Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 160 / JANUARY 1994 / PAGE 132

Ready, Aim, FILE! (file and program management software) (Software Review) (Evaluation)
by J. Blake Lambert

Ready, Aim, FILE! 2.5b is a Windows file and program manager that allows you to use 256-character filenames. With its system of file cabinets and folders, you can organize files by subject rather than by disk directory structure. You have six cabinets, and within each cabinet you may have as many folders as you wish, but you may view only three at a time.

RAF displays onscreen buttons for performing common operations you would otherwise do in Program Manager and File Manager - launching programs, moving, copying, deleting, searching, and so forth. RAF can't actually replace Program Manager as a shell; instead, it runs on top of it.

While RAF allows 256-character filenames, it still must create its own DOS names (like 307277.DOC). The manual warns against using DOS or Windows to change these filenames, since the program could get confused (and so could you). A smarter program would protect you from accidentally or illegally changing these filenames outside the program. If you use RAF at all, you probably should use it whenever you're using Windows.

Within Windows applications, Open, Save As, and Import can use the long filenames. RAF is preset to intercept these commands with over a dozen programs. However, in my experience, Open didn't always work properly with Word for Windows, one of the preset programs. You must do some setup to make the intercept feature work with other Windows programs, and this isn't a task for novices.

RAF has some nice ideas, like Version Control (which lets you track changes in a file by saving without replacing). But it's rough around the edges and weak in areas: incomplete screen redraws, help text wider than its window, and a file viewer that displays only text files.

To its credit, RAF has an uninstall feature. Unfortunately, it doesn't go through your 256-character filenames prompting you to rename them to DOS names, so if you don't rename them before uninstalling, you're left with the strange, indecipherable filenames.

While RAF seems to be aimed at novices, inexperienced users are likely to get in trouble with it. VSoft offers a 30-day money-back guarantee, so you might want to give it a try and see if it fits your needs.


(800) 845-4843 $99.95

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