Software spotlight: Micrografx/Aldus/Ventura Beta Lot

So, I recently acquired a lot with a number of Micrografx, Aldus, and Xerox Ventura pre-releases. I personally find these interesting as they are uncommon bits and represent early work on application products that were once commonly used.

There were also a number of unlabeled disks and user-made copies. It turned out there were a few interesting gems in there.

All and all, what I found and archived was:

Ventura Publisher 1.04 Beta (7-30-1986) (5.25-360k)

Ventura Publisher 1.1E Beta (2-28-1987) (5.25-360k)

Ventura Publisher 1.1H Beta (3-13-1987) (5.25-360k)

Ventura Publisher 1.1K Beta (4-3-1987) (5.25-360k)

Ventura Publisher 1.1P Beta (4-10-1987) (5.25-360k)

Ventura Publisher 1.09 Beta (9-12-1986) (5.25-360k) (Incomplete)

Aldus PageMaker 0.755 Beta (10-17-1986) (5.25-360k) (incomplete)

Aldus PageMaker 0.817 Beta (11-20-1986) (5.25-360k)

Aldus PageMaker 0.898 Beta (1-13-1987) (5.25-360k) (incomplete)

Cadlogic Instinct 0.80 Beta (1-29-1987) [English] (5.25''-360KB)

Cadlogic Instinct 0.93 Beta (2-16-1987) [English] (5.25''-360KB)

Microsoft Word 2.0N for Networks (1985) (5.25-1.2mb)

Micrografx In-a-Vision 1.21 Demo (1986) (5.25-360k)

Micrografx Windows Graph 0.020 Beta (4-13-1987) (5.25-360k)

Micrografx Windows Graph 0.010 Beta (1-26-1987) (5.25-360k)

Digital Research GEM Desktop 1.1 (4-10-1985) (5.25-360k)

Guru 1.00 Demo (1986) (5.25-360k)

Protec 2.20 (1985) (5.25-360k)

Protec 3.0 (1985) (5.25-360k)

Friday 1.0 (1983) (5.25-360k) (Needs redump)

Norton Utilities 3.00 (1-21-1985) (5.25-360k) (alt)

Disk Technician 4.00 (1987) (5.25-360k) (Kryoflux)

Statpro Statistics 1.1 for Apple II (1983) (5.25-140k)

IBM SNA 3270 Emulation and RJE Support 1.00 (1982) (5.25-160k)

Ontrack Disk Manager 4.04 (Microscience OEM) (5.25-360k)

Ontrack Disk Manager 3.62 (Miniscribe OEM) (5.25-360k)

A few we already had included IBM Diskette Librarian, Lotus 1-2-3 R2, various IBM PC-DOS, Perfect Calc 1.15, and IBM Diagnostics 2.05.

Archiving these disks was a bit of a challenge. Most of them were in poor condition. I believe these had been stored in an un-airconditioned storage unit. On close inspection with a bright light, the majority of the disk surfaces had large spots of white residue, that resemble "mold". (Magnetic cookies are not made of cheese!)

Just throwing these in a drive would be a recipe for disaster. Even after a very careful cleaning, many of the Ventura Publisher disks, that otherwise seemed to be quality media, had small points of shedding or pitting. The worst were the Apple II Statpro disks, which even after cleaning kept screeching and scratching the surfaces, much like Wabash brand disks I have worked with before.

Once carefully cleaned, somehow most of those disks read without too much trouble, but several did start to shed badly. Surprisingly, I was able to successfully coax the bits off of all of these disks.

Beyond that, a few of the unlabeled disks were a bit a challenge to identify format wise. There were some Apple II formatted disks, some IBM PC copy protected titles (apparently copied with Copy II PC), and even two IBM UCSD P-System disks.

Some of the unlabeled disks were marked as officially "single sided", which meant they were already lower quality when they were new.

There was some small evidence on a couple of disks that suggested someone else may have more recently tried to read a few of these.

A couple of the disks in the sets were missing. I have an unpleasant feeling someone may have damaged those disks and then just discarded them. Note that unless the oxide was completely scraped off, there would at least be a chance a damaged dirty disk might be recoverable after a very careful cleaning.

Now, the reason I mention all of this is because this lot of disks came from the same seller that recently sold the lot of Windows 1 and 2 betas. Sorry, no Windows stuff on any of the unlabeled disks. I'd imagine that anyone that paid that much would just lock the disks in a glass case rather than risk damaging them further. I'd hope they at least would not just thrown them in a floppy drive. But if they wanted to send them to me to read, I could do it. :)

Also, attached are a few extra random bits that didn't fit in to the library.


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