Old Panorama files & updating to Catalina

A general warning to old timers who have old Panorama files tucked away on your hard drives where you have not opened them for many years. Before you upgrade to Catalina, make sure you open those old Panorama files in Panorama 6 and save them while using the pre-Catalina OS. You will not simply be able to add the .pan to an old Panorama file and then expect Panorama X to be able to open it. It must have been saved in Panorama 6 prior to taking it to Panorama X.

Panorama 6 came out in 2010. A Finder window will show you the last modified date of a document. When I view a Panorama file that was last modified in 1996, it thus tells me that I’d better open it and Save it in Panorama 6 (and add the .pan extension) so that it will be openable in Panorama X should I ever want to view that file.

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Robert is absolutely correct on this.

I’m sure a few users will get stuck with old files they can’t open. In that case ProVUE is planning on offering a service to do this conversion for an as yet undetermined fee, but it would of course be much better to perform the steps Robert describes in advance and avoid the hassle and expense.

Find Any File can be a very handy utility program to help you find your old Panorama Files. If you hold down the Option key when selecting your criteria type, you will find the added ability to search your drive for old Panorama files via their Type & Creator codes. The older files will have a File Type of ‘ZEPD’ and a Creator Code of ‘KAS1’.
I found 224 files dating back to 1988 and I know I would never have found these bits of history without this method. There’s some fascinating and fun bits of history in those files.

WOW, sure found some prehistoric stuff! Thanks for this advice and Find Any File sure did the trick. It may be a while before I switch to Catalina but at least this will be one less chore to perform.

Wait, when saving under Pan 6 does the file still retain that Creator Code? I ask because when I did a second search after savimng all those files thye come up again. Does it matter?

Yes, the creator code is retained, but Panorama X ignores creator codes, so that isn’t going to matter. It’s the actual content of the file that will matter. It has to have been saved with the little endian file format.

Panorama 4 and 5 files are Power PC native, and their creator code is KASX. Files that were last saved by either of those versions of Panorama will also have to be re-saved by Panorama 6, running on a Mac with an Intel processor.

Panorama 4 or 5 files that were saved on a Windows machine should be fine as is.

O my. I did a search on Creator Code KASX, which I had overlooked, and it returned 5,929 files. Fortunately most of those are TimeLapse files, Extensions, and Examples.
Regardless of those excess files that will be quickly deleted, there are now enough files that I will have to automate the Opening and Saving in Pano 6 format.
Perhaps some wizard like Gary will come up with a procedure that can traverse a directory and its subdirectories doing this save?

Using ‘Find Any File’, restricting it to my Documents directory, and having a Criteria where Creator Code equals KASX, File Type Code equals ZEPD and ‘Name’ ‘does not contain’ ‘.pan’ did narrow me down to only 279 files that really needed re-saving.

(In my earlier work, I did find the issue of having some .b files due to a period of time when I was using this short lived backup file opportunity. That should be integrated in to any solution. And then too, there were about a dozen files circa 1989-1991 that caused Panorama to quietly shut down without open the file.)

Search for Creator Code KASX using Find Any File. Right-Click on one of the resulting column headings to add Path as another column. SelectAll, Copy then Paste the resulting tsv text into TextEdit. Save that as a plain text file. Import that into Pan6. Now you have Pan6 file, one field of which gives the paths to all those files.

Select then remove the records for any files you don’t want/need to reSave under Pan6. Arraybuild a variable out of the remaining paths. Use that for a loop that opens, saves and closes each in order. You may wish to add some code to manage the possibility that some of those paths either won’t open or won’t save and thus could abort your loop with an error.

Good God Almighty! This is getting nerve wracking! I just did a search for creator type KASX and found easily 1000+ files such as LIB files and even the Pan6 preferences pane which apparently is a file. I think Jim or someone should write a short PanX “app” that Pan users can keep handy so if they haven’t saved some of these old files in Pan6 they can simply load into the app or drop them on it to do the conversion.

There shouldn’t be more than a couple dozen of these unless you are keeping lots of extra copies of the Panorama application hanging around on your system. Most users have just one copy of Panorama in their Applications folder, so if you just exclude the Applications folder in your search then everything else will be your databases.

No Jim, only one copy

I just counted, and Panorama 6 contains 18 library databases, 100 wizard databasess, and 16 channel databases, so that’s 134 total. A bit more than I thought off the top of my head (I was just thinking of libraries, because that’s what you mentioned), but no where near a thousand. The rest of the files must yours.

It still should be trivial to tell them apart because your databases should not be inside the Application folder.

I am in such a pickle…I still have Panorama 6 and now I have Catalina. I have been putting out so many fires among my applications now, I didn’t realize that I needed to do something BEFORE updating the MacOS. I need to buy Panorama X: but then what do I do. I am a very basic Panorama user: Christmas card list//Inventory lists for my business, etc.

In looking at my post I may not have been clear Jim. I didn’t mean there were a thousand LIB files, I meant there were nearly a thousand KASX files INCLUDING LIB and preference panes.

Shouild we be worried about these LIB files and preference databases when eventually doing the full change over from PAN6 to PANX into Catalina?

Panorama 6 files also use the KASX creator code, so the vast majority of your files with that creator code are probably already little endian, and the only thing you will have to do to get Panorama X to open them is to add the .pan extension to the name.

The only files that will be a problem, will be those that were last saved when you were using Panorama 5.5 or earlier. In most cases, that means you haven’t used those files in several years.

Dave, thanks but that’s not what I’m concerned about. I have already deleted lots of outdated databases or opened and resaved under PAN6. What I’m concerned about is all the files that are LIB or preference files with that creator. I just want to know if we all should be concerned.

The LIB or preference files that came with Panorama 6, are used by Panorama 6, but Panorama X has no use for them. Panorama X has its own libraries and its own preferences.

That answers my question, thanks Dave!

You should be fine if these files were saved with Panorama 6 – no pickle. The only reason you would have a problem is if the files were saved with Panorama 5.5 or earlier. Just install Panorama X and then bring in your databases. There is a help page called “Importing a Panorama 6 Database”, which explains what to do. You can view this from the Help menu within Panorama X, and also view this page on the web at this address.

We’ve also prepared over an hour of video to help with the transition. You can find these in the Help menu, on the www.provue.com web page, or using these links:

Converting from Panorama 6 - https://www.vimeo.com/228344638
Panorama 6 to X: Basics - https://www.vimeo.com/228645309
Panorama 6 to X: Form Design - https://www.vimeo.com/229781395
Panorama 6 ro X: Programming - https://www.vimeo.com/229514913

The first video shows how to bring Panorama 6 files into Panorama X.

If you’re willing to throw a little money at the problem you can easily run an earlier system in emulation on a Catalina machine. Good article on this: https://tidbits.com/2019/09/18/moving-to-catalina-keep-your-32-bit-mac-apps-running-with-parallels/