Reviewed by Mark Hutchinson


Issue 31

Jan/Feb 88

Next Article >>

<< Prev Article





When I read the press adverts about this program I must admit that it did look promising. A cache is used for storing often read sectors, such as the directory. Therefore, instead of waiting for the directory to be read off the disk, it will appear immediately from RAM. Unfortunately it will only work with a hard drive.

The utility is divided into two parts. The first, MCCONFIG.TOS, allows you to decide which of the 14 logical drives to cache. You can divide the hard drive into smaller units for greater protection of data and faster access times (termed partitioning). The cache size can be from 1 to 1024 sectors of 512 bytes each. The setting is saved to M-CACHE.PRG. At this point no verification takes place, so if the disk is write protected, there is no error! I have found this to be a common thing with Michtron programs.

M-CACHE.PRG sets up a cache in RAM, which can only be reclaimed by rebooting. One good point is it will not install itself if it would leave less than 64K. It can be loaded via an AUTO folder and, as the last file, it can be aborted by a key press before it is installed.

Quote, 'How to use M-CACHE –You do nothing!', unquote. This is why it has been split in two. Once you have set the parameters of the cache you need do nothing else, it will flag, store and recall the file from RAM itself. I tried it with the manual for STWRITER (90K) and a smaller (5K) file. It automatically recalled the 90K from RAM, without access to the drive, after the 5K file was loaded.

It works well and I found no strange errors, but does it merit the high price, and would you want it? If I wanted to write an article about programming and disk access, this would be a great choice for the tutorial program. However, £ 24.95 for this one program, two years old (copyright Michtron 1985), no thank you. If it had been akin to some of the Public Domain collections, and two years ago, I would have jumped at the chance.