Small Trader's Pack (Amstrad Action)Small Trader's Pack (CPC Computing)
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SD Microsystems, alter receiving rave reviews lor the Sinclair QL version of the Traders Pack, has moved to the Amstrad market. The Pack is badged as an easy and cost-effective way of computerising a business It is claimed to contain everything the small firm needs. Accounting, stock control, mailing list and a pack of utilities all under one roof.

A disk and A4-sized instruction manual (not a single sheet, as wrongly stated in last months news pages) make up the Small Trader's Pack. The manual has been created using a dot-matrix printer — it looks and feels amateurish However, the layout is pleasing and concise, unlike certain "professional" packages Unfortunately examples and an index are lacking

From the ten-choice menu you may branch to any of the applications.

Invoice to sender

First on the list is the Sales Ledger Simply put. a computerized sales ledger allows you to store information regarding sales transactions, tor example, customer name, account number and so on.

The first task when using a ledger is to open customer accounts Ledger has room lor 100 accounts with a maximum ot 500 transactions per month or quarter — not heavy duty, but should be sufficient lor the self-employed person An account can have a number between 0 and 99. a ten character identification tag is also allowed Account 0 has been reserved for your use. the other 99 are for your customers.

Leave it out

The packaging states 6128 only, which led me to assume it required the extra 64k Not so the instructions proclaim 664 or 6128. What's wrong with the 464? Well nothing actually. If you have a disk drive then there isn't anything stopping you using the package.

Sale transactions are split into two groups cash and credit The date, account number, amount, invoice number, extra details, whether it is VAT rated and its category code (whether it for mail order, dealer...) are all required for both types of sale When payment is received for an outstanding invoice this too may be entered If your goods aren't subject to the standard VAT rate (15%) Pack can be informed accordingly If you make a mistake while entering a transaction you may edit or delete it.

Statements detailing sale type. date, invoice number ana amount can be printed Included is the number of transactions the customer has made and the amount outstanding — useful as a payment reminder.

There are other handy options which allow you to compute and display the total sales, receipts 01 balances due ior all transactions, display the sum total of the accounts owed to you. alternate between disk and cassette operation and call up a VAT summary to aid you with returns.

Buy, buy happiness

A purchase ledger is purely for keeping tabs on everything bought during the month. Packs Purchase Ledger has a very similar layout to the Sale Ledger. In fact, you oould be iorgiven for confusing the two — the manner in which data is entered, results displayed and even the number of options available are identical.

To store names and address you must enter the Mailing List. Each file can store 200 records. An address comprises of a name (surname or company name), title (Mr. Miss D or Dr X). road. town, county, post code, phone number. additional notes, addressee (when addressed to a company this would bo the contact name) and a sort code Using a sort code means you can classify records into particular groups- mailing lists can be printed selectively (lor example, customer, supplier or dealer).

There is a powerful option to locate or list a record or group of records The search routine works on any file in the record so you can hunt for addresses which have Avon as their county or Mrs as their title Once an address has been located it may be edited or printed. Of course, the complete address file can be alphabetically sorted or printed.

Oddly enough there is a separate section to store, edit and print telephone numbers. This seems unnecessary as the Mailing List is capable oi holding the information.

Stock it to the limit

IF you're running a small business then a stock control program is essential. The stock reierenoe number, a brief description, unit quantity, supplier code, cost price, sale price, and stock level may be stored in Stock Control. Like the other applications editing (and in this case updating) and printing of a file is possible.

The remaining bits-and-pieces include a Unit Conversion Suite. Mini Calculator and a set of Disk Utilities There is no documentation regarding the Unit Conversion bar its mention. It is simple to use and therefore needs no explanation. If you wish to convert gallons to litres, pounds to kilos, centigrade to fahrenheit or vice versa, then the Unit Conversion is the place to be — it does seem out oi place in a business package but thoughtful nonetheless.

From the Mini Calculator you can perform simple arithmetic calculations Nifty, but it would be more useful ii it could be ccrllod up at any time rather than having to wade through a jungle of menus to reach it.

The disk utilities are very basic Only offering cataloguing, changing of drive, erasing and renaming of files.

A gentle introduction to computerizing a business is guaranteed with the Small Trader's Pack. It may not have many of the powerful functions included in highbrow, professional software, but is so simple that the manual needn't be looked at. The software is written in Basic and, if you don't follow the straight and narrow, will crash The limitations imposed by the small memory may prove a problem If not then the wealth of features at such a low price make it a good buy.


★ PUBLISHER: SD Microsystems
★ YEAR: 1988
★ CONFIG: ???
★ PRICE: £24.95/19.95, or £34.90 together


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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.