Laura Bow, Fingerprints, and old age…

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    • #28857 Reply

      Sorry for the repost, but the first one didn’t seem to take quite right! 🙂

      Ok for starters, I’m not even sure if you’re allowed to do this. So I’ll take my chances, and if this is wrong, then I won’t be upset if this post is deleted. With old games it’s so “Touch and Go” anymore…

      But today I was continuing my quest in making reliable backups of ALL of my old Sierra Games. I just knew I had to start archiving them some day because those little magnetic bits don’t hold out for ever. And I’m well on my way to my second DVD of them all. (I have swapped 3.5” and 5.25” disks into their drives enough over the weeks to make me never want to see another floppy for the rest of my life!) All seemed OK so far, but I was stumped when it came to The Colonel’s Bequest.

      I have been scanning manual after manual to put into the specific game folder, and I came to this dreaded Fingerprint Card. Now what was I going to do?

      No scanner on earth was helping me with this one. So I decided to start searching on the net to see if someone else found a way to fix this problem. I found some. Some were Ok, and some… well, let’s just say it would have been easier to use the original fingerprint card even if your magnifying glass and red cellophane looked more like a crumpled piece of newspaper. (Like mine!! Hey! I played this game so many times when I was younger, and who would have EVER thought Sierra would go away back then!!!)

      Now in my quest to back up everything, I had to do something. I found a particularly good copy of the finger prints that would work for my needs, so I created, what I feel, is a fitting rendition of the Laura Bow – The Colonel’s Bequest finger print card. To my knowledge, everything looked correct with my looking on my cardboard and matching fingerprints to make sure they are correct.

      I figured I’m not the only person on the planet who was in danger of losing the game to old disks, and even worse, materials that are about at their end of their life cycle. (That red cellophane just shriveled up to almost nothing and started to dry rot and crack into pieces, and unless I would get a free pair of 3-D glasses in some publication, (To use the red of course) I knew I was soon going to be screwed!)

      So, good or bad, here is my rendition of the Finger Print Chart.

      I know this might cause problems with it being copy protection, but since it’s an old favorite that’s no longer even in production (Or on the radar for that matter) and it will be paramount to impossible to obtain a new magnifying glass with that horrible red cellophane, I thought I would take a shot and post this.

      I hope anyone who is in my situation will use it to replace materials they have.

      Thanks for reading and Enjoy!  Tom.

    • #28858 Reply

      For making master disk backups, we are still waiting on that disk imaging utility that was being written by one of our members here, although I know a number of us here have been archiving our own disk sets with whatever method each of us has individually chosen. One thing I’ve paid particular attention to is to make sure to archive only disks that have, as far as I can tell, not been modified since they were originally packaged, with new configuration files, saved games, etc. Eventually, we will have a separate website setup with a custom system to handle all the archival activities we’ve been engaged in.

      I’m pleased to say I still have a magnifying glass that is in near mint condition. You could place a piece of red cellophane – the magnifying glass if you have it – over the fingerprint on the chart and then scan it – i.e., scan them both together. That method worked very well for me, and in the end gave me high resolution, archival quality images.

      Meanwhile, I’m sure others will enjoy your very cool picture. Unfortunately, the resolution is very low, which makes it difficult to print a sharp copy and clearly study those fingerprints.

      Brandon Klassen Admin / Archival Team

    • #28859 Reply

      Yea, I know what you mean about the low res.

      I found the fingerprints on the internet, and you should have seen them before I made my rendition.

      I’ll probably keep looking for something better and eventually make another, but for now I’m stuck with this one.


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