Grafkey (Clares) Review | The Micro User - Everygamegoing

The Micro User

By Clares Micro Supplies
BBC B/B+/Master 128

Published in The Micro User 1.02

Clever but covert

I've had difficulty writing this review because on the one hand it's going to enthuse over an excellent product and on the other . . . well, I'll come to that.

As the blurb would have it, Grafkey is a program which allows various shapes and lines to be drawn anywhere on the screen using the keyboard.

They can be drawn using 2, 4 or 16 colours and the picture may then be saved to tape and used in other programs. And that is exactly what it does, only more so.

Grafkey is a superb diagram creating program. Once you've got the hang of it, it's easy to use and I have found creating pictures using it is as much fun as playing any of the video games reviewed recently.

The more you use it the more it has to offer and the greater number of applications occur to you. It's all written in Basic and is very clever, very useful stuff.

Teachers will find the ability to call a sequence of colourful diagrams from tape invaluable.

If you're after graphics software think seriously about Grafkey or its sister program Grafstick. which is exactly the same but uses a joystick.

The fly in the ointment is that you have to be prepared to spend time learning how to use it, as the instruc tions supplied are woefully inadequate, especially when you consider that most of the users will not be experts on the BBC Micro.

This, I'm told, is as a result of additions to the original package out stripping the written instructions. How ever, revised, simpler and more comprehensive instructions are on the way.

Having said all that, anyone with any enthusiasm and a little time can soon sort it out. It's fun doing it and well worth the trouble.

An excellent product that does what it says it will do and more besides. Thoroughly recommended.

Nigel Peters