Fact Sheet 6: Transferring data
a legal note: if you're transferring software, be aware that the license you
have to use it probably only entitles you to use it on one machine at a time -
you can't have it running on the new machine and the old one at the same time.
that software should be as easy as inserting the original floppy or compact disc
and re-running the set-up programme on your new machine. However, if you now
have, say, an Apple Macintosh and your old machine was an Amstrad 8256, the old
software will not run on the new machine. You may be able to buy a new or
upgrade version which will do the job, but you might be unlucky.
you might be able to do is transfer the data. For word processing files you can
copy the files across to your new machine and start working, provided your new
word processor can recognise the old file format. If it won't, check the 'Save
as' list available on both programmes and find a mutually-compatible format -
plain ASCII will work with any programme, and rich text format (RTF) works with
you transfer them is more potentially more difficult. If both machines use the
same size floppy disc, the problem is solved. If you have the common Amstrad
three inch discs and want to transfer them to a machine with 3.5 inch discs,
it's not as easy. You can buy a cable which will connect the serial ports on
both machines, and transfer the files across one by one. Or you can use one of
the many 'translation' agencies which will convert files not only between disc
formats but also between file formats - say from Amstrad's LocoScript to
Microsoft Word. They're not cheap, however - expect to pay something in the
order of £20 to £30 or more per disc. LPS (020-7231-1376) are reputable and
experienced in all format transfer matters.
can also possibly install your old hard disc in your new machine - ask the
company you're buying your new machine from if they'll do this for you if you
don't feel up to it yourself. This will not only give you access to your old
data but also all your old programmes.
you could opt to buy one of Iomega's external disc drives with interchangeable
discs, either the 100MB or 250MB Zip or the two gigabyte Jaz. The external Zip,
for example, can be plugged into the parallel (printer) ports of both machines
and used to transfer files. Zips cost around £100, with each disc costing about
£13. If you have a CD-Writer you could try using that, too, to transfer your
Under DOS and Windows you can use the in-built Interlink or Direct Cable Connection software or, if you're feeling even more ambitious, you could install a small home network between your old and new machines. You need two NE2000-compatible Ethernet cards, a suitable length of cable and an ability to read the Help files in Windows 95 which contains concise instructions on how to set up what's called a Peer-to-Peer network. The hardware can be bought for under £50.