Using your Amstrad CPC Disc DrivesLittérature English
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For £3 you can discover what a disk drive is, does and looks like. This latest book from the pen of JW Penfold actually he used Tasword 6128 deals with filing systems, both Amsdos and CPM operating systems and delves into program development.

The book starts off with an introduction to disks, what they are and how they can be used. It assumes you are an absolute beginner and justifiably tells of the evils of cassette-based systems - mainly how unreliable and slow they are. You are treated to a rundown on how a disk is organised into tracks and sectors: 40 concentric tracks on the Amstrad, each containing nine sectors of 512 bytes. Files can be stored anywhere on the disk and retrieved with equal ease - random access. Cassette systems suffer in that programs are saved one after the other on one long ribbon, and must be located and loaded in the same sequence. That accounts for the great time saving with disk.

You can drop the user manual that came with your Amstrad disk-drive. You will learn much by reading Penfold's first chapter; it virtually tells you how to set up your disk systems and warns you of any pitfalls that may appear along the way.

If Amsdos, CPM, RSXs and Basic disk commands have you tossing and turning at night, I'd prescribe you the section on operating systems. Both Amsdos and CPM are operating systems, which look after reading and writing of files, formatting (organising a disk into tracks and sectors) and other tasks that are generally taken for granted. Amsdos lacks a few features as an operating system: among other things, a formatting facility and an unerase function (very handy when you have accidentally deleted every file on your system disk). But what Amsdos lacks, CPM kindly supplies.

The book contains a very useful list of all basic commands that are relevant to disk operation. A further section deals with the extra commands (bar-commands or RSXs) that the disk operating system introduces.

Some of the files supplied with the system disk you received when purchasing a 6128, 664 or disk drive for your 464 are explained in simple terms that make CPM seem less daunting even friendly.

The book ends with practical applications with which you can get your feet wet. A full-featured database is listed that you are encouraged to type in. After every 10 lines or so appears an explanation of what the program does. File-handling routines are given exceptional coverage.

At no point in the text are you left in the dark - Penfold always chooses terms that are easy to grasp. Reading the book will encourage you to take a closer look at your disk system, make better use of it. You'll wonder how you ever coped without it.


★ PUBLISHER: Bernard Babani Publishing
★ YEAR: 1986
★ PRICE: £2.95

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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.