OK, so I realize the last post was from 2003, but this problem still exists today, and I was just wondering if anyone ha actually followed up on this at all since.
I, too, have been purchasing the Family Tree Maker CDs, such as the SSDI, Passenger Lists, etc, from way back when. I am on Windows 7 Premium, but the problem with this is that Windows 7 does not have DOS, per se, they have a command prompt shell, which no longer requires DOS, but just emulates it.
More over, I have tried all the fancy and expensive software and hosts of other software(the Ancestry version of Family Tree Maker, Broderbund's Lineage FTM, the Original -- AND BEST IMHO -- Family Tree Maker 5 through 10 -- yes, I own them all and still love and use them daily, as well as PAF from FamilySearch.org), but only the original Family Tree Maker by Broderbund will read the CD out of DOS.
However, the ability to copy out data in a readable form outside of that software is very difficult, and here is why: there are two files on every one of those CDs, a DATA.INX and DATA.TRT file.
These same files are created by the original FTM software inside it's installed directory when any form of media is added, and so if you export a GEDCOM file, you obviously do not have that media or metadata to send in the GEDCOM, but should you want to share the media and sources, you will need to also share the DATA.INX and DATA.TRT file.
Here is what I have found after much research: The INX file was akin to a DLL (Dynamic Link Library) file and the TRT file is the actual database that was created in an old DOS program called FOXBASE, which was originally created by Microsoft and which later became FOXPRO.
Dilemma: FoxPro9 does not open these files. I will need to install an older copy of it (think I have version 3 somewhere as well) and hope that back in the older versions the information will be readily extractable.
I am still searching for answers on how to open the TRT and INX files outside of the original software, and will write back should I find anything, but when a company writes "The future of Genealogy is with compact discs - Automated Archives brings you the future today", you figure they hopefully had a vision for the future, which would allow their software to be used much longer than DOS...
I will write back if I find out anything else....
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