[Techtalk] Unreadable(?) pdf files

David Sumbler david at aeolia.co.uk
Sun Mar 13 11:17:23 UTC 2016

On Sat, 2016-03-12 at 18:22 -0500, Amanda Babcock Furrow wrote:
> On Sat, Mar 12, 2016 at 10:00:28PM +0000, David Sumbler wrote:
> > However, plan 'B' might work after all!  I have discovered that my
> > sister-in-law is using an ancient machine that has a floppy drive.  It
> > also has a USB port, so when I visit my brother this coming Wednesday I
> > should be able to copy all the .eps files I have (on 19 3-1/2" floppies)
> > to a memory stick.
> > 
> > The .eps files are the files that the .cdr and .pdf files were derived
> > from nearly 20 years ago.
> If all else fails, there's also examining the pdf files manually.  When
> my scanner saved truncated pdf files - with the all-important index at
> the end missing - I was able to read the source and discover that the 
> incomplete pdf files it was building encapsulated raw image files.  I 
> was able to recover the image files by making throwawy copies of the 
> incomplete pdfs and then deleting the PDF information from around the 
> images in them.
> I do not know if your PDF could have directly included the original .eps
> files without modifying them, or if it was a more involved process.  I
> only mention it as a possibility because I have not had very good luck
> with 20-year-old 3.5" floppies in the past.
> Good luck!
> Amanda

That sounds like a very good suggestion.  I'm away now for a few days,
but I'll give it a try if it turns out that some of the floppy discs are

The original files were produced by Score, which is a DOS music
type-setting program.  Despite its age, it's still regarded by many as
one of the best there is, although I myself haven't used it for years.

If I remember correctly, I needed to convert the eps files produced by
Score to pdf (via CorelDraw) so that my local print shop could print the
multiple copies (some of which are A3 size) that I needed.

Thanks for your help.


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