Quick-List ST

Reviewed by Matthew Jones


Issue 32

Mar/Apr 88

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AB Software

Some time ago I reviewed Michtrons' Super Directory program. Quick-List is another program designed to fulfill the same purpose, that of organising your disk library and allowing you to find a file easily. As Quick-List is so cheap (at only 4.99) it has to be looked at but how does it stand up?

Quick-List does not use the whole GEM interface. It has no menus, but a third of the screen is filled with icons that are used to select the programs' functions. The icons are very detailed (in monochrome mode) and understandable and the screen has a pleasant layout generally. The program has built-in help screens (no-manual due to cost) to explain the icons if you need it though using it causes the loss of your file data and it would be better without this problem. The colour version is quite different, using different screen layouts at certain points. Its main problem is that it does not restore the screen colours on exit, leaving the desktop in a mess.

The basic operation of Quick-List is that you put your disk in drive A:, select the READ option, and the disk is read with the files listed in the larger area of the screen. You are then asked if you want to add the disk to your data file. If you say yes, then a small keypad appears on the screen and you have to use the mouse to click on buttons to give the disk a number (which should then be written on the disk). Two problems with this bit: you cannot use the keyboard to type in the number and then hit Return (all programs should be fully usable from the keyboard not just a problem with Quick-List, my pet hate is First Word Plus but that's beside the point). The main problem however is that you do not know what disks you have already entered, and it is quite possible to give a disk number twice, thus 'doubling up' the contents.

Having entered the files (up to 1170) in this manner, you can then have the data sorted by disk number or by name, and then they can be viewed. Quick-List is not as powerful as Super-Directory in this respect, and I feel its largest drawback of all is that it does not include the path with the filenames in the printouts available. After a sort, the files become detached from their parent folders, and this would make it a little more difficult when actually finding the file on the disk. You can also find files using a search option, which is quite flexible as it looks for your keyword anywhere in the filenames, so 'DEM' would find both `DEMO.BAS' and `MODEM.DAT'. Additionally, it is possible to alter the name of a file stored in the list, as well as removing them.

Another problem is that Quick-List looks for its data files on drive A: and not the current drive which makes it inconvenient for hard disk users. All directories are taken from drive A: too, which makes reading files on another type of disk (e.g. my 5.25" drive) impossible, but this is probably not a great problem.

Overall, I think that if you need a simple disk cataloguing program, then this is good value for money. With a little more work on tidying up, and a bit more functionality over sorting and the amount of information, it would be superb value.

Several retailers will not stock Quick List because it is too cheap at 4.99 but it can be obtained by Mail Order from AB Software, 186 Holland Street, Crewe, Cheshire. Tel. (0270) 212653