Mighty Mail

Reviewed by Mark Hutchinson


Issue 28

Jul/Aug 87

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Helping 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 MAIL.

The 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). Problem solved.

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.