What's the best way to transfer ~100MB of Word 5.1 files from a Mac Performa 475 to the PC?
July 17, 2004 12:12 PM   Subscribe

Antique Mac question: a friend has recently moved from a Mac Performa 475 to a WinXP PC. What's the best way to transfer ~100MB of Word 5.1 files to the PC?

The options I've come up with so far:
  1. Using a Mac with FDD and internet connection, email the files to the PC, one floppy at a time. There are about 50 disks, already created as backups.
  2. Write the files to CD, using a System 7-compatible SCSI CD writer.
  3. Get a compatible Ethernet card, connect the two machines, and copy the files across.
The 3rd option seems almost certainly unpossible, the second doubtful. Is the floppy -> email solution the only real option? AskMefi, hope us please.

On second thought, why don't we just get a compatible modem, upload the files from the Performa to a server and download them to the PC? Duh. Any other ideas gratefully accepted!
posted by cbrody to Computers & Internet (8 answers total)
Those word docs should compress really nicely with Stuffit so the total you have to move might fall as low as half that [unless the word docs have big compressed images in them] so if it comes down to having to do that manually with floppies you can do that.

A fourth option would be to buy something like MacOpener for Windows and you can skip the pain of you having to do the emailing files one at a time. Your friend can just open the disk on his WinXP box and save them directly. The money spent on the software isn't a complete waste since he can use it other times when he needs to read mac floppies, hard drive volumes, or cd/dvds.

Your option 3 would be the fastest, but I know little about doing a connect between a non OS X system and Win XP. (I'm sure Apple's support site would have it covered]. It would involve the ethernet card on the Mac, a crossover cable, and setting up the XP box for sharing. Getting those goodies might cost about the same as buying that software above.

See dobb's similar question and note how fun it was.
posted by birdherder at 12:50 PM on July 17, 2004

TCP/IP is the way to go, but I wouldn't use E-mail, and I wouldn't use floppy-size transfers.

Connect both computers to the Internet. Run an FTP server on your PC (or an HTTP server if you are up to it), and then FTP the files over. Use Fetch for the mac, and smallftpd or something better on the PC.

(You might also connect both computers to each other through a router, or using a null modem cable, give each fixed IP addresses, and then see what happens. But that could get messy).

Once the Word files are on the PC, a modern version of Word should be able to open them.
posted by profwhat at 12:56 PM on July 17, 2004

Go eBay yourself a SCSI Zip drive and a USB Zip drive. Zip drives go for super cheap these days, so you shouldn't have to spend more than $50 or so to get two working drives. This is probably saves you the most screwing around.
posted by nathan_teske at 1:11 PM on July 17, 2004

If you have an ethernet port on the mac, I would definately recommend the tcp/ip method. I had an identical problem once involving a mac and a pc.

I went out and bought a crossover ethernet cable, set up an ftp server using Window's built in IIS and assigned ips to both the machines. I transferred all the stuff in no time.
posted by phyrewerx at 3:11 PM on July 17, 2004

Thanks for the suggestions. Skimmed through the dobbs thread - glad it was him and not me! Having had experience of similar products to MacOpener I'm a little skeptical - I also doubt that the Mac HDD would work in a modern PC. I'm not sure about the Zip drive idea either: seems like overkill to buy 2 bits of hardware that will have no real use after the transfer. The mac has no ethernet port so it would mean buying a card - probably hard to find nowadays.

I think the ftp via dial-up option (provided I can find a modem with the right connector & driver) is the way to go. It will have to be a 2-stage process, as there's only one phone line.
posted by cbrody at 3:24 PM on July 17, 2004

Check this Google answer, which suggests using a null modem cable (serial-serial) and a simple Zmodem transfer.

It's slow, but not any worse than doing dial-up with the Performa.
posted by O9scar at 5:45 PM on July 17, 2004

Thanks O9scar, serial transfer seems an obvious method to try. Don't know how I forgot about it!
posted by cbrody at 6:05 PM on July 17, 2004

Solution: the serial transfer worked a treat, even if it did take a while to find the right (null modem) cable, set up the terminal software (Zterm/Hyperterminal - lots of trial & error), compress the files (Stuffit), send them across, unstuff them (Stuffit Expander) and add filename extensions to them (1-4Rename).

Thanks for all the tips, but especially thanks to O9scar!
posted by cbrody at 4:54 PM on July 20, 2004

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