[nSLUG] Re: Calc file recovery help

Mike Spencer mspencer at tallships.ca
Tue Feb 19 17:18:07 AST 2013

Is it my turn to the pedant? Or am I just clueless myself?

Trina wrote:

> So, I was working on a calc file...

That would be "calc" as in "SuperCalc" or "VisiCalc"?
Viz. spreadsheet data?   

> ... that I have saved as a .xls file when my computer decided this
> was the time to crash.

.xls? So are you using Excel under Windows, Excel under Linux or some
other Linux program that saves in Excel's format? Is there a manpage
or other doc for that program that details how it saves, backs up
and/or protects against this kind of data loss? E.g. GNU Emacs does
autosaves every so often to "#filename~" when editing "filename".

> I rebooted and when I clicked on the file the recovery window came
> up and when I ran the recovery on the file but it failed to recover
> the file.

Is this Ubuntu?  Windows? Not a sneering question.  I've never used a
GUI where anything like this happens.

> I have tried several google searches but am unable to recover the
> file.

Now I'm really lost. Are you looking to Google to find a corrupted
file on your own machine?  Or for file recovery tools or methods?  Or
are you using Ubuntu's "Dash" [shudder] that searches the net when you
try to search your own local filesystem?

If this is a Linux box, I would go for something like:

   locate '*.xls*'
   locate '*.xls*' | grep [something_resembing_your_original_filename]

or similar, piping output to less(1) or a file.  Or

  find / -iname '*.xls*' -print [foo]

where [foo] is a time switch (-atime, -ctime -cnewer, etc.) jiggered
up from the find(1) manpage to limit find to files newer than just
before your crash. And then vgrep -- scroll tediously through the
output visually -- looking for anything that might be your data.


Not being condescending here.  I really don't understand your context.

It caught my attention because of my own history.

Back about '87 or '89, I was using CP/M, looking to break into some
kind of programming for money in a small way.  I was given a printout
of a commercial interactive game program in BASIC. If I could translate
that into C, I would get paid and get some further freelance work.

So I had pages and pages of 132 column greenbar marked up in felt tip
colors to trace control flow (GOTO, y'know?) and I had a tediously
compiled spreadsheet of symbols and relevant data. I was almost ready
to *use* that data when my spreadsheet (floppy) disk crashed. I was so
pissed off that I set obsessively about writing a disk recovery
program in C that accessed the floppy at the lowest possible level,
overrode system error traps, dismantled the disk directory structure
into a screen display etc. etc.

By the time I was done, some months later, I knew everything about
Osborne disk format, was pretty fluent in C, had also built a somewhat
limited & crude tags utility to index C code and, of course, I had
forgotten all about the guy with the paying job.  Ho hum. :-)

- Mike

Michael Spencer                  Nova Scotia, Canada       .~. 
mspencer at tallships.ca                                     /( )\
http://home.tallships.ca/mspencer/                        ^^-^^

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