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Issue 20.2 ('Colorominoes')
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Resurrecting an Old Game

Issue: 20.2 (March/April 2022)
Author: Marc Zeedar
Author Bio: Marc taught himself programming in high school when he bought his first computer but had no money for software. He's had fun learning ever since.
Article Description: No description available.
Article Length (in bytes): 36,284
Starting Page Number: 48
Article Number: 20205
Resource File(s):

Download Icon project 20205.zip Updated: 2022-03-01 10:26:03

Related Link(s): None

Excerpt of article text...

Recently I came across a little game I'd made with REALbasic over 20 years ago (my project file was dated February 1999). Though I liked the game's concept—it's called Colorominoes and is a tile-matching game like dominoes except using colors instead of numbers—I got sidetracked and I never quite finished it. Out of curiosity, I tried to open the file in Xojo to see how much work the project would take to get running.

To my surprise, Xojo wouldn't open the file. Or rather, it opened it with warnings and then basically showed me an empty project. There were no windows, controls, or code anywhere. Bummer, I thought.

But no biggie. I keep a copy of REALbasic 2007 running on an old computer. Surely it would be able to open a file from 1999. But no—the same problem.

I went to my account on Xojo.com and downloaded the oldest version of REALbasic I could find, but still no luck. I scoured the internet and my backups and managed to find copies of REALbasic 2005 and even version 4.5. I spent time searching my email archives for old serial numbers to get those apps running, but they wouldn't work on any of my computers, even one running Mac OS X Sierra, which still supports 32-bit apps. (I got an error that the "Classic" environment wasn't supported in that OS.)

Now I'm not writing this to diss the good folks at Xojo. Supporting a 22-year-old file format might be asking a bit much. (Though, is it really so difficult?) But the problems I encountered did make me realize the importance of keeping old projects current.

I probably have dozens of small projects still in REALbasic format that I never updated. Now those are probably gone forever, unless I want to find a 1990s-era Mac to open them on. (They also aren't likely to be very useful, since they would require more work to update than recreating them from scratch.)

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