Classic Computer Magazine Archive COMPUTE! ISSUE 21 / FEBRUARY 1982 / PAGE 28

Insurance Inventory

Robert W Baker
Atco, NJ

This program — versions for Microsoft and Atari BASICs — was written to provide an easy means of maintaining an inventory of personal possessions for insurance or other related purposes. Information is stored on cassette tape for later retrieval and easy, compact storage such as in a safety deposit box.

Running the program is quite simple: to create a new data file simply select that mode and answer the questions concerning the item description, make, model, serial number of other identifying markings, date acquired, and original value. Typing RETURN for any question will automatically enter a question mark for that entry. When all questions are entered, the entire entry will be displayed and you will be asked if it is correct before it is actually written in the data file.

Typing "D" (for DONE) for any entry will abort that entire item entry, close the output file, and return to the program command mode. Typing "E" (for ERROR) will abort the entire item entry and restart it with the first question. Be careful when entering new items into the data file, do not use commas "," or colons ":" to separate words within a description, etc. since BASIC thinks you may be entering more than one string. Use dashes or some other graphic character and play it safe. Avoid using quotes as well, for similar reasons.

A Full Update Capability

To read an already created data file, insert the tape and select that program mode. Three items will be displayed at a time, with all information. Hitting any key except "D" (or RUN/STOP) will display the next three entries. Typing "D" will terminate the read mode, close the input file, and return to the program command mode.

Other program modes are provided to copy or edit the data files produced by this program. The edit mode allows copying or deleting individual entries. You can insert new items at any point. Also, a search feature is included to copy all items until a specific item is found. However, with tape data files, two tape drives are required for these functions for obvious reasons.

All program modes provide file and/or drive selection for ease of use. A default file name of INVENTORY DATA will be generated unless you enter a specific filename. If you should have a large number of items to catalog, you may want to use separate data files for each room, for items acquired each year, specific collections, etc. Program use should be self-evident through prompting instructions displayed by the program. At present, the program does not provide a print option since it was designed for storage of large amounts of personal data. It should be rather easy to add a printing feature if you really think it's necessary.

Describing the actual program is rather difficult since portions of the program are used for every mode. The program flow changes depending on the selected mode and various control flags that are set dynamically during program execution. The program was originally developed on an 8K PET, so I tried to maximize memory usage, allowing more room for the data being generated and used.

Take my word for it, the program does work. If you want to avoid typing in the program, send $2 and an SASE and tape, for a copy on cassette tape. [This is for PET/CBM users only.] For anyone with a 2040 disk, I have another version of this program that uses sequential disk data files. This makes the EDIT mode much more useful. If you do send for a copy on tape, be sure to indicate which version you want. Also, please send all requests directly to me.

Robert Baker
15 Windsor Drive
Atco, NJ 08004