Thursday, September 16, 2010


This post is in response to:

Unexpected Encouragement, an invitation from Faith Barista's jam

Unexpected Encouragement: A Hard Way to Make Use of Some Old Files

Before the days of Microsoft Windows, one operating system was DOS. I wrote a multitude of documents on the word processor that came with that old computer. But when I needed a newer computer, the only way to transfer my files was to call up each document, individually, and instruct it to convert to ascii (plain text). Over time, I did manage to convert a large number of files, which then went to live on my newer Windows 95 machine with MS Word, (and years later, could thus be read in Word on an XP computer.) But I had 100 or more data files that I wanted to preserve for posterity, but they weren’t high enough priority to drop everything else and convert.

I held on to that old DOS machine and my Win 95 computer for years and years and years, just for the eventuality of converting the files. But when I finally decided to work on the files, neither the DOS machine nor the Win 95 worked. A tech friend gave me another old Win 95 computer to play around with. But his computer didn’t have the right cables for a “slave” hard drive, and couldn’t find the DOS disk at all when it was fitted in as “master”.

This week a relative of mine who makes a once-a-year tour from another state to visit various family members, stayed with me several days. He resurrected my Windows 95 machine. And tried to write a program to convert the files; but the unknown properties of that ancient word processor defeated him. Then the hard drive started playing tricks again. However, inserting the hard drive from my tech friend’s computer into my old Win 95, my relative finally produced a working computer. And he was able to install the DOS drive as a slave. In fact, he managed to copy the entire word processor and files onto the Win 95 hard drive, and then, after many attempts, as an operational sub-directory on my XP machine!!!! The computer runs in XP, but allows me to call up my old Dos files, and then save those I’ve read --in MS Word!!! (Of course, I have to strip off the lines and lines of machine-code left at the top of each file by the old word processor; but the text is intact.) (And he instructed my computer to run in a simulated Win 95 mode – yes, there really is such a command – within that directory only!) Success at last!

The one constant I observed through all his trials and failures, was his persistence, his patience at trying again and again. Of not being discouraged by failure. When confronted by repeated failures, I tend to give up. So this was a good observation for me. And I learned something more about the character strength of this relative that I only see occasionally.

If a person can be so patient and persevering, and finally get good results from a seemingly-insurmountable problem, then how much more may I look to the incredible strength of my Mighty God? I need to remember: His patience and perseverance ever guide me into wholeness-in-Him out of my own flaws and brokenness.


  1. I think this is also a good reminder of how we are to face all trials in our lives. As James 1:2-4 tells us, we are to endure through our trials so that we may be perfect and complete...much like your computer. Thanks for sharing.

  2. Whew. You had me on the edge of my seat! I can't imagine losing my files (gasp!). So relieved to hear you got them back and even more encouraged by the link into how patient and persistent God is. The ultimate technician! :) Thanks for jamming!

  3. Just popping in to find out... did you receive God in the Yard? I let the last person know to pass it on to you, but I haven't heard anything from her.

    So. Wanted to know if you'd received it yet. :)


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