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Transform Ltd
D.M. Smith
Utility: Database/Filing
ZX Spectrum 48K

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Mike Wright
Chris Bourne

WHETHER IT IS pictures, coins or stamps, collecting is, perhaps, today's most popular hobby. As a collection grows it becomes more difficult to find any given item and an index of some sort is often needed.

V-notch from Transform is designed to simulate a card index where the cards contain holes that relate to different characteristics. Those holes can be cut out - notched - if a characteristic is not applicable. To find the cards with a given characteristic, a needle is inserted in the appropriate hole and lifted. The required cards are lifted out while the others remain in their place. Instructions for converting V-notch to microdrive are contained in the manual.

The program is easy to use and is run from a main menu, attractively designed as a set of six index cards. New file indexes can be created, the cards or the index headings edited, and an index searched.

Each card is given a unique identifier between three and nine characters long. The length is determined when a new file is created and cannot be changed. The maximum number of cards varies from about 1900 with a nine character identifier to over 3500 if only three characters are used.

Having created the file index, the index headings need to be added via the edit index headings option. You will need to spend some time beforehand deciding what to use as headings. Although, with a possibility of 32 different ones there is plenty of scope for adding extra categories later.

In creating the headings you will also need to remember that each heading can only register as true or false. That makes this method of indexing unsuitable where more than one possibility exists, for instance, recording a stamp collection by country.

Up to 11 characters can be used for the headings which are easily set-up or changed. Adding, deleting or editing cards is just as easy, although a card must first be found by entering its identifier when editing or deleting.

A search of the index can be done in several ways. A card can be displayed by searching for its identifier; a list of cards with one or more characteristics can be found and displayed. That is the most important feature of the program and the speed with which a search is completed is very impressive.

This is a quick to learn, easy to use program with a fast search routine. Whenever I have used this type of index in the past, I have always found the space at the bottom of the card most useful for additional notes. Unfortunately, no provision has been made for this, possibly because it would drastically reduce the number cards that could be used.

Mike Wright

Publisher: Transform
Price: £12.95
Memory: 48K