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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3

    Help identifying this legacy file format

    Hi everyone,

    I wondered if any of you guys could assist me. At work we have an archive of data that was created on floppy disks back in the early-mid 90s and I'm having a really hard time opening any of it.

    I've managed to open most of the Wordstar documents, but most of the database files are causing me a headache. Some of them appear to be straightforward DBASE files, and I've managed to open these okay (I can even see snippets of plain text if I look inside the files with a hex editor).

    However, the rest of them are in some strange format that I cannot fathom. They're binary files, they contain no plain text and they all begin with the string KCE40 in the first few bytes of the header.

    When I try to import them into Excel it asks me for a password, but I've spoken to the guy who created some of them and he doesn't remember ever using a password, so I'm guessing they're just in a format that Excel doesn't know how to deal with.

    It's possible that some of the files have been used in conjunction with Clipper, but we no longer have a copy of the program anywhere.

    I'm really stuck! Could anyone shed any light on what strange format these are saved in, and how I might go about converting them into something I can deal with?

    Here are a couple of files if any of you fancy having a look:

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28860428/p8724.dbf

    http://dl.dropbox.com/u/28860428/p8724f.sbf

    They come from an archaeological site which was recorded in August 1993. It's Roman Pot data, probably just a tabular list of numbers.

    If you have any more questions or if you'd like more test data please ask.

    Thanks in advace

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,057
    If it is clipper, the index files should have an .ntx extension.
    Are there .exe files.
    I have a program (that I haven't used for 10 years) that will reverse compile clipper to source.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3
    I don't have any .exe files, just lots of files similar to those.

    I will do a search when I get back to work tomorrow to see if I can find any exe or ntx files within the archive.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Posts
    3
    I've had a look and we have a few .exe files in the archive but unfortunately they are nowhere near the files I mentioned above.

    Would it be possible for us to get hold of the software you mentioned? We have a huge amount of data that is pretty much useless at the moment. We thought the biggest challenge would be reading the 5.25" disks but that was relatively easy in comparison

    Cheers

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Location
    Ontario
    Posts
    1,057

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2004
    Location
    out on a limb
    Posts
    13,692
    as an alternative
    you should be able to import the data into something like Access or Open Office (possibly also Filemaker). however the dbf file is encrypted, so you will not be able to import the data into Access without the password.

    importing the data is only part of the story, unless you understand the data model it may prove impossible to understand the data
    I'd rather be riding on the Tiger 800 or the Norton

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