|★ APPLICATIONS ★ BUREAUTIQUE ★ Microfile: Amstrad software package a mixed bunch|Popular Computing Weekly) ★|
Microfile is a database with a capacity of 64K of records, four key fields, each with a maximum length of twenty characters. four possible screen layouts (you design them yourself)- a maximum report width of 117 characters and non-key record length of 80 characters.
The manual is ready to consult but the instructions are the package's worst enemy right from the start. For example. you are not told to press Shift with the function keys until page 11. which is most irritating and confusing. On the whole the instructions are understandable, but any advantage one might gain from the database are neither exploited nor fully explained. Examples given are fairly brief We are not informed how to use a database However, once started, Microfile turns out to be reasonably good at putting names and addresses on disc as well as generating simple reports.
Don't expect a marvellous piece of software. What you get is a limited yet flexible introduction to small databases, despite the confused manuall.
On to Microword, a more flexible and useable piece of software. It has an auto-backup facility which you can switch off if it gets too irritating and can be used in conjunction with Microfile, using 'merge printing'. With this facility you can personalise letters and documents.
I've concentrated on Micro-file as it's the small stumbling-block in a package, which is okay overall. One final point. Amstrad 6128 owners with only one disc drive will find the package a little more awkward than 8256 owners! Having two disc drives improves its usefulness.
Is it worth approx £40? At a push, maybe, but shop around.
Chris O'Toole , PopularComputingWeekly860814