Mini Office (Database) Review | ZX Computing - Everygamegoing

ZX Computing

Mini Office
By Database
Spectrum 48K

Published in ZX Computing #19

Mini Office

A selection of mini business programs on one tape. On one side you get a word processor and database and, on the other, a spreadsheet and graphics program.

These programs do have their limitations, so if you're running a large business I would look for something a little more suitable. However, if you run a small shop or clubhouse and have limited funds you may find this ideal for your needs.

The tape itself comes in a standard cassette case with an easy-to-follow, 31 page, cassette size instruction manual. Taking each program in turn, I first looked at the word processor. It's not the world's best, but it is adequate for letter writing and suchlike. It carries out the same sort of functions a standard typewriter would do, with the added bonus of being able to change or finish off your letter before it's actually printed. One useful feature is that if your eyesight is not up to scratch, you can enlarge the characters to twice their normal size. It also gives you four Tab positions and the ability to count the number of words used as you type. The maximum is 30,000 which is an awful lot.

Moving on along the tape is the database. It's not bad, and I've seen worse. It will hold twelve fields per record with a maximum of 131 records. You can use numeric or strings wherever you want and the search routine will find part of whole strings. This can be carried out in separate fields if needed. One nice item is that it will multi-sort, either alphabetically or numerically. You can of course delete/add records if needed and Load/Save data if wished. An ideal database for names and addresses, club members etc.

Flicking over the tape is the spreadsheet. If you want to know what a spreadsheet is, read my review in the last issue. If you didn't buy one, serves you right.

This spreadsheet has 20 columns and 30 rows and will perform most of the functions on the Spectrum. Commands are easy as a1 + b1 + c1 = d1. It also has the ability to carry functions across rows and columns with one press of a key. You can Load/Save data and this is where the graphics program comes in. After saving the spreadsheet data you load the graphics program and then reload the data. The graphics program will then produce a histogram, pie chart, line chart or percentage information. The data can be saved for re-use back into the spreadsheet.

Overall, a nice little package. Though limited, it will carry out all the basic needs of the mini user. Mini Office is available from Database Software, Europa House, 68 Chester Road, Hazel Grove, Stockport.

Clive Smith