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This is the first C/PM format business software to be launched for a mass produced home micro at a suitably cut down price. But it is still expensive compared to purpose written software such as Tasword and it's far from clear whether it's worth the extra money.

The main advantage is that each text file can be as long as there is room on the disc, facilitating printing and block movement of large documents. Unfortunately, for single disc drive systems you must have a copy of script on every disc and that leaves an unbelievably small 26K free per disc. Allowing for one back-up file, this is comparable to the amount you could fit into one Tasword file, and at £4 per disc is also a terrifying expensive way of storing data; for large projects it is cheaper to buy a second drive! (Anyway, we can soon expect an upgraded 'disc only' Tasword, which will also support very large files.)

Even though Script has over 140K of code in the program, it doesn't always perform better than Tasword. Insert mode is better, you can find and replace paragraphs as well as words, delete options are a bit more versatile, blocks aren't forgotten as soon as they are moved, printer page layout is slightly better, you can embed 'rulers'in the text to change margins and tabs for different sections, and there is also the ability to do calculations on numbers within the document.

Conversely, justification is not automatic, and to reformat an altered page you must save text, leave edit mode, load code for formatting and reload the text - a slow complex process which is matched by two keystrokes in Tasword. Script also seems to fail with an 'out of string space' error when reformatting large paragraphs. Screen scrolling is excruciatingly slow as is printing since each line is put on the screen before it is put on paper. There is also no means of customising the printer control codes; 'underlining is available' says the manual -but not on my machine.

The screen layout is poor -no help menus, no word count, no status reports such as 'insert on'. This is aggravated by an appalling manual, minimalist in content and turgid in style. There is not even a list of the available commands, forcing you to hunt for them through the book (and some are completely missing).

The program is saved by the fact that it allows a control language to be inserted into the text which can be executed at a later date. This takes full advantage of disc handling, allowing files to be inserted at marked points within others such file merging can be nested many times), pauses for input from the keyboard alters formats, prints, etc. So powerful is this feature that it can be used to create tailor-made applications packages for invoicing, mail merge, etc. It's a very clever feature, but unless you have a specific use for this in mind, you will be better off sticking to Tasword.

Tony Kendle, PopularComputingWeekly8504

★ YEAR: 1984
★ CONFIG: 128K + CP/M
★ AUTHOR: Intelligence Of Ireland
★ PRICE: £49.95


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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.