to run a user group magazine means keeping records of subscribers'
names and addresses, any information they tend to give about their
system and, always, the onerous task of making labels for the
envelopes. I have been using a Basic program to write the labels,
but not a keep database. I have never had the time to set control
codes for the printer so that the label spacing is right. This meant
writing a few labels, resetting the head and printing a few more.
You can imagine my joy when the postman delivered my copy of MIGHTY
disk contains both an American and U.K. version of the program,
along with several example files. The instruction come in a 41 page
booklet. The program is GEM based and extremely easy to use, but it
is wise to sit down, set up your own labels, and experiment with the
various options. This is far easier and quicker than reading the
instructions (who does that anyway?).
I set up a small batch of records and tried out a
sample print. The result was quick and clean, but was far larger
than the standard 1.5" labels. Silly me, the ST sends out a line
feed and I forgot to reset the DIP switch (set for the 8-bit).
The next problem came shortly after that. MIGHTY MAIL
will print an error message to the screen when it is in trouble.
This one told me it had a truncated record and the program code
where it occurred. I set up a new file, only to find that the
program could not access the drive. I used a new disk and all went
well. Then I remembered that Microdeal use a bulk copying program
that only writes the tracks it needs. Another problem solved. Time
for a break and a good read of the instructions.
Back to the keyboard and more experiments. The file I
had set up contained 16 fields in what is termed a mask, enough for
most purposes but limited for my own personal records (the amount of
hardware I possess!). I set the fields for several records and found
an option to delete duplicates, of which I had a few by now. Once
the file was set up I had the options to Search Mask, Search Next,
Get Previous, Get Next, Delete, Show By and Exit. Show By will sort
records by Company Name, First Name or Postcode. Setting the fields
is done with the mask options. This will set a high and low marker
so that if you enter 'Mark', for instance, you can print any record
alphabetically before or after 'Mark'. The autotype mask is very
handy if most of your records have a similarity. It will hold the
common data, speeding up entries.
There is a layout option whereby you can change the
default layout of both labels and reports. This is adequate, but I
believe that, if the program is used for different types of record,
a bit more flexibility would be required by the user.
Like everything else, the more it is used the easier
it becomes. I found it a bit awkward at first until I set up my own
records and fiddled about. A nice little program, worth considering
if you need a mailing list.