|★ APPLICATIONS ★ DISQUE ★ DISKEDIT|8000PLUS) ★|
Another disc toolkit, this time with a significant drop in price. Unlike PCW Toolkit, Diskedit seems to have been put together for the benefit of the experienced home-computer buff who is presumably used to things going wrong and who knows instantly what measures are called for. The user isn't told, for example, what procedure to follow in the case of an accidentally erased file or a corrupted disc; it's just assumed he or she will know which features to bring into operation.
The on-screen display is clear and virtually identical to that of the PCW Toolkit. There are two main display windows, the larger one filled with numbers displayed in Hex, the smaller one showing an ASCII representation. You move your way around the windows using the normal arrow keys and all the commands that you're likely to need are constantly displayed as keypresses at the bottom of the screen. To toggle between the Hex and the ASCII window, for example, press [M]. (Most of them are fairly intuitive, however.)
Like the program reviewed above. Diskedit works on a buffer containing just one of the disc's sectors (512 bytes in size). Because not all of this can be displayed at the same time, the buffer is split into two pages of 256 bytes each. By pressing [F] you can flip from one page to the next without losing changes made to either. Similarly, you can move backwards and forwards between sectors and tracks.
Any changes you make only happen in the buffer; it's good news in that you can't do any damage to your disc straight away but bad in that you can lose hours of hard work just by moving to another track or sector without first saving anything to disc. The program offers you nine scratch pads, however, to which you can copy up to as many buffers.
Also supplied with the program are a number of utilities to make life that little bit easier: you can. among other things, do a disc directory, erase and rename files and type them for instant screen display. If you haven't written anything new to the disc since erasing you can even revive erased files using the Alter directory option from the Utilities menu. RFORMAT. on the other hand, is a disc formatting routine which gives data discs of 178k rather than Disckit's usual 173k.
Unfortunately no manual is supplied with the program -you have to print it out from the disc before you get going -all twenty-odd pages of it. Even then, the help afforded is limited. The features are all admirably highlighted but for the newcomer there's not a whisper of why he or she would want to make use of them in the first place. Definitely a package for the experienced PCW user who is already intimately acquainted with the anatomy of his discs.