Planning for Apocalypse

I’ve come to terms with backups, where they are located, and backing up the backup to an external or thumb drive. What happens in the event that there is no more Scrivener, for instance? Do all of these files need opened individually and saved as Word files? Now that my production progression has reached what it has, obviously the paranoia sets in.

So…backup. Backup the backup. What after that? Assume the best instead of the worst? Thanks in advance.

Can you elaborate on what you mean by “no more Scrivener”? Even if Literature & Latte goes pear-shaped (which heaven forbid!), you’ll still have the program yourself, which will still work on your projects. Scrivener isn’t dependent on anything existing anywhere but on your computer (unlike a cloud-based service like Evernote). But maybe I’m misunderstanding you.

I wish that were true. As I understand it, with a “call home” activation system like Scrivener’s, Scrivener will – over a period of months – lose activation if L&L goes under. This worries me. It’s not an abstract problem. I use some software which was orphaned years ago, and it still runs–because (until new versions of Windows won’t run it) all I need are my license keys and serial numbers for this software. I don’t think that would be the case with Scrivener. I realized this problem when I was considering buying Scrivener, but Scrivener is so exceptionally nice, and designed with such loving care for usability, that I couldn’t resist getting it. I use some software because I have to, but I use Scrivener because I also enjoy it. And I will buy the upgrade to v. 3 when it’s ready. But I do worry about the activation system.

True, I’m ancient, and may die before Scrivener goes under. But software companies don’t last forever.

Note that the activation system no longer causes the program to stop working if activation fails, but only if the serial number comes back as void (purchase returns and piracy blacklists, for example).

Nonetheless, it is still possible to recover your work with no access to Scrivener at all. The “Files” sub-folder inside the .scriv project folder contains all the individual component files in your project. Text documents are in .rtf format, research materials are in their original native format. If you like, you can poke around and see for yourself. (Make a backup of the project first, please!)


This is very good news! I hadn’t realized it, and I am happy to hear about it. Thank you, L&L!

Today, when I called up Scrivener 1.x (, it didn’t recognize that I had a licensed copy of it, and started the countdown on the number of days a trial version would work. I didn’t have any problem at all reactivating Scrivener. I just entered my email address and serial number (which I store in more than one location), and Scrivener immediately reactivated. But I do find this unsettling. if this can happen now, what would happen in the case discussed above of software “apocalypse”? I have been happily using Scrivener for years, and hope to keep using it for many more years.

People worry way too much about their favorite software becoming orphaned. Oh, there are a few exceptions, but generally, software becomes orphaned because no one is buying it, or technology has advanced to the point where it has become irrelevant. In which case, if there remains an ongoing need, something new will come along which meets people’s needs better.

Does anyone seriously think the human need to tell stories and distribute information will go away? I’m not privy to L&L’s financial health, or the industry 's opinion on its overall value, but can anyone seriously believe that Scrivener wouldn’t be a valued asset for any company looking to grow?

Life is full of risk, but I don’t see Scrivener being orphaned as something I’m going to worry about.

I believe this concern for the "Apocalypse"of Scrivener has merit and in today’s world could happen tomorrow. Digging through backups and retrieving rtf files is a long, drug out and dispairing affair. While Scrivener is the cat’s meow for what it is designed to do, gambling on access to readable files could become tenuous.
I keep copies of everything I do in a .doc, .rtf or .txt format with graphics in their native formats as MS could go ape on us too but there are many alternative there. I use OneNote and new version files can cause hate and discontent also with no MS access and especially if using anything online or in the cloud thing-a-ma-jig…
Folks just need to take the path that offers them access to their data regardless of what these companies do.

Should one plan for “the apocalypse”, I doubt writing about it or looking for readers will be a priority, given modern-day battery/electronic service life limits. And unless one is predisposed to create a bible, well, you know.

a. The end of the world…
b. A great catastrophe that results in widespread destruction or the collapse of civilization

It’s fun to think about, though. :smiley:

The easiest (most automated) way to maintain a non-Scrivener accessible version of your text is probably via the Sync with External Folder functionality. That works less well for research materials: there you should use the Research Files as Aliases capability.