Computing: Old Operating System Software

ABC Flowcharter – A flowchart creation application with export to WMF functionality.

ABC Flowcharter is a Windows 2 application that you can use to draw flow charts. With 30 different shapes included, the application can be used in lots of domains, from drawing of computer program diagrams to complex DIP-flowcharts. And, you can not only save your creations, but also export them to WMF.

You can download ABC Flowcharter 1.1 for Microsoft Windows 2.X from the Vetusware website. The download is a 5.25" 1200kB floppy image with the files ready to be used. Usage of these floppies results in a crash of VMware virtual machines; cf. my article VMware: Irrecoverable error when accessing floppy diskettes. Simple work-around: copy the files to a 3.5" 1,440 kB diskette and use this one to transfer them onto the Windows 2.11 machine.

I copied the files to C:\ABC. The screenshot shows the content of this folder opened in Windows 2 File Explorer.

ABC Flowcharter on Windows 2: Installation folder opened in Windows File Explorer

The screenshots below show two of the included samples: On the left a simple drawing showing all available shapes with their description; on the right a flowchart that could be used to describe the workflow of some computer based process, such as batch processing of some given task on a mainframe.

ABC Flowcharter on Windows 2: The available ABC shapes
ABC Flowcharter on Windows 2: Simple flowchart sample included with the application

And the following ones show a rather complex DIP-flowchart (on the left) and an export of the chart to WMF (on the right).

ABC Flowcharter on Windows 2: DIP-flowchart sample included with the application
ABC Flowcharter on Windows 2: Flowchart export to a WMF file

Windows Metafile (WMF) is an image file format originally designed for Microsoft Windows in the 1990s. The original Windows Metafile format was not device-independent and could contain both vector graphics and bitmap components. WMF was introduced as a 16-bit format in Windows 3.0. It is the native vector format for Microsoft Office applications such as Word, PowerPoint, and Publisher. I have no idea if there is a Windows 2 application that allows to open WMF images (?). It is said to be opened with Microsoft Paint; I failed to do so on my Windows 95 (Paint seems only to open bitmap files). The screenshot below shows the WMF file saved above, opened in Irfanview 4.44 on Windows 98.

ABC Flowcharter export to WMF opened in Irfanview on Windows 98

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