This treasure is my past writings.
As a teenager I used a pen and pages of A4. I moved on to a portable typewriter, and from there to a Brother Word Processor- work was saved to floppy disks. (Yes we're talking 20th century...)
Then I moved onto my first computer (an XP) with a floppy disk drive in the tower, so I carried on using them.
When that computer eventually died Windows 7 was the latest operating system; but it didn't have a floppy disk drive anymore, so I had to buy an external version with the USB connection.
I was able to access some of the items, but others were unreadable. I left them in the storage box and resigned myself to searching for a programme that would enable my computer to read my saved work. It never happened and I packed the box away somewhere.
After all I did have some of the work printed out ...somewhere.
Then last weekend, clearing one of the shelves in the corner bookcase- it needs to be moved for the rewiring work- I pulled out a compact blue box from the corner. I knew what it was instantly. My floppy disks.
|A box of treasure|
I plugged in the USB and nothing, it wasn't recognised. All my excitement at my discovery went pancake flat. As a final check before unplugging I opened File Explorer and there it was.
|Floppy disk reader, old manuscripts |
Reviewing the floppies I chose one labelled short stories 1, inserted it into the reader, listened as it whirred noisily, and then a box opened on my screen displaying numbered stories (SS1, SS2 etc).
Clicking on the first one, Notepad opened the story; I scrolled down and I immediately remembered writing that tale- it was one I'd wanted to rewrite, but thought lost forever.
Opening more,assured me they were okay, so I set about copying and pasting from Notepad into a Word document.
Then I found the disks from my first incomplete novel; I'd started writing it in 2000 and got to about 40,000 words where I'd reached my planned ending. That was when I realised that I'd only gotten half way, there was more story to follow- the possibilities had quickly started flowing through my mind.
But I stopped there. I realised that I didn't have the skills I needed to complete it- I didn't know anything about writing drafts. I had to go and learn how to write properly. That was how I came to join the local writers' club.
So it was with some trepidation that I now slipped the novel disk into the reader, but all that came up was a box showing formatting and asking me what I wanted to display it in, there were three choices, and in my disappointment I didn't really take in what it was asking me.
As I tried the other disks the same problem, my disappointment grew until I stopped and read what was being asked. I chose an option but nothing happened; it was a frustrated turn of the mouse wheel that scrolled down the box a bit, and there among the little formatting symbols was text I could read!
I began the copying and pasting again but accepted I needed to do this a bit at a time, so saved and backed-up everything I'd transferred.
That box isn't going to be packed away anywhere for some time.
So if I'm ever irritated by something Windows 10 does, please remind me that it helped me retrieve my early writing that I thought had been lost forever...