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MacBinary 2 header (Time Capsule Found)

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posted on Jun, 23 2017 @ 04:08 PM
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I was fortunate to find some old CDs I made that backed up files from 1997 - 2004 and contain many old stories, creative writing, song lyrics and art that I was working on from this time period. I had completely forgotten about many of these things and was able to open a few of the old files and was absolutely amazed at what I had created 20+ years ago. Apparently I used to be a lot more creative back then and it was like opening a time capsule to a different time.

The issues I am having is many of these files are in formats that don't exist anymore. Compounding this issues is that I used to be a MAC guy back then and actually had a MAC for everything non-gaming so I had two different computers. A PC for games and a MAC for Word processing, drawing etc.

I have been able to find some old software on EBAY to access many of these files, but there are 100s of files that don't have an extension and just show up as TYPE: FILE. I was able to use a program called TrIDNet to identify these files as MacBinary 2 header types, but I don't have any idea how to open them or even what to open them with.

I am generally aware that these are some sort of MAC to PC transfer files, but I am at a loss on how to open them or access them on my PCs that I own now. I am fairly desperate to access these old files as I am just amazed at what I have found so far.

Does anyone know a) what these MacBinary 2 headers are and b) how I can reliably open, convert or at least SEE the contents?

Thank you so much in advance. This has been a really awesome experience finding these 20 year old files and I would hate to not be able to recover the entire group.


edit on 2017/6/23 by Metallicus because: (no reason given)




posted on Jun, 23 2017 @ 05:03 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

I can't say I can help you but i have a box of Mac discs from my ex's dad who was a Mac guy. He saved everything from the 90s on and when he passed they had all these programs in a box and were gonna toss them. I took all of them. I don't think I could ever use any of them. I just like keep my Mac stash. I have an old iMac desktop in bondi blue! It is immaculate! I have every iphone up until the iphone 6s plus and a few generations of ipods not to mention my macbook and imac. I just can't part with them! I figure one day they could be worth money maybe.

I will ask my very proficient Mac buddy if he can help you. I will give him a link to your thread! It would be cool to see what you have on them for sure! Good luck!



posted on Jun, 23 2017 @ 05:08 PM
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a reply to: mblahnikluver

Thank you!

This has been really fun to see who I was 20 years ago. I didn't even have a daughter back then.



posted on Jun, 23 2017 @ 05:20 PM
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originally posted by: Metallicus
a reply to: mblahnikluver

Thank you!

This has been really fun to see who I was 20 years ago. I didn't even have a daughter back then.


That is so cool!

The old iMac i bought for $75 bucks at a second hand shop and it was from some church lady. She had the original purchase record and EVERY single disc and program to go with it. When I got it I went on it and found her recipes on there and a type of journal. It was so cool. I bet she passed and that's how it ended up where it did. I think I have a thread on here on it from when I bought it. I was so excited! It is so old though that you can't really use it but OMG Oregon TRAIL!! I almost died when I saw that in there. I figure I could use it for my son to play around on when he is a little older.

When you are able to crack the goods share with us what you find!



posted on Jun, 23 2017 @ 05:23 PM
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here is a program taht will help you ( just read copy past and find StuffIt Expander
also if taht does not help
www.math.ias.edu...
raell it sould not be to hard
edit on 23-6-2017 by midnightstar because: (no reason given)



posted on Jun, 23 2017 @ 05:28 PM
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btw if mac has a command prompt equivalent then use that the files are just mac binary .
open it then find the command to open the file and it will display there .



posted on Jun, 23 2017 @ 05:30 PM
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a reply to: Metallicus

Ahh, the wonders of the old Macintosh forked file-system conundrum.

I was an Amiga guy, and still have boxes of old 3.5" Amiga/Mac/Amax floppies.

From what I recall, Macbinary/Macbinary 2 were developed in order to facilitate transfer to/from PCs and other filesystems that didn't support the Mac's forked filesystem. It packed the forked files into a 7-bit (text-only) single file that could be transferred back to a Mac, and converted back to a forked file.

I'm sure that legacy tools still exist that will decode them, but will have to dig around and see what's available.

Most of the non-executable formats could be converted, but it has been a long time! I actually still have an old MacSE that I used to use for serial transfers of Mac stuff.

I assume that the files you have are not on old multi-speed 800k floppies, as that's a whole OTHER conundrum. They are on CD, or HD floppies? If so, if I can round up my old Amiga tools, I could try to convert some of them for you, if you want to give it a shot.

I keep Amigas, C64s, CoCos, Apple IIs, around for just such emergencies, and when writing code, I still have to translate from 6502 or z80 machine code, as unfortunately that is the language that I still think in, haha.

Lemme know if you want to give it a shot.



posted on Jun, 23 2017 @ 05:38 PM
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cds or not no reasion they cant be transferred to any computer
and yes the sites i visited say it was so windows could be used for them
heck if the guys lucky you can do it but really it should not be hard .
that program i pasted says it can do it try using it



posted on Jun, 23 2017 @ 11:18 PM
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originally posted by: midnightstar
cds or not no reasion they cant be transferred to any computer
and yes the sites i visited say it was so windows could be used for them
heck if the guys lucky you can do it but really it should not be hard .
that program i pasted says it can do it try using it


Actually, that's inaccurate. The reason being that regular (PC-type) floppy drives can't read the old type Mac 800k floppies. Sony used a special mechanism to vary the speed of the drive motor in order to pack more data onto the outer tracks. Even an Amiga can only read a portion of the disk. Trust me, it was a major issue at the time, and in retrospect was one of the (many, actually) seriously screwy things about early Macs. Later computers like the Amiga didn't need to vary the speed and could store over 900k on an 800k-type diskette because the "Paula" chip could be directly bit-banged in order to read and write most any format that the drive mechanism was capable of producing(unlike the Intel 8272A and 82072A type floppy controller chips used in most PCs and clones in the 80s and 90s). That being said, on an Amiga, it WAS possible to read and write the multi-speed diskettes using the AMAX mechanism which enabled you to actually plug in a physical 15-pin Mac external drive and use it transparently.

Trust me, many Holy Wars were fought for no other reason than the fact that Apple used such a COMPLETELY brain-damaged floppy mechanism design.

The varying motor speed was what I used to call a "fundamental constraint" with early Macintosh systems.

It started becoming less and less of an issue on the Mac/SE and Mac IIs when they switched to the "SuperDrive" 1.44-1.6mb drives that could actually read and write PC formatted diskettes. The problem can be even worse if the diskettes are pre-Mac/SE single-sided 400k format. Fortunately, Apple switched to double-sided units rather early after the 128k Macintosh ROMS came out, and they are much rarer.

I can go into much more detail if needed, but GCR/MFM format differences are kinda hard to get your head around if you weren't a hardware geek in the 70s and 80s. And you can read about it in detail here:

lowendmac.com...

and here:

www.retrotechnology.com...

Oh, and you can also read 400k and 800k Mac floppy diskettes on AppleIIGS 800k drives since they use a similar or identical mechanism.

Damn, I'm showing my age, aren't I? Not to mention the fact that I still use the term "Diskette" an opposed to "Disk", hehe. I remember those days with great fondness. Kinda makes me wonder what other almost useless tech facts are banging around in my brain. Sigh...


edit on 23-6-2017 by MteWamp because: editorial insanity


edit on 23-6-2017 by MteWamp because: Stupid spelling edits



posted on Jun, 24 2017 @ 01:19 AM
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a reply to: MteWamp

You, sir, are making me grab the cobwebs out of my brain and remember things I had not thought of in decades.

lmao, I too used diskette for a long time, before it fell into obscurity.

O.o




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