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Opening old .mss docs

Old 25th Oct 2021, 10:17
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Opening old .mss docs

I have found a load of old word processing documents from the early 1990's on a old machine at work. One of these looks like something we'd very much like to recover - a history of a project that went badly wrong way back..

It's in .mss format - I can get some of the text by opening using TEXTPAD but it 's vey very messy

I think it might be a WordPro (ex Lotus, exI BM) document but there isn't much advice on the web as to how to recover them

Any ideas?

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Old 25th Oct 2021, 13:39
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Something to do with microprocessor design?

https://www.xilinx.com/html_docs/xil.../xsct_mss.html
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Old 25th Oct 2021, 17:09
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no - they're clearly word processing files - opening them in TEXTPAD shows they're the usual nitty gritty office type stuff. I guess they were pre Word

IBM/Lotus used to sell a third party package called Word Pro and that looks like the probable software
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Old 25th Oct 2021, 18:34
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This outfit claim to able to read them - Sublime Text If they want money for a copy to run on your OS and it's not worth it for just a few files just PM me because I can get a no-cost copy for my Linux machines. I might want some sort of compensation not to be able to giggle at a fiasco though....

'a
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Old 25th Oct 2021, 21:06
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I quite like this kind of problem. Of course investigate Sublime Text as mentioned above, looks as it that might do it.

Otherwise perhaps try emacs. I have no idea of emacs will still support such old stuff.

Here are the notes I made when looking at this.

###
###

PerfectWriter MSS

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Perfect_Writer

###

MSS File Extension - Open .MSS File (Manuscript text file)

.MSS extension are known as Manuscript text files

.MSS in reference to Perfect Writer (DOS/Cpm) word processor files, are in text ASCII format, with text used for formatting and it is felt printer controls (Epson compatible for the day)

###

https://www.webopedia.com/reference/...le-extensions/

.mss Manuscript text file (Perfect Writer – Scribble – MINCE – Jove)

###

https://opensource.apple.com/source/...WS.4.auto.html
Copyright (C) 1992
Changes in version 18.58.

** Scribe mode now exists.

This mode does something useful for editing files of Scribe input.

It is used automatically for files with names ending in ".mss".

###

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/MINCE

MINCE stands for "MINCE Is Not Complete Emacs"

MINCE was a companion product to SCRIBBLE, a text formatter based on Scribe

MINCE and SCRIBBLE were later developed into the Perfect Writer and FinalWord word processors. FinalWord later became Sprint.


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Old 26th Oct 2021, 09:40
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Originally Posted by Asturias56 View Post
I have found a load of old word processing documents from the early 1990's on a old machine at work. One of these looks like something we'd very much like to recover - a history of a project that went badly wrong way back..

It's in .mss format - I can get some of the text by opening using TEXTPAD but it 's vey very messy

I think it might be a WordPro (ex Lotus, exI BM) document but there isn't much advice on the web as to how to recover them

Any ideas?
If they are ASCII Text files you may be able to get somewhere by opening them in Microsoft Word as a text file and getting clever with 'Search and Replace' to replace the control strings with spaces or new lines for example. It depends how amenable the control strings are to being recognised in a search field.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 12:07
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I could be showing my age here, but the document could be in EBCDIC format rather than ASCII because it was a bigger character set by 1 bit and thus favoured by word processors of the time for that extra capability.

It was also very common from when computers were invented to incorporate "magic numbers" inside a file, which are really just the first few bytes of the file that are unique to a particular file type. Try googling yours if you think there is one.

One trick I do on a Linux system is run a command called "strings" on data files to quickly get a sample of the text that is in them.

Otherwise perhaps try emacs.
Emacs users are quite rare.
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Old 26th Oct 2021, 19:17
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Originally Posted by cattletruck View Post
Emacs users are quite rare.
Vi has won the tussle! (I used emacs before vi at the beginning of the '80s and was happy to switch.)

If the file was in EBCDIC I don't think Notepad would find anything but garbage, it's very different to ASCII.

'a
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Old 31st Oct 2021, 10:33
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Thanks guys and girls - I'll maybe use the "search and repalce " suggestion to clean them up first and then copy and paste the bits we need

Cheers!!
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