I needed some documents I’d created in Publisher 2.0. After much googling, I concluded that the only way to get at them was to reinstall Publisher (which I had last used two computers back). After messing around with downloads and a burned CD, I concluded that the only computer I had (out of five) that would run Publisher properly was Sid, an old Acer notebook that’s still running Windows 7 instead of 10 because it can’t run 10 — every attempt to upgrade has ended in an error message telling me that 10 can’t install because it isn’t compatible with Sid’s display drivers, which Acer won’t update for this model because it’s too obsolete.
(It really is obsolete, by the way; I got it out of mothballs a couple of months ago to run some other ancient software. Windows 10 is only about ten years backward-compatible, and I still use software dating back to, no shit, 1986. Mind you, Windows 10 is still better at that than whatever it is my iMac is running now.)
Thing is, Sid doesn’t have an optical drive. But I have a cheap external floppy drive I’d picked up a year or so back with the idea I would someday go through my stacks of old floppies to see if there was anything I wanted to save.
So I hooked the floppy drive up to Sid, dug the original Microsoft diskettes out of deep storage, and installed Publisher.
Three of the five floppies had problems, so I’m missing some fonts and graphics. One of them, #4 (of five), had a crucial file that was unreadable, so I downloaded a disk image of that one from an abandonware site and copied it to a blank diskette — finding the blank took awhile, as I’d thrown out all the ones I knew were blank years ago, but one turned up in a pile I hadn’t sorted yet.
So — it worked, and I can provide my daughter-in-law with some family history she wanted.