APPLICATIONSBUREAUTIQUE ★ MICROFILE ★

MicrofileApplications Bureautique
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It is easy these days lo get applications which are more powerful, complex and costly than you actually need. If you're looking for a simple cardbox to run your mailing list or organise your stamp collection, Microfile represents a simple no-frills alternative to a full-feature database.

The program is written in BASIC, but there's no need to let that put you off. More significantly, the BASIC is unprotected -even on the cassette version, the manual strongly encourages you to make back-up copies. Many cassette users would consider this an unnecessary precaution, but it's nice to have the choice.

In use, the program is extremely straightforward. Records can have up to 15 fields, which should be enough for most small applications. The set-up procedure is very simple, as the card has a fixed format.

Records can be added, browsed through or deleted in the normal way. Initial entry and subsequent alterations are made very easy by the friendly record editor, which gives access to the record as a whole rather than the fields individually.

The search is easy to set up either on one field or several. It always distinguishes between upper and lower case, but this can be turned to your advantage with a little effort. Similarly, the sort routine puts capitals before lower case letters and has no numerical option. It does, fortunately, have a surname handling facility so John Smith's entry can be printed out as "John Smith" but still go in with the other Smiths for sorting purposes.

Sorting is the only area where the speed of the BASIC is a real drawback - it's also the only area where the program is really oversimplified. On the speed front, however, 464 owners have a more general problem. Every so often, the program has to stop for a "garbage collection". This is a result of the 464's older BASIC and does not occur on the 664 or 6128.

The disk version of the program uses the disk to store sections of the file not immediately in use, so that file size is limited by disk space rather than available memory. This has drawbacks in terms of speed, but nothing too drastic. The odd thing about the disk system is that it only allows one file per disk. I don't really see the need for this. Given the nature of the program it's pretty unlikely that you'll be creating disk sized files with it, so you could end up wasting quite a bit of disk space and that's expensive these days.

The manual is very friendly, and explains the concepts behind databases very simply and clearly. It's also got a lot of good ideas on turning the program's limitations to your advantage. The only shortcoming is in the order it explains things - it doesn't immediately tell you how to get started. That said, it's not really intended for people who want to get stuck in straight away. Rest assured, it does tell you everything you need to know in due course.

AA#8

★ EDITEUR: Cornix Software
★ YEAR: 1986
★ CONFIG: CPC 464, 664, 6128
★ LANGUAGE:
★ LICENCE: COMMERCIALE
★ AUTHOR(S): ???
★ PRICE: £19.95 cass, £24.95 disk

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L'Amstrad CPC est une machine 8 bits à base d'un Z80 à 4MHz. Le premier de la gamme fut le CPC 464 en 1984, équipé d'un lecteur de cassettes intégré il se plaçait en concurrent  du Commodore C64 beaucoup plus compliqué à utiliser et plus cher. Ce fut un réel succès et sorti cette même années le CPC 664 équipé d'un lecteur de disquettes trois pouces intégré. Sa vie fut de courte durée puisqu'en 1985 il fut remplacé par le CPC 6128 qui était plus compact, plus soigné et surtout qui avait 128Ko de RAM au lieu de 64Ko.