Ydur Onestdp Computer Shopping Center

main menu. Some kind of "record not found" message would be helpful, especially to novice users.

If the program finds the record, it appears on the screen and you have the opportunity to delete it, edit it, display the next matching record, or search for the next name and zip you entered. If you delete the record, Maxi Mail manipulates its data files for a few seconds, then returns to the main menu.

If you choose to edit the record, the program asks which line you want to change. The field correction procedure is identical to that in the "Add New Names" section. A screen editor with movable cursor would be easier to use, but the line-oriented method serves its purpose.

The edit mode is also slow. It took about a minute for Maxi Mail to search through my 55-record mailing list. If you enter a name or zip code incorrectly, you have to wait while the system searches in vain for it. Pressing break stops the program and puts you in Basic's command mode, with nothing but open files and a "Break in line XXX" message to comfort you.

If you change the last name or the zip code of a record, the file insertion routine forces you to wait even longer. I changed the last name of one entry and had to wait over a minute. And the delays get longer as your mailing list grows.

Printing Your List

Maxi Mail performs well when printing. You can print up to four labels per line, and you can change the default values for margins and number of blank lines between labels. If you change the default values, the program stores the new values on the system disk, eliminat ing the need to change them in the future.

Maxi Mail supports printers with up to 132 columns. The system does not let you send control codes to the printer. This is a limitation if you have a dot-matrix printer with several print options.

You can print labels for your entire mailing list, or only for those records that match certain criteria. If you select the latter option, you must tell Maxi Mail which fields to search, and what to search for.

You can specify up to ten search fields, designating each search as exclusive or nonexclusive. An exclusive search looks for and prints records that match every parameter you specify; a nonexclusive search prints records that meet one or more of the parameters.

Telling Maxi Mail what to look for is easy. Type in the number next to the name of the field you want to search. Maxi Mail then asks if the search is to be exclusive or nonexclusive.

After you answer, a data-entry line of the appropriate length appears, and the system asks you for the search's beginning and ending range. If you want to print labels for all zip codes starting with zero, for example, you specify 00000 as the beginning range, and 10000 as the ending range.

Version A.O contains a bug in its record search routine that crashes the program if you try to search by the area code or the area code and exchange fields. The crash results in no data loss, but it does rob you of two valuable search options.

Another search routine bug prohibits you from typing more than 11 characters when searching by the city field, which is 15 characters long. You can't search for a city with a name longer than 11 characters.

The Business Division is aware of these bugs, and future versions of Maxi Mail will not contain them. If you've already bought version A.O, list the program called PRINT/BAS. If its version number is A.l, return your copy of Maxi Mail for a corrected version.

Summaries and Form Letters

Maxi Mail also prints your mailing list in summary form (column form instead of mailing-label format). You can print a complete record listing (see Fig. 3), or an abbreviated record listing (see Fig. 4). You can also display the abbreviated record listing on the screen.

Maxi Mail's best feature, text merge, lets you print "personal" form letters. First, you write a letter that contains code words called field labels. These tell Maxi Mail that you want to insert something from your mailing list at that point in the letter.

Your letter can also contain keyboard variables that let you supply data from the keyboard during a printing session. Using field labels and keyboard variables, you can print what looks like a personal letter for each entry in your mailing list, or for only those entries that meet your search criteria.

Maxi Mail has a more cumbersome text merge feature than some other systems. Printing letters for all records (no search criteria) requires that you follow this maze of steps and prompts:

• clear file area (by selecting an option from a menu)

• load the file that contains your letter

• compile the file (Maxi Mail checks your letter and makes sure all field labels are spelled correctly)

® specify permanent (stays the same for each letter) or temporary (changes from

Complete Record Listing

Total Records = 5

Disk No

0 0

Post a comment