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Migrating your MacVector Sequence files to a new Mac 
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Joined: Thu Dec 07, 2006 6:20 pm
Posts: 173
Location: Cambridge, UK
Post Migrating your MacVector Sequence files to a new Mac
Most Mac files comprise of two parts: A Data fork and the Resource fork. One of the functions of resource forks is to determine which application can be used to open a particular file. If the resource fork is damaged for some reason, although the data in the file will be intact, the operating system will not know what application to open the file with.

You can read more about resource forks on this Wikipedia page

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Resource_fork

You can tell if the resource fork is damaged or missing by the fact that the files will display without an icon in the Finder. This does cause problems with MacVector as you will be unable to simply double click on such a sequence file with a damaged resource fork to open up the file. This most commonly happens when files are copied across a network or across different filesystems (such as copying the files via a cdrom, zip drive or other removable media). A common situation where this arises is when you have bought your nice brand new Quad Core Mac Pro and want to migrate all your MacVector sequence files from your old Mac.

The trick to this is to avoid damaging the resource fork in the first place. You can do this by using an resource fork aware archiver to contain the files, copy the archive across, and then extract the files from the archive on the new machine. Resource forks should be preserved intact.

If you cannot do this then the next best thing is to repair the resource forks on the files on the new machines. However, this can be quite laborious as the files must be dealt with one by one. I know of no utility that can do this en masse, but I'd be interested if anybody knows of such a utility. When you open up the file by going to FILE > OPEN, then when you resave the file MacVector itself is repairing the resource fork. If you have a two button mouse you may find it easier to right click on the file, and instead of OPEN, choose OPEN WITH and then choose OTHER... This will open a dialog, and you can then choose the MacVector application to open the file with.

If you are moving between OSX machines, then you can create a Disc Image and move the files across using that archive. Go to Applications > Utilities and open Disk Utility. Select New Image and use an appropriate location and filename. Choose a disc image size of above the approximate size of the files. We'll be compressing the file afterwards, so if the size is too large, its not too important. The disc image should be automatically mounted. Simply drag and drop your MacVector sequence files into this image. Once you have copied the files, unmount the disc image by dragging it to the Trashcan. Then right click on the Disc Image file and select Create Archive of "XXXXX". Then you can move this file across to your new machine with whatever method you choose. Once on the new machine double click the file once to uncompress it, and a second time to mount the Disc Image. Then simply drag your Sequence files to wherever you decide. The resource forks will be preserved.

If you are using OS9 or older operating systems, then the best utility to use is Stuffit. The Stuffit demo and Stuffit Expander are available at

http://www.allume.com/mac/index.html
or
http://www.stuffit.com/mac/index.html.

So use Stuffit to create an archive, stuff the files into the archive, transfer the archive to your new Mac, then open the archive with Stuffit Expander on your new Mac.
The archive can be opened with on the new machine with Stuffit Expander which is freely available from Stuffit's website.

I hope this helps avoid any problems in future for all your new Intel Mac's this year.

Cheers
Chris


Mon Jan 08, 2007 6:52 pm
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Post newer versions of MacVector
Versions of MacVector above 8 will recognise sequence files without a resource fork, and so it's a lot easier to open such files.

Cheers
Chris


Fri Feb 01, 2008 11:26 am
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Post MacVector 10
Hi,

as an update to this thread, MacVector 10 has had further improvements to opening files without a resource fork. You can simply drop any such file onto the MacVector icon in the dock, or elsewhere, and if MacVector recognises the file extension or mime type then it will attempt to open it.

Recognised mime types include all the text sequence formats that MacVector will open. So you can drop a Genbank file (with the extension of .gb) and MacVector will open it.

Cheers
Chris


Tue Apr 29, 2008 8:31 pm
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