Monday, May 28, 2007

MacLinkPlus Deluxe 16: a handy but costly tool for old-timers

The big news for the venerable $83 MacLink Plus 16 file format translator is read-only support for Office 2007 documents. There's still no support for OpenOffice/StarOffice open file formats, which is disappointing. It's also still a Rosetta application, running in emulation on Intel Macs. That's not too surprising considering the age of the code-base; version 6 came out in 1991 and I first started using it @ 1986. Looking at the release dates it seems to have been on hiatus since 2004, that suggests it was brought back from the dead recently.

There's no way to download a trial version. That's particularly worrisome given the age of the codebase -- does it really run safely on new machines? There's also no support for presentation software, such as PowerPoint - a viewer would be much appreciated! Symantec MORE 3.1 is not supported (Brad's site still has his 1999 MORE2XML converter and this dated page describes other options.)

So, is there any reason to be interested? Microsoft, for example, supplies free Office 2007 converters and I think NeoOffice and the soon-to-be native OpenOffice will open those documents. Heck, I expect the new version of my favored Nisus Writer will do it as well, not to mention a future update to Google Docs. Why spend $83?!

The only good reason can be support for very old file formats. MacWrite, WordPerfect, etc (but not, for example, Volkswriter and all those long forgotten apps of the early PC era). If you're an old-timer converting to the Mac this application probably makes sense. I'd be tempted if they offered a demo version I could hammer on for a month or so. I don't trust DataViz quite enough to buy a non-universal app without a trial ...

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