Help file: I can't run the old Cardfile program in my copy of Windows 7 (64-bit). Is there any workaround?

Rob Pegoraro
Saturday, October 16, 2010; 8:54 PM

Q: I can't run the old Cardfile program in my copy of Windows 7 (64-bit). Is there any workaround?

A: I was not aware of this issue until getting an e-mail or two from readers, then seeing how many other users had the issue. It does, in fact, exist: Cardfile, an exceedingly simple info-management program included with Windows 3.1 and other old releases, doesn't run in the 64-bit version of Windows 7 (the most common one on new computers).

One remedy is to install a third-party replacement, AZZCardfile (, $29.95 shareware).

If you'd rather not buy extra software, an old Microsoft tech-support note suggests a few workarounds to extract data from Cardfile - but the simpler one requires access to a machine that can run the Cardfile program. Good luck with that in 2010.

The overriding lesson here is, sadly, not a new one: Don't let your data stay locked up in a program that's long since been abandoned by its developers.

There's also a lesson for PC manufacturers: Making the 64-bit edition of Windows 7 the standard on home computers is a serious mistake when that version delivers few real-world benefits but can inflict painful compatibility issues on users.

Q: I just got an iPhone 4. Is it too late for me to get a free case from Apple?

A: It's too late to get a free case without any effort - Apple ended its giveaway program in early September, a few weeks ahead of the schedule it had announced in July.

(In case you didn't pick up a paper, turn on a TV or go online around that time: Apple launched this free-case program to deal with complaints from users who said the iPhone 4 loses reception when held with a hand over a gap between the device's two antennas.)

But the Cupertino, Calif., company says it will continue to give free copies of its "bumper" case to customers who call for help with iPhone 4 reception and request a bumper case to deal with the problem.

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