Bank Manager (Elder Computing) Review | A&B Computing - Everygamegoing

A&B Computing

Bank Manager
By Elder Computing
BBC Model B

Published in A&B Computing 2.09

"Not another home accounts program", I groaned when this arrived. I must, however, admit that this one is a lot better than others that I have seen and almost convinced me of the virtues of home accounting. It is well documented and very friendly in its interaction with the user (a sequence of well-designed menus with good error-trapping). The package is disc-based, which seems sensible, since I assume that few cassette tape users would have the patience to keep large datafiles regularly updated.

The program actually makes very good use of the disc by having a set of programs which CHAIN each other via a central menu program, and by having the main accounts held in random access files. Apart from the extra memory space it makes available, this facility is much better than using serial read and write files since they are slow - the whole file must be read and re-written to update a single entry - and can give rise to the dreaded "Can't extend" problem. Sensibly, the programs are not protected and the user is encouraged to copy the files to a new disc as a working copy and keep the original as backup. (Protected discs which use datafiles involve interminable disc-swapping for users who are fortunate enough to own dual disc drives.)

Ths files on a disc cover a period of 12 months but may have up to nine separate accounts. In addition to the usual standing orders, etc, there is a very neat budget function which allows you to assign codes to a number of spending categories. The nice feature is that if you assign budget codes to debits and standing orders, the program keeps track of your spending on various items throughout the whole system, i.e. accumulated over your various accounts (ignoring transfers between accounts within the system which are also accommodated within the program). This information can be displayed graphically (histograms using Mode 7 graphics) and dumped to printer. If the printer dump provided does not work with your printer, there is a facility to substitute your own disc or ROM-based routine. Printing of statements from various accounts is flexible and friendly. These can improve on the efforts of your bank's computer by virtue of the description of the transactions that you can enter.

For software of this type, the price asked is extremely reasonable. If you want a friendly, disc-based home accounts program, I can definitely recommend purchase.

Note: The program is compatible with Basic 1 and 2 and a 6502 second processor. It should work with any DFS which permits PAGE to be lowered to &1300 with a file open.

Jonathan Evans

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