Strange for­eign char­ac­ters

Mac Format - - APPLE TALK -

I have some old files from a very old Mac which con­tain the early drafts of a book I was writ­ing. They were cre­ated as or­di­nary text files, and saved on 3.5‑inch floppy disks. With con­sid­er­able ef­fort, I have man­aged to get them trans­ferred to a mem­ory stick so I can read them on my 2012 iMac, run­ning Yosemite. How­ever, I think the files might have been cor­rupted, ei­ther dur­ing con­ver­sion or as a re­sult of sit­ting in a dusty drawer for 15 years.

The text is ba­si­cally read­able but it con­tains a lot of gar­bled char­ac­ters. All of the di­a­logue is brack­eted by an ac­cented cap­i­tal ‘O’ on ei­ther side, for ex­am­ple. I dare say I could do a search and re­place on ev­ery file for each char­ac­ter, but this would be very la­bo­ri­ous. Is there a sim­pler way? Tony Wes­ta­cott

Your files aren’t cor­rupted, they are just us­ing the old Mac Ro­man char­ac­ter set. The open quotation mark is char­ac­ter 210 in this char­ac­ter set, but in the mod­ern Uni­code en­cod­ing stan­dard, char­ac­ter 210 is Ò, so that’s how it ap­pears to you. You can con­vert your files to UTF in Ter­mi­nal by us­ing the fol­low­ing com­mand: iconv -f MACROMAN -t UTF-8 your_o­rig­i­nal_­file. txt > con­vert­ed_­file.txt

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