Safesoft Disc ArchiverApplications Disque
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Save time, space, and money with SafeSoft's first product in the CPC market.

Have you got a 3.5" disc drive? If you have, the odds are you've got some software that only runs from the A drive. Or maybe you run a PD library, and arrange your disc collections by disc sides? Whatever the weather, we may have found a utility to suit your needs, in the way of the SafeSoft Disc Archiver.

This is probably the first package of its kind ever seer on tne CPC (or any other machine come to think of it), though it evolved from a very well known idea. For years now, you've been able to get hold of programs that create an image of a disc and save it out to tape. The philosophy behind this was that as discs cost around £3, and tapes cost 50p to £1, you could save money by storing discs that you didn't use all that often, wiping the disc, and using it for something else, retrieving the image from tape when the programs were next needed.

So what we've just received is along those lines, only it can archive sides of 3" discs onto a 3.5" disc, fitting (at a minimum) four 3” disc sides onto one high density (800k) 3.5" disc. So what's the advantage? Well, there are three:

  • Faster storage and retrieval. Obviously, if you're archiving with tape, it'll take about ten minutes, whereas using a disc is a matter of retrieving a whole side in under a minute.
  • Less errors. The other large advantage is that whereas using a tape means rewinding and fast forwarding around several read errors, information on disc is a lot less difficult, and a lot less easy to damage.
  • Cheaper medium. OK - A blank tape large enough to archive two sides of a 3" disc will set you back around £1. A blank 3.5" disc large enough to archive four sides of a 3" disc will cost around 50p (if you know where to look), or at most £1. This means that storage rates have doubled for the same price, or maybe even quadrupled.

Anyway - enough of singing the praises of using such a package, and ifs about time we took a look at the software itself. When you first load the package, you're presented with a main menu, from which you can select to catalogue discs (in both A and B drives), and compress/retrieve discs. So after a little mucking about, I found a reasonably chunky disc to compress, and got on with it.

When the thing starts archiving your disc, there's not really much to say. You're asked for a filename, and it just whirrs a little, and starts archiving. You can see a track counter to let you know how far through the disc you are, and then, lo and behold, there's a file on your 3.5" disc! That was easy enough!

Of course, the true test comes when retrieving the disc. So I found a blank disc, and set to work de-archiving. The first thing that happened was the program worked out it didn't like the disc - it was the wrong format (I was trying to write a DATA format image on to a SYSTEM format disc. I was asked whether I wanted to re-format the disc, to which I gave a hearty yelp, and pressed Y. The program then showed me a track counter, and recreated the disc I had archived.

As a package, it works. It's as simple as that. It does the job it set out to do. So I you feel you've got a need for the SafeSoft Disc Archiver (and I think quite a few people will have), rush out and buy it, as it really will come in handy. •



Though the claim to fame may be to store four sides on a 3" disc onto one 3.5" disc, due to the inbuilt compression system, the package actually managed to fit the test disc into a 140k, as opposed to 180k. This is not a uniform compression rate, the package just tries to crunch the data length where it can. All the same, it's a pretty nifty little addition.

★ YEAR: 1993
★ AUTHOR(S): ???


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★ AMSTRAD CPC ★ A voir aussi sur CPCrulez , les sujets suivants pourront vous intéresser...

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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.