The following is a Plus Edition article written by and copyright by Dick Eastman.
Do you prefer an older genealogy program, written before the days of Windows or Macintosh? Would you really like to keep using Roots-3 or an early version of Personal Ancestral File or perhaps one of the better genealogy programs of twenty tears ago, called The Family Edge? Perhaps you prefer an older MS-DOS version of Family Tree Maker or The Master Genealogist.
One lady wrote to me recently to say that she has a new Macintosh computer, but she keeps her old MS-DOS computer as well, simply so that she can use Roots-3, a program written by CommSoft that was popular in the 1980s. She hasn't found any other programs that she likes as well as Roots-3. She wanted to know how to use Roots-3 on her modern computer. This article is my answer to her – and perhaps to other readers, too.
You might want to run the old MSDOS program on your new Windows 7 or Macintosh OS X system. Luckily, there is a moderately simple solution available now, free of charge. I will call it "moderately simple" because it does require some technical expertise. You don't need to be a computer guru, but you will need to know how to download files onto your newer computer and install them.
You will also need the original installation disks of that old program, which will be a "show stopper" for some people. Don't have the original disks? Try eBay.
Finally, you will need some method of copying those original floppy disks to your new computer that probably doesn't have a floppy disk drive. See my earlier What to Do With Floppy Disks? article at http://goo.gl/9JdZU for suggestions. If you have older CD-ROM disks, you should be able to use them directly on a modern Windows or Macintosh computer without any conversion, assuming the modern computer does have a CD-ROM or DVD-ROM drive. (Many new computers do not have such drives.)
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