SOFTWARE REVIEW: FAST FILEMOVER BY FIRST GBR
by Richard Karsmakers
Germany, together with the United States, has always been the
home of very interesting utility software. Think about
"Signum!", "GfA Basic 3.0", "Tempus", "Calamus", and lots of
other programs. Some way or another, the spirit of ST programmers
seems to be entirely different from that in, say, Holland and
In this article, I'd like to review a remarkable utility to be
launched there, called "Fast Filemover".
Your spontaneous reaction will probably be similar to the title
of the first chapter in the manual: "Why another copy program?".
Well, the answer is actually quite simple: "Because it's better
and faster than the others."
Traditional file copy programs use the Operating System to read
and write their data. As we all know, the Operating System of the
Atari ST may be fast but it surely isn't as fast as it could be!
"Fast Filemover", which can be used as an accessory or as a
program file, doesn't use the Operating System much. On top of
that, it also uses an entirely different way of copying, i.e.
sector copying. This means that everything is properly organised
in its buffer and then written on disk sector by sector instead
of file by file. This is a lot faster.
When starting "Fast Filemover", the screen is taken over by a
large dialog box. On the left you find the source item selector,
on the right you find the target item selector, and in the middle
and lower parts of the screen you find several buttons.
Looking at these buttons also reveals the fact that you can
format a disk (it also supports soft format, i.e. not formatting
the disk but just zeroing the FAT and directory sectors), move
files and delete files.
I started testing the program, but before I did that I left it,
and copied 4 megabyte worth of files (329 items, 46 folders)
from one harddisk partition to another. One has to have some kind
of comparison with the original, doesn't one?
Using TOS 1.6 and quite a bit of cache memory, this took over 2
minutes and 40 seconds.
It then deletes the files again, which took a bit less than 50
I started the "Fast Filemover" again.
First, one has to select the source files. When clicking on the
appropriate drive button under the source item selector it
displayed the root directory of the source partition. I then
selected all files, clicked on another partition button under the
target item selector, and finally clicked 'Read/Write'.
The same amount of files transferred now took 34 seconds- five
I deleted them with the "Fast Filemover" as well. This took less
than one second (just imagine....well over 300 files...) - fifty
I have to admit: I was thoroughly impressed.
"Fast Filemover" is not just a very fast file copier - no, it is
also very well thought out. For example, it is possible to
select files in subdirectories without actually losing all
selections outside of that subdirectory you have made before
(something you cannot do with the Operating System, and not even
with the "Universal Item Selector III").
Well done indeed.
Also, it is possible to have the program use existing
subdirectories on the target disk.
Very well done, one may say.
The entire concept of the program is also quite userfriendly,
and principally the manual is not even needed - though it would
be a shame not to read it, since it looks rather slick for such a
relatively small utility program.
During testing and experimenting with the program, I found one
thing that I would have greatly appreciated if it would have been
included (but, as you may already think, it wasn't): A harddisk
backup facility to floppy disk. This would then entail the user
just selecting all files and inserting fresh floppy disks that
would then be formatted and written to until full.
It seems to me that the bulk of the work required for this was
already done for other routines in "Fast Filemover", and
therefore I considered it to be quite strange that the programmer
hadn't included it.
Too bad, really.
Further, there isn't really a lot to say except for the fact
that it's fast - very fast. So I guess the end dawns upon this
review and the rating draws nigh.
You know what?
I guessed right.
Name: Fast Filemover
Company: First GbR
Author: Hans-Jürgen Richstein
Value for money: 8
Overall rating: 8.5
Price: 59 German marks
Hardware: (For now) monochrome only
Remark: Very nice utility for spoiled
people and/or serious ST users
The program can be obtained at First GbR, Lorrettostr. 22, D-
4000 Düsseldorf 1, West Germany. Their telephone number is
The text of the articles is identical to the originals like they appeared in old ST NEWS issues. Please take into consideration that the author(s) was (were) a lot younger and less responsible back then. So bad jokes, bad English, youthful arrogance, insults, bravura, over-crediting and tastelessness should be taken with at least a grain of salt. Any contact and/or payment information, as well as deadlines/release dates of any kind should be regarded as outdated. Due to the fact that these pages are not actually contained in an Atari executable here, references to scroll texts, featured demo screens and hidden articles may also be irrelevant.