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SD Micro Systems
Not Known
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Mike Wright
Chris Bourne

MICRO OFFICE from SD Micro-Systems is a four program package designed for the small businessman. It contains sales and purchase ledgers, mailing list and stock control. It is supplied on microdrive for use on the 48K Spectrum, microdrive and full-sized printer. A cassette version for use with ZX-type printers is also available.

A master menu is used to link the four programs and allow any one of them to be loaded easily. It also provides facilities for opening the printer channel and setting up the microdrive utilities.

The operation of the sales and purchase ledgers is identical. Entries can be made as cash transactions, credit transactions or payments. The transactions require the date, account name, amount, details (which could be the invoice or order number), whether VAT-rated and a category.

Only 10 characters are allowed for the account name and only six for the details, while the payments section requires only the date, account and details. An attempt is then made to reconcile the payment with an existing credit transaction. If a match is found it is automatically changed to a cash transaction. If your business accepts part payment then you will probably need to look elsewhere for your ledger programs.

The date is entered as four digits - ddmm. There is no error trapping on that and even alphanumeric entries are accepted as valid. Allowance is made for a single VAT rate only. That will be satisfactory for many but not if you require several categories.

Having entered the data you will require some reports. Those can be generated to show the amounts received and owing, the individual amounts owing by account and details, a summary of VAT charged, an analysis of amounts owed by account showing the amount as a percentage of the total owed, or a full list of all transactions.

The mailing list can record up to 200 names, addresses, telephone numbers and other information. A maximum of 20 characters is allowed for the name which is entered as JONES, MR A rather than MR A JONES.

Often you will not want to mail to the whole list but to a part of it only. A sort code allows each record to be assigned for up to five separate groups. The records can be entered in any order and then sorted into alphabetic order. After a sort the records are numbered differently, making them more difficult to find for changing or deleting, unless they are listed first to find the number.

The lists can be printed, either to the screen or printer, as labels - without the telephone number, comment or sort codes. That extra information can be found by listing individual records.

The stock control program is probably the most limited of the four, in that it allows a maximum of only 10 stock lines. The information on each line includes an eight-character reference, 15 characters of detail, five characters for the unit quantity, six characters each for the actual and re-order levels and purchase and resale values, and two sort codes.

Entries can be changed, listed or deleted by their stock number. The listing option is also used for updating details as stock is added or removed. Alternatively all lines with the reference, quantity and levels, or a re-order list, can be displayed or printed. When stock is added or removed there is no option for it to be at a different price. The price can only be changed from the change option.

One unusual feature of all the programs is the option to use the ZX Network to transfer data between Spectrums. If the programs had been more powerful then that might well have been an attractive feature. They are not, and it seems unlikely that it would be used a great deal.

Mike Wright

Publisher: SD MICRO Systems,PO Box 24, Hitchin, Hertfordshire
Price: £14.95