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Load "Disk Whiz Review",8,1

Classification: Disk Utility
Developer: Kevin Hisel
Publisher: Loadstar 128 (Softdisk Inc.)
Year: 1989
Disk: Disk Whiz.D64

Here is a small, but useful application, to help you with your floppy disk housekeeping duties, on your C128. It was published in Loadstar 128, issue #2, and utilized the C128's VDC video chip (a.k.a. 80 column mode). It is fully compatible with the three standard Commodore disk formats, the 1541, 1571, and 1581, and allows you to connect up to four of these disk drives.

The purpose of Disk Whiz is to provide you with a GUI interface for the execution of common C128 disk commands, helping you with the management of your files and programs stored on floppy disks.

The interface is divided into three sections. Section 1 contains the command menu, displaying the disk commands available to you. Section 2 displays the disk directory navigation commands, which you can execute via the C128's numeric keypad. And Section 3 is the active disk's file directory, which lists the content of the disk you currently have in your floppy disk drive.

Using Disk Whiz is easy to master, as the command menu is pretty self explanatory. However, if you do need further, more detailed instructions, the Help Menu is accessed by pressing the C128's HELP key. In a nutshell, the most common disk commands are executed via the functions keys F1 thru F8 and are as follows:

F1 Allows you to run a BASIC program from the Disk Whiz interface.
F2 Changes your active disk drive, or refreshes the directory listing, when required (like if you change the floppy disk in the disk drive at some point).
F3 Prints the contents of an SEQ file on the screen. You can pause the printout by pressing the SPACE BAR or press SHIFT to stop.
F4 Renames the highlighted file(s) on the active disk.
F5 Prints the contents of an SEQ file to the printer.
F6 Deletes the highlighted file(s) from the active disk.
F7 Copies the highlighted file(s) to a second drive. If duplicate files are found, Disk Whiz will not over-write the existing files, but will display a write error message.
F8 This will change to a sub-directory on the active disk, if you are using an 1581 drive.

Aside from the Function keys, there are a couple of other functions available. Pressing RETURN will present information about the file currently highlighted, along with some useful drive/floppy information (like, type of drive, whether the floppy is single or double sided, blocks used, etc.).

Pressing @ brings you into DOS Command mode, where you can enter any Commodore DOS command to be preformed, like HEADER or VALIDATE.

In order to copy or scratch more than one file at a time, you highlight the files you want by using the SPACE BAR. If you wish to highlight all of the files on the disk, press SHIFT + SPACE BAR. Then, press the appropriate Function key for the task you wish to perform.

Disk Whiz makes it pretty easy to transfer files between floppy disks, or even your modern SDtoIDE device. I have no difficulty using it with my Retroswitch Flyer. If you are using your C128 with a composite cable for the 80 column monitor (like the one I use here), there are a couple of modifications you can make to Disk Whiz to make it compatible with the black and white signal. Make the following changes to these two lines in the program:

In lines 100 and 820, change the COLOR6,16 commands to COLOR6,2. This will change the screen colours to something more compatible for the composite signal.

reviews/diskwhiz.txt · Last modified 2018/05/21 21:18 by mastercontrol