Identifying Pre Pan 6 files

It is my understanding that once upgraded to Catalina it will be impossible to convert Pre Pan 6 files to Pan X by the usual method of adding the .pan extension and opening in Pan X. I’ve been going through my Panorama files and man do i have a lot of them! Some really old ones I found I’ve discarded but many I will keep “just in case” I want to resurrect them.

So the question begs… is there an easy way to get a list of all pre Pan 6 files? Some sort of find app or something in Mac OS? It sure would make life easier IDing which I need to open and resave!

Perhaps a Panorama procedure might do this if nothing else exists?

Yes! I did just what you’re asking a couple years ago when PanX first appeared. And you’re right to do it pre-Catalina as later you can’t, at least not without using something like Parallels to emulate earlier OSX versions. And trying to organize my conversions made my progress faster and less frustrating.

What you want to do is first identify (see below for how) all your old pre-Pan6 files, open them with Pan6 and save them, ideally to a different location, which converts them to the Pan6 format. Those can then be opened and saved as PanX files. With luck they just work, without they take some work. A few pre-Pan6 files, including some included in earlier Panorama versions, couldn’t be converted forward. But most converted easily and quickly, even with my 100s of Pan6 and earlier files. At least to where I could use PanX for the final adjustments.

I suggest using the Finder’s optional Tags to mark all your pre-Pan6, and separately your Pan6, versions so you can re-find them again easily if needed. You can make/manage/search whatever Tags you want via the Finder. No additional apps are needed for that although some are sold making their use easier. You can have multiple tags per file. I even made special tags for groups of files with similar conversion problems. Once I deciphered how to fix one such I could quickly find the rest and repeat the fix.

The key to finding older Pan files is to use the older way OSX, OS9, etc. kept tract of which documents belonged to which applications. Before the current “file extensions” Macs used Creator Codes and File Type Codes. The OSX file system still saves the old ones, but it, by itself, no longer lets you see them, much less still search for them. The solution is Find Any File, $8 at the App Store. It still has that capability, albeit hidden. It initially offers a “Name” popup menu, from which you can pick other search criteria. Option clicking that offers a longer list, including Creator Code and File Type code. Clicking + lets you add additional criteria. Type the 4 character codes into the search box(es) and you’re set. I’ve forgotten the actual codes and offloaded my old files to DVDs a year ago. But if you can find one such file, just dragging it into the search box will display the actual code! Find then gives an active Finder style listing of all the matches. You can tag or open files from that list, singly or in batches, including via control-clicks. Very slick. Oddly it can’t search for Finder tags, at least not beyond the default color labels. But the Finder can search for them and its searches can be saved as smart folders.

The short answer is to open them all in Panorama 6, and save them someplace else, preferably with the .pan extension.

Well I just happen to have Find Any File! I think the codes to look for are ZEPD and KAS1.

Jim, can you confirm this? Any others to look for?

They will all have type codes of ZEPD. Those that were originally created by Panorama 3.1 or earlier will have a creator code of KAS1. Those that were originally saved by Panorama 4 or later will have a creator code of KASX. The type/creator code doesn’t really tell you very much. In either case, it’s the most recent save that matters, and the type/creator code doesn’t tell you anything about that.

I think you need to be looking at the modification date. If it’s old, assume it’s big endian, and should be re-saved by Panorama 6.

Well I found a lot of files with that old creator code so I trashed some and resaved others. When I used KASX it showed all files including those saved just days ago! What was the release date of Pan 6? I’ll search for all files from about that date backwards.

The real question is when did you start using it? I have archived versions running from November of 2013 through March of 2016.

Ha! 1986ish? SInce OverVue before it was called Panorama so Pan 1 and on!

I was referring to archived versions of the Pan 6 application, not the databases. I discarded earlier versions of the application, because I don’t have a Mac old enough to run them.

None, just latest version 6.0.0 or do you mean all Panorama versions… answer is still none.

First goal here is to find all the old files you hope to keep. Knowing about Find Any File was the hardest part. Searching enough places can also be hard. I found some stashed in .zip or other compressed archives, on other drives, DVDs, etc. If they won’t open via PanX (after adding, if not already there, the .pan extension) try opening them first with Pan6, saving them with that, then opening that with PanX. If you can’t get them to open in PanX that way you probably can’t convert those to PanX.

JohnB… sure simply said but what I’m looking to do is find all those Pan 5.5 and earlier files that aren’t so easy to spot buried in folders somewhere. A list using an App then tagging all the files with a particular color (I used purple) then makes it easy to use the Finder’s search capabilities to display all files tagged Purple. It’s then easy to either discard them or open and resave using Pan 6 for conversion later.

I found an old copy of Panorama 4.0.2 with a creation date of 1/16/98 and a modification date of 1/25/03.

There have been some great suggestions here about how to find all Panorama 6.0 and earlier files, but what Leo actually wanted was a way to generate a list of only files that had been saved in Panorama 5.5 or earlier, and had never been saved in Panorama 6.0. Unfortunately, there is no perfect way to do this.

Panorama 6 came out in 2010. So for sure any Panorama files with a modification date before that were not saved with Panorama 6. Depending on when you personally started using Panorama 6, you may need to use a later cutoff date. Presumably once you started using Panorama 6 you didn’t use Panorama 5.5 at all any more. So any files with a modification date after you started using Panorama 6 should be ok.

Ok I guess I’ll have to just search for all files modified before 1/1/11 because I’m sure I upgraded to 6 as soon as it was available.

EDIT: Holy Moly… 317 Panorama files with modification date before 1/1/11 and a creator code of KASX. Isn’t there a better way to deal with all these so if I ever need to convert them to Pan X I’d be able to once running Catalina?

Doing the same thing over and over and over again. Sounds like a job for a Panorama procedure!

Take your list of 317 file paths, split them into folder & file listings and feed it to a Pan6 loop opening and saving the files. You could save them all to a new folder, but with 317 I’d bet some potentially non-identical files share file names and you want to keep all. So instead I’d append an unique character to each file name and save the new ones in place. Pull the out later with Find any file — then feed that list to a corresponding PanX open & save loop.

Between limits of 31 character Pan6 names and the odd files which either won’t open or save it’s apt to repeatedly fail. You could write fancy error handling, but for this one time task it makes more sense to cut what completed or couldn’t complete off your list and re-feed the remainder to your loop. Several rounds of that and you’re done.

Alternatively have your list of 317 showing in Find Any File, serially right-click openwith… Pan6 10-20 files batches and resign yourself to 317 manual SaveAs… in Pan6 then ~300 in PanX.

I suspect most or all of those 317 files were not created by you – you would probably remember creating so many files. Panorama itself includes many database files – libraries, wizards, demo files, etc. Pretty much all of them will have a modification date before 1/1/11. So you can probably look at what folders these files are in and eliminate 90% or more very quickly, leaving a much more manageable task.

That’s exactly what I did Jim, many were very old sample files that came with various versions of Panorama over the years. I did keep some here and there for reference but whittled down the list of all pre Pan 6 files to about 180 or so.