Discussion:
Technical Query
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Mike Ruddock
2020-06-17 09:46:15 UTC
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I recently came across a fragment of autobiography (well, somebody might
be interested!) I would like to know when I wrote it - I have no memory
of doing so.

The file was in .ASC format and I had a struggle to get it into readable
form. It was on a floppy disc (which says something about how old it
was). Is there any way of probing into the file to see a date when it
was first composed?

Mike Ruddock
J. P. Gilliver (John)
2020-06-17 18:48:25 UTC
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On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 at 10:46:15, Mike Ruddock
Post by Mike Ruddock
I recently came across a fragment of autobiography (well, somebody
might be interested!) I would like to know when I wrote it - I have no
memory of doing so.
The file was in .ASC format and I had a struggle to get it into
readable form. It was on a floppy disc (which says something about how
old it was). Is there any way of probing into the file to see a date
when it was first composed?
Mike Ruddock
I presume it doesn't have a date stamp!

Which size of floppy? That would give some hint, though they overlapped.
(And what capacity?) The fact that you could read it (I mean physically
access the file, not see what's inside) suggests it was created on a PC,
not some earlier type of home computer. Does the floppy itself have any
tiny date code on the sleeve, which would hint when it was manufactured?

.asc sounds _vaguely_ familiar: I can't remember what created it,
though. (I presume it means ASCII, i. e. text.) When you say "probing
into the file", then certainly hex editors abound; HxD
(https://mh-nexus.de/en/hxd/) seems to be well-thought-of, for example.

If you want to email it to me (ideally zipped into another file, as that
usually preserves dates, but no matter), I'll gladly have a look.
--
J. P. Gilliver. UMRA: 1960/<1985 MB++G()AL-IS-Ch++(p)***@T+H+Sh0!:`)DNAf

Electricians do it 'till it Hz.
Peter Withey
2020-06-18 09:16:30 UTC
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On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 10:46:15 +0100, Mike Ruddock
Post by Mike Ruddock
I recently came across a fragment of autobiography (well, somebody might
be interested!) I would like to know when I wrote it - I have no memory
of doing so.
The file was in .ASC format and I had a struggle to get it into readable
form. It was on a floppy disc (which says something about how old it
was). Is there any way of probing into the file to see a date when it
was first composed?
Mike Ruddock
I don't know but this may help.

https://fileinfo.com/extension/asc
--
Pete
Nick Odell
2020-06-18 18:54:56 UTC
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On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 10:46:15 +0100, Mike Ruddock
Post by Mike Ruddock
I recently came across a fragment of autobiography (well, somebody might
be interested!) I would like to know when I wrote it - I have no memory
of doing so.
The file was in .ASC format and I had a struggle to get it into readable
form. It was on a floppy disc (which says something about how old it
was). Is there any way of probing into the file to see a date when it
was first composed?
I think it is amazing that you are able to read an old floppy disc
like that! Most of mine, both floppy floppies and stiff floppies,
throw up all manner of errors when I try to read them.

The fact that you know about the file suggests to me that it is
appearing in a folder or a directory somewhere or other.

If in Linux or Windows find the relevant entry then right-click it
with the mouse then choose Properties from the menu that then appears.
Entries in the properties list should include the date of the file and
possibly dates of modification too. There may be more than one page of
information under properties.

If using MS-DOS on the command line, try:

DIR filename.asc /V

The /V stands for Verbose and should chuck all the file information at
you.

Sorry, I have no idea what to do from an Apple machine but I hope this
is of some help.

Nick
Sjouke Burry
2020-06-18 21:55:28 UTC
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Post by Peter Withey
On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 10:46:15 +0100, Mike Ruddock
Post by Mike Ruddock
I recently came across a fragment of autobiography (well, somebody might
be interested!) I would like to know when I wrote it - I have no memory
of doing so.
The file was in .ASC format and I had a struggle to get it into readable
form. It was on a floppy disc (which says something about how old it
was). Is there any way of probing into the file to see a date when it
was first composed?
I think it is amazing that you are able to read an old floppy disc
like that! Most of mine, both floppy floppies and stiff floppies,
throw up all manner of errors when I try to read them.
The fact that you know about the file suggests to me that it is
appearing in a folder or a directory somewhere or other.
If in Linux or Windows find the relevant entry then right-click it
with the mouse then choose Properties from the menu that then appears.
Entries in the properties list should include the date of the file and
possibly dates of modification too. There may be more than one page of
information under properties.
DIR filename.asc /V
The /V stands for Verbose and should chuck all the file information at
you.
Sorry, I have no idea what to do from an Apple machine but I hope this
is of some help.
Nick
Just tried :dir filename /T
It showed creation date.
Mike Ruddock
2020-06-19 07:44:58 UTC
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Post by Sjouke Burry
Post by Peter Withey
On Wed, 17 Jun 2020 10:46:15 +0100, Mike Ruddock
Post by Mike Ruddock
I recently came across a fragment of autobiography (well, somebody might
be interested!) I would like to know when I wrote it - I have no memory
of doing so.
The file was in .ASC format and I had a struggle to get it into readable
form. It was on a floppy disc (which says something about how old it
was). Is there any way of probing into the file to see a date when  it
was first composed?
I think it is amazing that you are able to read an old floppy disc
like that! Most of mine, both floppy floppies and stiff floppies,
throw up all manner of errors when I try to read them.
The fact that you know about the file suggests to me that it is
appearing in a folder or a directory somewhere or other.
If in Linux or Windows find the relevant entry then right-click it
with the mouse then choose Properties from the menu that then appears.
Entries in the properties list should include the date of the file and
possibly dates of modification too. There may be more than one page of
information under properties.
DIR filename.asc /V
The /V stands for Verbose and should chuck all the file information at
you.
Sorry, I have no idea what to do from an Apple machine but I hope this
is of some help.
Nick
Just tried :dir filename /T
It showed creation date.
Thanks for the suggestions. In fact I did what Nick suggested and
clicked on Properties which told me inter alia that the disc was
accessed in October 1999, so 20 years ago.
Most of the files on the disc post-date that but the files I am
interested in have no date attached. I am guessing that the disc was
first accessed to enter those files.

Mike Ruddock
the Omrud
2020-06-19 15:11:47 UTC
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Post by Mike Ruddock
I recently came across a fragment of autobiography (well, somebody might
be interested!) I would like to know when I wrote it - I have no memory
of doing so.
The file was in .ASC format and I had a struggle to get it into readable
form. It was on a floppy disc (which says something about how old it
was). Is there any way of probing into the file to see a date when  it
was first composed?
If you've got the floppy drive as A: then

a:
dir /tc
dir /ta
dir /tw

These give date/time for Creation, Accessed and Written.

The might work on the file after it's copied to your hard disk, but it
would be better on the floppy.
--
David
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