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TenLeftFingers
 
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Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by TenLeftFingers Wed May 31, 2017 12:36 pm

I wasn't expecting this to work, but I did an experiment today to see if I could do spreadsheet work on classic Amiga and send the results to a colleague to allow them to continue editing it. Having the great Dropbox client on Amiga (AmigaCloudHandlers, thanks to Norbert Kett!) made it even easier.

I created a spreadsheet identical to one I was working on this week - but on Amiga using Final Calc.
screenshot.png


Saving as the "1-2-3" format (and only this one), I was able to open it normally on Libre Office.
spreadsheet-LO.png


Some shortcomings
    As you can see, the colour formatting was lost. Also, you cant change the background colour of a cell on Final Calc which will mean adding additional columns for certain flags.

    Going the other way doesn't work; I can't get Final Calc to recognise any of LibreOffice's export formats by default.

    I haven't tried with proper maths functions to see how they make it across, but I'd be astonished if basics like summation, multiplication etc didn't work.

But if it means I can work on my Amiga for an hour a day instead of my usual computer (or in addition too), then I'm very happy with the results so far. <3
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Shot97
 
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Re: Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by Shot97 Wed May 31, 2017 1:08 pm

Oh, wow. Pretty impressive spreadsheet program on the Amiga. Never heard of it until now, gave it a little gander in a search though. Says it was released in 1995, so I'm guessing it's a strictly 2.0-3.1 affair. I saw mention of it having evolved from TurboCalc, which did have many 1.3 releases. Wondering if that program contains 1-2-3 save functions. I wonder if getting your hands on the last 1-2-3 version might help with going back to the Amiga. It was last updated in 2002, so I imagine it would be possible to work on something using your preferred newer spreadsheet program and then saving it in a format that would be recognized by the 2002 1-2-3, then you could use that program save in an older format the Amiga might recognize. Added steps of course, but it might be worth a try.

Very nice read and enjoyed the added pics.
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intric8
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Re: Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by intric8 Wed May 31, 2017 1:26 pm

@TenLeftFingers - very cool stuff.

And, let's be honest. Your Fast RAM is totally bonkers! :)
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TenLeftFingers
 
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Re: Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by TenLeftFingers Wed May 31, 2017 2:17 pm

Shot97 wrote:I wonder if getting your hands on the last 1-2-3 version might help with going back to the Amiga. It was last updated in 2002, so I imagine it would be possible to work on something using your preferred newer spreadsheet program and then saving it in a format that would be recognized by the 2002 1-2-3, then you could use that program save in an older format the Amiga might recognize. Added steps of course, but it might be worth a try.

Very nice read and enjoyed the added pics.


Thanks Shot97, I'm glad you enjoyed it. That's an interesting idea and thank you for the helpful information. I'm looking for it now, although as I search I wonder if I have the patience for a third app. I can just about tolerate using two apps. Having said that, there was (is?) a great app to automate GUI application interactions on linux called Xpresser[1] that could do it unattended. We used it to open documents in one format, save as a different format, open an email, fill in the contact details and attach the new document format. Pretty cool.

1: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b-xxBBP ... &index=658
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TenLeftFingers
 
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Re: Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by TenLeftFingers Wed May 31, 2017 2:21 pm

intric8 wrote:@TenLeftFingers - very cool stuff.

And, let's be honest. Your Fast RAM is totally bonkers! :)

Hehe, yeah that's an accelerator giving me the same 020 but also 28MHz and 64MB RAM. It makes a noticeable difference :)
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motrucker
 
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Re: Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by motrucker Tue Sep 12, 2017 3:08 pm

I didn't realize Final Calc was upgraded that late. My copy works fine, but it doesn't accept dates passed 2K. All my Softwood stuff was registered, so I should have received all the upgrades. There are times when that date issue can be a real problem though.
I use TurboCalc 3.5, and it works fine with most newer pc programs.
pgovotsos
 
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Re: Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by pgovotsos Wed Nov 08, 2017 6:32 pm

The reason the color and a lot of formatting doesn't import to other programs is simply because the version of 1-2-3 format the Amiga programs export to don't support it.

The last version of Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS runs really well on current Windows versions. 2.4 is the last English version. To get it to work the best, you need to edit the properties (of the icon not in 1-2-3) to give it at least 1MB of EXPANDED memory, NOT extended memory. It's available on abandonware sites.

Files saved in 1-2-3 can be opened in Turbo Calc, Final Calc or my favorite MaxiPlan. Files can go both ways between Amiga and PC this way.

Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS is a super fast program but the interface is not a GUI. Once you get used to it though you can really fly. The key to open the menus is the slash key (/) and the Escape key backs you up a level.

If you want a Windows spreadsheet, don't try Lotus 1-2-3 for Windows. It's an absolute dog. The best Windows option that can work with files from Amiga spreadsheets is Quattro Pro from Borland and later Corel (with a brief pitstop at Novell). It's not free but can be gotten very cheaply. It is a pretty good program and a lot lighter and faster than Open / Libre Calc and Excel.
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TenLeftFingers
 
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Re: Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by TenLeftFingers Thu Nov 09, 2017 3:02 am

Very interesting pgovotsos!

pgovotsos wrote:The last version of Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS runs really well on current Windows versions. 2.4 is the last English version. To get it to work the best, you need to edit the properties (of the icon not in 1-2-3) to give it at least 1MB of EXPANDED memory, NOT extended memory.

So modify the icon on the Amiga so it will work with the PC version?

Files saved in 1-2-3 can be opened in Turbo Calc, Final Calc or my favorite MaxiPlan. Files can go both ways between Amiga and PC this way.

Very good. What I really want/need is a way for partners/clients to be able to read these. I suppose a quick conversion will do that if I'm willing to forego some of the features.

Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS is a super fast program but the interface is not a GUI. Once you get used to it though you can really fly. The key to open the menus is the slash key (/) and the Escape key backs you up a level.

This sounds ideal for a linux machine with DosBox installed - which is my setup.

The best Windows option that can work with files from Amiga spreadsheets is Quattro Pro [...] It's not free but can be gotten very cheaply. It is a pretty good program and a lot lighter and faster than Open / Libre Calc and Excel.


Looking at the YouTube videos, I think I'll go with Quattro Pro. I'll try saving a file to Dropbox and opening it in FinalCalc. Fingers crossed. It'll take me some time to get around to this but I'll post back when I'm done. Thanks again!
pgovotsos
 
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Re: Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by pgovotsos Thu Nov 09, 2017 9:25 am

TenLeftFingers wrote:
pgovotsos wrote:The last version of Lotus 1-2-3 for DOS runs really well on current Windows versions. 2.4 is the last English version. To get it to work the best, you need to edit the properties (of the icon not in 1-2-3) to give it at least 1MB of EXPANDED memory, NOT extended memory.

So modify the icon on the Amiga so it will work with the PC version?


No, I mean the shortcut icon on Windows. You can set the properties for the DOS program the shortcut points to to use there. Memory is the thing that you most want to pay attention to. For 1-2-3 for DOS, to use larger spreadsheets you need to add EXPANDED memory. Think of it as sort of similar to the RAM disk on the Amiga. You can't access it directly like on the Amiga but programs can. Extended memory is more used to load system components into high memory to free up some of the 640 KB conventional memory so you can run larger programs.

Basically, conventional memory is where programs run, extended memory is where system components can be shoved to and run from, expanded memory is where programs can store data.

Very good. What I really want/need is a way for partners/clients to be able to read these. I suppose a quick conversion will do that if I'm willing to forego some of the features.

Looking at the YouTube videos, I think I'll go with Quattro Pro. I'll try saving a file to Dropbox and opening it in FinalCalc. Fingers crossed. It'll take me some time to get around to this but I'll post back when I'm done. Thanks again!


Pretty much every PC spreadsheet program can open 1-2-3 files but, as you discovered, not all can save in a format that Amiga spreadsheets can import. Lotus 1-2-3 can (obviously), all versions of Quattro Pro (DOS or Windows) can, MS Excel for DOS can but I'm not sure if all the Windows versions can - version 5 for Windows can I know.

When you are selecting the format to save the file from PC spreadsheets, you have to select 1-2-3 for DOS. 1-2-3 for Windows files won't import to Amiga spreadsheet programs.
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TenLeftFingers
 
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Re: Sharing classic spreadsheets on modern computers

by TenLeftFingers Thu Nov 09, 2017 1:29 pm

Thanks for clarification. I had no idea you could do that with icons in Windows. I'm looking forward to trying this out.
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