Keydefine (Scientific) Review | Sinclair User - Everygamegoing

Sinclair User

By Scientific
Sinclair QL

Published in Sinclair User #46


Typing out long lines of SuperBasic over and over again, or writing the same address at the top of a series of different letters is a chore with which QL users may well be familiar.

Although there are a number of products designed to help business users with a variety of areas where Psion software starts to leak at the seams, most are rather too specific in application for general use.

Keydefine is a raw system which allows you to write virtually anything from a complete program to a Quilled letter and access it from a single keystroke. Apart from standard boot and copy routines, it includes three programs for holding the key definitions, and a master routine, Define.

Define simply asks for the name of the _key file to be altered, and then the key on which the data is to be stored. Quill _key enables you to set margins, store standard addresses or indeed any block of text, and have it printed to the screen wherever you require it.

Basic _key allows you to define keystrokes for use within SuperBasic and those could include complete programs with line numbers, although you would then have to be careful as to which numbers you used.

Finally, there's asm_key, which is designed for use with an assembler/editor so that you can insert preset routines again at the touch of a key.

All the functions are accessed by holding down Caps Shift and pressing the appropriate key, which could be anything from F1-F5, A-Z or 0-9. Included with each of the three main programs is a set of predefined routines for some of the available keys. Those vary from the trivial - EDIT or PEEK - to rather more useful routines such as window definition or a KEYSCAN routine for the assembly language version. All routines are protected from NEW.

You can put up to 2K of material on each key, although you may find yourself squeezed for memory if you're still using Quill 1.03. But the usefulness of the program really depends on the user - if you do write a lot of letters on Quill, or have pet routines you're always using in programs, then you'll get your money's worth from Keydefine.