"Q: How many lead guitarists does it take to screw in a light
A: A bunch -- one to screw it in, and the rest to stand around
muttering, "Aw, he's not so hot. *I* could do that..."
ST SOFTWARE REVIEW: LAPCAT BY ARNOR
by Michael Noyce
When you need to transfer files from one machine to another of a
different type you usually experience some sort of
incompatabilities and problems. Be it different disk formats,
files too large for floppies, getting the right cables and
software, setting it up, selecting transfer protocols, etc...
Well now your problems are over! Interested? Read on.
Yes, it's true. Arnor have produced an easy and fast way to
transfer files between the ST, Amiga, IBM, PCW and Amstrad
Notepad. It's called "Lapcat".
It was developed to provide a common standard for transferring
files to and from the Amstrad Notepad and IBM PC, but soon found
its way onto other machines. Because the software is the same on
all machines it's as easy as pie to use.
The package consists of a single disk containing the "Lapcat"
software for your machine, 1.5m ribbon lead, and a 16 page A5
manual. If you've ordered a version for another machine this will
also be included.
The lead plugs into the parallel printer port of each machine
that you wish to transfer between. Then it's simply a matter of
loading the software.
On loading you are presented with the options screen. From here
you can choose or specify a file, select transfer direction,
transfer method, transfer and quit.
The transfer methods available are Simple, Xmoden and Ymodem.
Each has its advantages and disadvantages. For example, Simple is
fast but there is no error checking, where as Xmoden is slower but
has error checking. Which one you use is up to you, but I've had
no trouble using either.
Clicking on 'Choose File' takes you to the File Selector screen,
which is similar to the one found in "Protext". You can perform a
number of commands, such as, Select file(!?!), show all, format
(toggles file display modes), file spec, new dir, type, erase,
rename, copy files, drive change, show hidden files, plus other
commands for bulk file operations.
"Lapcat" can also be run from "Protext's" command line, though I
haven't been able to try this.
To transfer a file is simply a matter of selecting the file,
setting the transfer direction and method on both machines and
selecting 'Transfer'. The lower half of the screen will display
some information and a count of the bytes transferred. Pressing
'Esc' will abort the current process.
"Lapcat" certainly makes life much easier, and is an essential
for any Amstrad Notepad owner. It's fast and easy to use, the
manual is well written, and the lead is of a high quality. I do
have a few gripes though. I think that, at £40.00, it's a bit
expensive for what you get. Even if the lead is custom made, I
feel £20.00 would of been much more reasonable. I would have
liked a GEM interface, but that's just my personal opinion. There
are a few bugs that need to be fixed, such as pressing 'Insert' in
the file selector screen which crashes the program.
"Lapcat" software + lead costs £40.00, versions of the software
for other computers cost £10.00, and are available from Arnor.
For more details and ordering contact:
611 Lincoln Road
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.