes the whole thing, the laptop is mostly idle anyway.

Diane Kalas said...

Hi Mary, I just read your blog post and comments, about the old disks, with great interest. I can identify, because my first book was last opened in 1995, or two computers ago. I just had an urge to try to open it on my 2007 MS Word just two weeks ago. IT OPENED. I was shocked. The story is a historical romance/time travel and, of course, I love it. Don't know if I'll ever get back to it, or even if that's a good use of my time, but I still have an attachment to it. Thank you for the blog post on this particular subject of old disks. God bless