Over the last couple of years I have built up a
considerable collection of magazines, books and technical data for
the ATARI computers and it had become quite difficult to locate a
particular piece of information. I badly needed a filing or indexing
program and as I could not afford a commercial 'database' type
program, I looked around in the magazines for a suitable program.
ANALOG had a couple but they did not do what I wanted, so I set
about writing MAGFILE. Whilst it is specifically set up for computer
information from magazines, there is no reason why the section
headings could not be changed to allow the program to function for
other record keeping purposes.
HOW IT WORKS
After a brief initialisation and a title screen, a
menu of 22 categories is displayed. These have been chosen after a
great deal of trial and error but of course they may be changed if
desired. The idea is to choose one from the left column and one from
the right, thereby forming a unique 2 word category/file reference.
There are a maximum of 121 combinations but some will never be used.
The choices will be highlighted and any incorrect keypresses are
error trapped. A second menu will now appear giving 5 options and
again your choice will be highlighted.
The functions on this Menu are as follows:
OPEN NEW FILE - This is the first choice
for every new selection. It will write a file to disk with a
filename extender being formed by the letter and number of your
chosen two word category. This file can be updated at any time by
APPEND CURRENT FILE - All new records are
stored using this function. When selected, you will be asked the
||Type up to 14 characters and
||Type the first letter of one of
the 5 options shown and press RETURN
||Type up to 10 characters and
||Type up to 10 characters and
Your entries will then be displayed as a record
and you can accept it for filing or refuse it if there is a mistake.
You can then make more entries or return to the category menu.
ERASE OLD FILE - This is pretty drastic as
it will cause the loss of all records in the selected file. Use with
LIST CONTENTS OF FILE - This will display
all the 40 byte records in a file, one after the other, on a filing
card. When a card is full, a keypress will display the next one. The
top line will show the file no., the filename and the card no.
DELETE RECORD - This allows you to remove
any number of records from a file. Records will be displayed one at
a time and may be retained or deleted as desired.
If you select the wrong category the ESC key may
be used to start over again.
The white line across the middle of the screen is
for messages and commands. All likely errors have been trapped and
should ensure no loss of records or halting of the program. Keep the
volume on your TV or monitor turned up when using this program as
the resultant noise can prove helpful.
As already mentioned there are 22 categories to
choose from. The bottom one in each column is designated as a
'wildcard'. Either one can be used with another category to make up
a file. Both can be used together if desired! When selected, your
disk drive will search for the file. If found, the alternative
category will replace the word 'WILDCARD' in the menu. If not found,
you will be prompted to input your new category. Your typing will
print in inverse which is correct. Press RETURN after typing and the
new entry will appear in the menu. The program now continues as
The only way to stop the program is with the
SYSTEM RESET key, however DO NOT PRESS IT DURING DISK I/O as this
could result in the complete loss of a file.
I have tested MAGFILE on DOS 2.0 / 2.5 and DOS 3.0
and it seems happy. There are 3 machine language routines included
none of which are unusual, so there should be no problems on any
machine. The routines are used in lines 1550 which is the 'rainbow'
routine used in the opening title, line 1560 which is a VBI used to
force inverse video and capitals on or off as necessary and line
1570 which is a DLI used to change the colour of the top line of the
I may consider adding search and sort routines at
a later date if there is a need. Any comments or other suggestions
for improvements would be welcome via PAGE 6.