APPLICATIONSDISQUE ★ 2IN1 ★

2in1 (Amstrad Action)2in1 (USER MANUAL)
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A couple of months ago AA featured the definitive CPC-to-PC transfer article. Well, it was almost definitive. Another similar program has appeared on the scene - just too late for a place in that review. But we think it's good enough - as you'll discover -for a review of its very own...

The program in question is 2 in 1. Being sold now by Microstyle, it originally came from Moonstone software. If you cast your mind back to the previous round-up, you'll recall that the best of the bunch then was another Moonstone product, the Multi-File Utility.

In fact the two programs are very similar, basically working from the same core. MFU was really a CP/M transfer utility, designed to port CP/M software between the CPC and other CP/M disk formats. The PC transfer bit was almost an extra, a single option within a program designed for another purpose. This is where 2 in lis different. It is designed solely to make file transfer between the two machines a doddle.

To use the software you'll need a second drive plugged into the back of your CPC and, of course, a PC to transfer the data to and from! You can fix either a 3.5-inch or 5.25-inch drive to the back of your CPC, depending on the type of disks your PC uses.

The program was in fact designed for use with the PCW in mind. Indeed, the manual makes reference to that machine only. A sheet of paper accompanies the package, though, to remind you that the machine you have is a CPC, not a PCW, and not to worry too much about it!

It also tells you how to get round one or two of the quirks caused by the differences in the machines. For a start, the Escape key on the PCW doesn't have a direct equivalent on the CPC. The addendum shows you how to put get round that.

The program works in the CP/M environment. You need to boot CP/M from one of your master disks supplied with the machine, then insert the 2 in 1 disk. The program is then started simply by typing 2inl at the prompt.

You're presented with a menu of choices on the main screen. There's File Transfer, Dual Format, Utilities and, of course, an Exit option. We'll look at them one at a time.

File transfer

File transfer works by transferring data between the 3-inch disk in drive A to the 3.5 or 5.25-inch PC format disk in the B drive.

Once you've chosen whether to transfer from your CPC disk to MSDOS orvice versa, the disk drives whirr for a few moments, and the operation is complete. It's a fast, friendly and very efficient system.

Dual format

Dual format is next on the list. It's this option that really makes the program. It allows you to use the same data disk on both the CPC and the PC! All that you need to do before using the disk in a different machine is update it using the option in the 2 in 1 program.

The disks have to be formatted to the standard 360K format first, then prepared with the dual format section of the program. After that it's a case of slamming it into the drive of either machine, remembering to update it whenever you switch computers.

Utilities

The final option is a bunch of utilities. A number of DOS-related functions are available. You can format a disk to a variety of DOS formats -anything from 160K to 720K. You can then use them on any standard PC.

The disk's directory can be read and displayed. This shows you all the files on the disk, as well as any hidden files, sub directories, and the disk's name.

And real propeller-heads may be interested in looking at all the bits of techie information about a disk. Analysing a disk shows you the parameter block for that disk. It's involved stuff, things like the amount of sectors per cluster, and not likely to be of much use to the average user - but the curious may like to take a peek.

In practice

There are one or two restrictions. The MSDOS disk can't have any sub directories, though this isn't usually a problem. The majority of PCs have a hard drive, and anything that needs transferring has usually got to be saved onto a blank disk first. The dual format option will only work with a couple of disk format sizes, luckily the most standardized ones.

If you want a program purely and simply to transfer information between your CPC and a PC, then 2 in 1 is the utility to do it. Consider MFU only if you want to transfer between different types of CP/M machines as well as to your PC. The low price of 2 in 1, just £25 as opposed to the fifty notes you'd be paying for it a year ago, gives you the best features at a good price. Quite simply, it knocks the competition into a cocked waste paper basket.

AA

★ PUBLISHER: MOONSTONE COMPUTING , MICROSTYLE (212 Dudley Hill Road, Bradford, West Yorkshire)
★ YEAR: 1989
★ CONFIG: PCW + CP/M
★ LANGAGE: ???
★ LICENCE: COMMERCIALE
★ AUTHOR(S): ???
★ PRICE: £24.95 (disk)

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» 2in1  v1DATE: 2013-09-03
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» Moonstone  Computing-PCW  Toolkit-2  in  1-Multi  Format  Utility    ENGLISHDATE: 2017-06-19
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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.