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Old 07-08-2023, 11:21 PM   #1
woody649
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Default My mind is officially blown!

One of the (possibly THE) great-granddaddies of desktop publishing, Aldus PageMaker (which most of you probably know), lives on. Aldus was acquired by Adobe many years ago and InDesign has replaced PageMaker as their premier DTP program, but I just learned that PageMaker is still available ... as freeware!


I had no idea. I have downloaded it, and I now need to decide if I want to install it and play with it. I wish I know how to set up virtual machines. I love playing with software, but I don't like clogging up my Windows registry with left-over entries when I delete programs after testing. We didn't have that problem under good old MS-DOS.
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Old 07-09-2023, 08:10 AM   #2
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I've been using VMWare to create virtual machines since ... hmm ... since I learned about it from a guy in the DTPForum on Compuserve, may fortune favor him all his days.

Nowadays you have a choice between VMWare Player and Workstation products. Player used to be just that ... a way of running VMs that someone with the full product had created, but now it seems that Player can also create new VMs; at $150, it's a bit more affordable than full Workstation at $200. But this implies that Player is free for personal/non-commercial use: https://www.techradar.com/best/best-...chine-software

I'm not familiar with Microsoft's HyperV technology, another way to create virtual machines, but I understand that it's free, IF you have the right version of Windows and the right sort of PC.

For quick but temporary testing, I just ran across this: https://www.zdnet.com/article/how-to...rtual-machine/ Instant Windows-in-a-sandbox; anything you do there is isolated from the "host" windows install, and when you quit, it all gets deleted.

Virtual Box from Oracle might be the go-to choice. It's hard to beat reputable and free. More pointers to it here: https://www.techradar.com/best/best-...chine-software

Keep in mind that you'll need Windows install media of some kind.

Oh, and there'll be a moment of terror when a newly created VM wants to format your C: drive. It doesn't, not really. It actually wants to "format" a virtual drive, actually just a file on your real drive. Deep breath. Click OK.

   
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Old 07-09-2023, 10:28 AM   #3
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Free is always good. Thanks for the links.


It seems that I have the right version of Windows and I have a VM-capable computer. I have activated Hyper-V ... now "all" I have to do is figure out how to implement it. I'll also explore those other options. Thank you.
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Old 08-20-2023, 12:18 AM   #4
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Update -


I haven't figured out a virtual machine yet, but I was curious so I created a restore point in Windows and then set out to install PageMaker. I failed.


It wouldn't install, so I suspect that it may not be compatible with Windows beyond XP. BUT ... it did throw up a splash screen, which informed me that it was a 30-day trial version. That's not what I was led to expect.


So I aborted the installation and deleted the download from my computer.
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Old 08-20-2023, 08:09 AM   #5
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>> It wouldn't install

Not too surprising. Lots of software from that era used, IIRC, 16-bit installer "stubs" that would check the computer type, then launch the correct actual installer for the computer. 32-bit Windows supported 16-bit software, but 64-bit Windows does not, so the installer stub fails to launch.

In some cases, it's possible to work out what program the stub will launch and launch it manually yourself. There's a long how-to here:

https://reactos.org/forum/viewtopic.php?t=10988

It's also possible for someone with a sophisticated installer creation program to run the installer for Program X on a computer that supports it and have the installer program track and log the files and registry entries the Program X installer makes. It can then create a more modern 32-bit installer that will run on 32/64-bit Windows.

Somebody created one of these for a program I've used since the Win 3.0 or 3.1 days. With the updated installer, I can (and do) still use it regularly, even under Win 11.

On the whole, probably too much homework just to install a demo (one that you can't update to a full version, I'd imagine?).

   
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Old 08-20-2023, 12:05 PM   #6
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I agree -- too much fuss and bother just to experiment. For what I do, I don't need any of the professional-grade color management that PageMaker probably offers, so I can keep on muddling through with using my word processor to format books. (I still mostly use Word, but I've discovered that SoftMaker TextMaker includes DTP-like features such as linking text boxes, so it's fairly flexible.)


If I do need a "real" DTP program, I have Serif PagePlus, Affinity Publisher, and there's always Scribus. And, of course, Microsoft Publisher (the failings of which about which I have ranted about previously.)
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Old 08-21-2023, 08:01 AM   #7
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I'm not sure PageMaker ever did any color management in any case. Not sure ...

   
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Old 08-21-2023, 01:43 PM   #8
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Quark Xpress did, even back then. I guess I'm guilty of assuming they offered similar capability.
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Old 08-22-2023, 08:07 AM   #9
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I never used Quark, but I gather it was considerably more sophisticated than PM (which I did use fairly heavily, along with Ventura Publisher).

   
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