I meant can I open these files in a pagemaker version compatible with an iMac G5.
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I saw your posting in the InDesign forum.
When you mention 30 year old files, the important thing to know is the version that it was last saved as.
Pagemaker 1 & 1.2 are toast with no possibility of opening in later versions,
Pagemaker 2 files were generally in the same dead end category (however, I stumbled upon a site that claims to be able to convert PM 2 files. They must obviously have an ancient version of Pagemaker 3 to even attempt this, Don't hold your breath on this one)
Adobe released a converter that claims to convert Pagemaker 3 files to Pagemaker 4 files that can be opened in Pagemaker 5 or later. However, I am not sure that PM 7 can still open PM4 files. Give it a try, it might work. Of course, this requires that you have a copy of Pagemaker 6.0. 6.5 or 7.0 so you can resave the file in this newer version.
The CS6 version of InDesign should be able to open PM 6.0, 6.5 or 7.0 files. You could then try a 7 day trial of InDesign CC which should allow you to download previous versions including InDesign CS6. However, CC cannot be installed on an iMac G5 power PC. So you would need a newer computer to go the 7 day trial route. The iMac G5 will not work for this conversion flow. (unless you have already have PM 6.0, 6.5 or 7.0 on the G5)
Here is the link to the PM3 for Mac converter: Troubleshoot publications that won't open (PageMaker 7.x on Mac OS) - Support Knowledgebase
While googling for info I found this site that claims to be able to convert files from as far back as PM2. This is a paid service.
Their website is: Jackson's Computer Services - Recovering Aldus PageMaker Files .
Can you save your old files as PDF? This will at least give you the content but it won't be editable. You can use as a aid to recreating the files. Also, don't forget to transfer all linked files like images, etc.
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One other quick note on the conversion. If you are going to a later version number it has to be on the same platform.
Then my response to the client would be although I can recover the data from your hard drive, the possibility of converting them is slim?
That would preempt the data recovery process as being viable only if remediation was plausible, otherwise the solution is simple, albeit lengthy, recreate the content for his marketing materials.
The immediate scope is to ascertain whether these vintage programs exist, whether they can be emulated either on a legacy computer (or virtualization), and proceed with best practice recovery (conversion).
Looks doable, however, without additional information as to the legacy software, it's really a dead end, isn't it?