COPX, FORMAX & SmartWRITER's Helper
Reviews
by Jim Notini


MAY / JUNE 1991 #76 / 77 N.I.A.D. NEWSLETTER

COPX, FORMAX & SmartWRITER'S HELPER
by HEXACE SOFTWARE

Mini-Reviews by Jim Notini
APRIL 1991 #75 N.I.A.D. NEWSLETTER

COPX

COPX was developed to aid in the process of making backup
copies of files on the ADAM computer. COPX allows the user to
copy entire disks or data packs as well as the ability to
copy single files or several files at the same time. Advanced
features of the file copy routine include the ability to
select the order in which multiple files will be copied, the
ability to specify file types to copy as well as the ability
to specify the first letter of a file to copy that will copy
all the files on a media that start with that letter. COPX
supports any size ramdisk as well as disk drive and when
making a backup from the ramdisk, the user can make two
backups at the same time if two disk drives are available.

There are four modes of copying which are available: ALL,
DIRECTORY, FILES or OFFCOPY; that can be used to make copies
from and too your physical drives or the ramdisk. COPY ALL
will copy from block 0 to the end of the source media and
allow you to copy to any other physical drive or ramdisk
contained in the system. COPY DIRECTORY will copy only the
blocks which are used on the source directory to any of the
physical drives or ramdisk. COPY FILES is a file copier that
allows the user to select one or more files from the EOS
source directory to be copied to another device. Files may be
selected in any order so as to arrange the files on the
destination media exactly as you want them. OFFCOPY is a
block copier that allows the user to specify a block or
a range of blocks to copy from the source to a specific
location on the destination.

The COPY FILES option is easily the most advanced on the
market to date. It reminds me a an IBM program in the
flexibility that the user has as to what they want copied
and how they want it arranged on the destination. Options not
only include the ability to number the files in the order
that you want them copied, but also the ability to tag all
files, tag by file type, tag by attribute, tag by file size
or tag by first letter. User groups should especially love
the ability to copy a program to a larger ramdisk and then
make multiple copies at the same time if they have two disk
drives attached to their ADAM.

FORMAX

FORMAX is a program that will allow the user to control up to
eight disk drives when formatting disks and it will also
initialize the disk and even can put a custom boot block on
it. All disk drive sizes are compatible with FORMAX (5 1/4"
160K and 320K and 3 1/2" 720K), the number of directory
blocks can be set anywhere from 1 to 8 and the volume name
can all be set before the format process.

In order for the user to have the ability to hookup and use
at the same time up to 8 disk drives, a custom EPROM chip is
required. This custom EPROM may be purchased through Hexace
Software at an unspecified price as of yet. If you are
interested in setting this up, I would recommend writing to
Hexace for further details.

SmartWRITER'S HELPER

SmartWRITER'S HELPER is a patch program for SmartWRITER only
that will expand the usefulness of this terrific built-in
word processor. The fixes and updates that are made will
finally clear up some of the more disturbing bugs which are
contained in SmartWRITER. But the main features of
SmartWRITER'S HELPER are the ability to switch back
and forth between using the ADAM Printer or a Dot Matrix
Printer, a ramdisk or tape drive #2, and tape drive #1 or
disk drive #2 all without ever having to leave SmartWRITER
and boot another program. This is accomplished through an
array of key press sequences that involve the CONTROL key.

When you boot SmartWRITER'S HELPER, the ADAM Printer, tape
drive #1, tape drive #2 (if you have a second tape drive) and
disk drive #1 (if you have a disk drive) are all active. If
you want to switch to a dot matrix printer all that would
need to be done is to press the "CONTROL" and "A" keys at the
same time. To switch back to the ADAM Printer, you would
press "CONTROL" and "B" simultaneouly. If you wish to setup a
ramdisk in place of tape drive #2 (even if you don't have a
second tape drive), you would press "CONTROL" and "C" at the
same time. To return to tape drive #2, you would press
"CONTROL" and "D" at the same time. if you wish to gain
access to a second disk drive which hooked up then you would
press "CONTROL" and "E" at the same time but then you would
lose access to tape drive #1. To switch back to tape drive
#1, you would press "CONTROL" and "F" at the same time. One
other unnoticeable difference is the fact that when you
delete the very last file on a disk or data pack, that file
space is totally cleared out and the end marker for the
directory is moved up into the now deleted file space as well
as the block count being corrected.

Down the road a bit, custom printer drivers for dot matrix
printer owners will be added to allow the user to access some
of the different print styles that their dot matrix printer
supports. This will be accomplished via the entry of special
control escape codes being entered before and after the word
or words which the user wishes to change the style of. Since
all printers are not designed alike, the user will have to
supply the special print codes for certain modes of print.
Hexace is will also be working on a program to include that
will contain a large variety of printer setups that will
patch the new version of SmartWRITER'S HELPER that will be
available soon.

A FINAL NOTE

All three programs (COPX, FORMAX and SmartWRITER'S HELPER)
include a new operating system which contains ramdisk
drivers, patches to the old EOS as well as new routines which
not only make the ADAM operate faster but also more reliably.
All of the enhancements provided by this new operating
system are not known at this time, but there are sure to be
some major improvements. They programs, while very plain in
look, perform as they are advertised and do a very good job.
I don't see the need for another disk formatting program
because there are already a number in the public domain as
well as being commercially available in other utility
programs, but I am sure there are a number of people out
there who would love to setup an ADAM system with more than 2
disk drives and format a group of disks together. Of the
three programs, SmartWRITER'S HELPER should be the most
useful due to the enhancements it makes to SmartWRITER and
soon it will offer advanced dot matrix printer features.

TYPE: UTILITIES / ENHANCEMENTS
RELEASED: 1991
PRICE: $10.00 EACH
MEDIA: DISK OR DATA PACK

SYSTEM REQUIREMENTS:
MEMORY: BASE ADAM SYSTEM
PRINTER: ADAM PRINTER OR DOT MATRIX PRINTER
DRIVES: 1 DISK DRIVE OR 1 DIGITAL DATA DRIVE
OTHERS: NO OTHER REQUIREMENTS
OPTIONS: 64K TO 1,024K MEMORY EXPANDER

SOFTWARE RATINGS:
GRAPHICS / SCREENS: C
MUSIC / SOUND: C
INSTRUCTIONS: A
EASE OF USE: A+
VALUE FOR THE DOLLAR: A+

OVERALL RATING: B+


 

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